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Sugar Skulls lineman carries weight of Tohono O'odham Nation on his shoulders

Sugar Skulls lineman carries weight of Tohono O'odham nation on his shoulders
Posted at 7:35 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 22:35:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — You will find Antonio Rosales hard at work in the trenches of the Indoor Football League.

The Tucson Sugar Skulls offensive lineman is one of the many unsung heroes on game day. And that's the way Rosales likes it.

The former Tucson High standout is soft-spoken. He lets his play do the talking.

But he does get excited about being a part of the expansion Sugar Skulls.

"This came out of nowhere," recalled Rosales. "When I found out there was a professional team in my hometown, I had to jump on it. Especially to be a part of the first team that the city has ever seen."

Rosales is also proud of his heritage. He grew up on the San Xavier Reservation. He is a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

"My whole life I've been playing for the nation," said the 6'4" 305 pound Rosales.

"We don't have a lot of people like myself, that go on to play professional sports. That go on to be a role model for the youth. Just being able to do that means a lot."

In June, he plans to take some of his Sugar Skulls teammates to a youth group event in Sells, Arizona. Rosales hopes to inspire young members of the Nation.

Rosales also hopes to catch the eye of scouts with his play.

"I'm trying to make it to the next level. A lot of guys on this team are trying to make it to the next level. This is definitely going to take us there."

Saturday night the Sugar Skulls host the first place Arizona Rattlers. The game will be broadcast live on The CW Tucson.