Spring banquet honors schools’ top performers

The Tempe All-City Association awards banquet for spring sports honored a wide range of deserving athletes at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Tempe, where all four local schools took home recognition for their excellence in baseball, softball, tennis, sand volleyball, boys volleyball and track.

Some of the winners from the All City Association’s spring awards banquet.

The Tempe All-City Association awards banquet for spring sports honored a wide range of deserving athletes at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Tempe, where all four local schools took home recognition for their excellence in baseball, softball, tennis, sand volleyball, boys volleyball and track.

Corona had 19 athletes recognized, starting with three senior baseball players.

Brandon Bracy was recognized for his pitching ability as part of Corona’s team with its 23-8 record. Bracy pitched over 35 innings for the Aztecs striking out over 35 batters with a 1.58 ERA.

Jacob Clemens was recognized for his play at first base and Christian Slater for his success in the outfield. Both Clemens and Slater started and played in all 21 games excelling both defensively on the field and offensively in the batter’s box.

Corona’s softball team had three juniors recognized at the banquet including Jessica Lynch, Olivia Miller and Calleigh Tilden-Long.

Lynch pitched 115 of the total 200 innings during the 2017 season striking out over 150 batters while winning 11 games with only six losses.

Both Miller and Tilden-Long were recognized for their play in the outfield with over 90% fielding percentages. Where these two players stand out is their ability on offensive as batters.

Miller played in 32 games, hitting .482 while scoring 47 runs on 55 hits with 16 RBI’s while TildenLong hit .479 playing in 30 games with 29 runs on 46 hits and 24 RBI’s.

Corona’s boys tennis team had senior Chris Steele recognized in both singles and then doubles with his partner, sophomore Logan Cromeens.

Corona had the only athletes recognized in sandy volleyball. Junior Booke Nuneviller was recognized for her skill in the sport, along with teammate Erica Rondo.

The Aztec boys volleyball team had three members recognized at the banquet.

Junior Christopher Davis not only was the kill leader on the team with over 200, but he shared setting duties with sophomore Niko Zeiner, each getting credit for over 400 sets during the season, averaging almost four assists a set.

Davis was also one of the leading blockers and servers on the team with 14 solo blocks and 58 total blocks and 37 service aces.

Recognized as well from Corona for boys volleyball were seniors Dion Deguzman and Conner Niemtschk.

Deguzman played libero in all 110 sets, leading the team in digs at 212 or almost two a set. He is also one of the leading servers on the team with 32 service aces over the season.

Niemtschk, on the other hand, was a hitter and blocker playing mainly at the net as middle blocker. He led the team in blocks with 68 total and in hitting percentage with a .242. He had 95 kills over the season.

Corona had three seniors given awards in boys track: Jalen Bryant in the 400 meters, Liam Kovatch in the 3200 meters and Tyler Black in the pole vault event.

Bryant was the Tempe All-City champion and the Division I state champion in the 400-meter race.

Kovatch was given his award for 3200 meter running event but he was also part of Corona’s 4×800 relay team that placed third at the Division I state meet.

Black was honored for his pole vaulting ability. He took sixth place in this event at the Division I state meet where he vaulted 14-06 but he also participated in the long jump and triple jump for Corona throughout the season.

The girls track team had two runners receive awards at the Tempe All City banquet. Senior Jackie Martin was given an award in both the 200 meters and the 400 meters while junior Riley Wright received her award for the 1600-meter run.

Martin placed sixth in both events at the Division I state meet but also ran in Corona’s relay teams, including the 4×800 all four of her years at Corona.

Riley was recognized for her efforts in the 1600 meter run and she participated in several of Corona’s relay teams including the Aztecs’ 4×400 team that finished fourth at the Division I state meet.

Marcos de Niza awardees

The Padres had five athletes recognized at the Tempe All-City Association banquet: Marcus Naisant, Conner Woods, Maxwell L’Heureux, Nicholas Leach and Carmen Cabrera.

In his senior track season, Naisant was paid tribute for this speed and jumping abilities. He was presented an award for the 110 meters and in both long jump and high jump.

Naisant took first place in 110 meter hurdles, third in the triple jump and fourth in both the long jump and high jump at the Division II state track meet.

Woods, also a senior, was awarded for his play as catcher on the Padres (21-9 record) baseball team, where he started and played in all 28 games, batting the highest average at .524.

He scored 36 runs on 47 hits with a team high 32 RBI’s and six homeruns.

Woods also pitched for the Padres and is credited with seven wins and only one loss pitching over 53 innings.

L’Heureux, a junior, received his award for his play on third base, participating in all 28 games. He also was also one of the Padre’s leading batters, hitting .524 on the season scoring 28 runs on 44 hits with 31 RBI’s and three homeruns.

Leach, a junior, was recognized as an outfielder but mostly played shortstop for the Padres playing in all 28 games with a batting average of .524 scoring 35 runs on 54 hits with 22 RBI’s and 21 stolen bases.

Cabrera played second base on the Padre softball team and was named as one of the captains.

McClintock had two members of their baseball team receive awards at the spring sports banquet: Jonah Wiley and Casey Patterson.

Wiley was honored at second base for the Chargers while playing in all 31 games putting out 33 players while batting .324 on average, scoring 20 runs on 35 hits with five stolen bases. He also pitched 61 innings where he was credited with seven wins and three losses earning a 1.84 ERA.

Patterson was recognized for his play in the outfield where he played in 30 games putting out 26 players when on defense while scoring 25 runs on 27 hits with 26 RBI’s with two home runs with a batting average of .346 while playing offense. He is also credited with 12 stolen bases.

Tempe High School

Tempe had two athletes recognized at the Tempe All-City Association banquet: Desiree Muniz for softball and DeAndre Hughes for track.

Muniz, a senior, was honored as an outfielder on the Buffaloes’ softball team but she was so much more to her co-players.

Muniz performed in all 28 games, batting .400 scoring 29 runs on 36 hits with 13 RBI’s.

She only struck out one time all season but was successful in stealing 19 bases on 21 attempts.

In addition to putting out 44 players she also pitched 36 innings for the Buffaloes, earning a 5.64 ERA with three wins and four losses.

Hughes, one of the Buffaloes’ football stars, was recognized for the triple jump in boys track.

He placed fourth at the Division II state track meet with a jump of 45-.04.25 and placed first at the Tempe All-City meet with a jump of 47-05.75, a personal record.