beginning of the fall sports season,
varsity athletics at Corona del Sol High
School is hoping to add several state
championship banners to the gymnasium.
basis for the optimism:
Varsity softball returns nine starters
from last year’s squad and five players
who were all-Region.
Boys basketball already has won a
tournament and beaten several of the top
teams in state.
Girls basketball won two games in the
Highland tournament field that included
the reigning state champs.
Girls soccer hopes to avenge its
semi-finals loss to Xavier by taking
State this year.
And varsity wrestling returns state
champion Cory Hale, with hopes of
taking advantage of state
tournament’s new formatting.
The Corona girls varsity soccer team
lost only a single game throughout all
of last season. Unfortunately, that loss
came in the semifinals of the state
tournament to archrival Xavier.
Returning players, along with a new
group of freshman talent, could bring
the Aztecs the state championship they
came so close to last year.
“Looking at our seniors last year and
how disappointed they were when we lost
to Xavier, they will be our big rivals
again this year,” junior Ashley
This Aztec squad is heavy on youth again
this year with an astounding 14
underclassmen on the varsity squad.
Sophomore Stephanie Phillips will
be relied on to once again provide
strong defense in goal.
“Our keeper is absolutely unbelievable,”
“She saves us in so many situations.”
This year’s captains will be seniors
Ashley Allen, Katie Cartwright, Bailey
Cozzens and Rachel Grief. On such a
young team their veteran leadership will
The captains are picked almost a year
beforehand so that they can start
planning for the season. Some of their
duties include making the team t-shirts,
meeting with the coaches to discuss
strategy and ensuring everything that is
planned for the season.
One of the reasons for the Aztecs’
success in girls soccer is due to their
JV program. The JV team has gone
undefeated for the past four years.
There will be a new coach this year for
that squad as last year’s JV girls
soccer coach will now be assisting the
“I think that this change will be good
for everyone,” Smeltzer said. “It will
shake things up for girls who have
already been on the JV squad for a
Although the season is barely beginning
the Aztecs already have an injury.
Junior Sydney Rea may have torn a
previously injured ACL in practice. The
first game for this year’s varsity squad
is against another great competitor,
Horizon High School.
“Horizon’s players and ours don’t get
along,” Smeltzer said. “We play on
rival club teams.”
Senior Nate Telep finished out
his final season on the Aztec swim team
in style by winning the state
championship in the 500 meter freestyle.
“Winning the state championship was my
biggest accomplishment,” Telep said.
As a four-year member of the swim team,
Telep has a record of 65-1 in dual
meets, with his only loss coming during
his sophomore season. During his time
as an Aztec he set two school records
and was twice voted region swimmer of
the year. His impressive feats did not
go unnoticed by college coaches.
“I’m in the process of taking recruiting
trips,” Telep said. “I’ll choose based
on whichever school I like best.”
With most of the college swim programs
in the country after him, Telep will
have a chance to succeed on a larger
scale next year.
“My goals for college are to by my
senior year make the NCAA meet, and also
go to the Olympic trials.”
Although Telep was one of Corona’s top
swimmers, he couldn’t carry them past
swimming juggernaut Brophy.
“Brophy hasn’t lost state in almost 30
years,” Telep said. “They are
With his focus now on swimming with the
Scottsdale Aquatic Club, what will he
miss most about Corona’s team?
“I’m going to miss just being able to
mess around,” Telep said.
The Corona boys varsity basketball team
has lived up to its early season ranking
by defeating state runner-up St. Mary’s
High School in the championship game at
the Mesa High School tournament.
The Aztecs had several impressive
victories along the way to the
championship game, which included
scoring over 100 points against Desert
Ridge High School.