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Sports Notebook:
Honors pile up for Corona, other area athletes
By Ethan Holly

December 17, 2005

While the winter sports season gears up, local athletes are beginning to get recognition for their hard work in the form of awards and nominations.

After Corona del Sol’s girls varsity volleyball program took second in state, several players were named to the All-State team. 

Senior setter Joy Peschman was named Central Region Player of the Year for her ability to lead the Aztecs’ potent offense. 

Junior outside hitter Michelle Hein was named the Southeast Valley Player of the Year by The Arizona Republic. Head Coach Janna Corbett was also honored by being chosen as the Central Region Coach of the Year. 

With five starters returning next year, the team appears to be capable of competing for the state championship again.

The list of Wendy’s High School Heisman All-State nominees was released, and several local athletes were honored. Six were from the Central Region as well as an additional two from Seton Catholic High School.  Desert Vista athlete Blake Gibson and seniors Jeff Sandell and Lisa Wolf from Seton were three of the 10 state finalists for the award.

Nominees are selected not only for their excellence in athletics, but also in academics and for being involved in their communities.

Sandell has participated in cross country, basketball and track while at Seton. As a sophomore he led off  the state champion 4-by-800-meter relay team. Golf is also a three-sport athlete participating in volleyball, basketball and softball.

Sophomore Noel Guevara has not only impressed her soccer coaches at Corona del Sol High School, she has started to receive international attention. Guevara has been invited to attend Mexico’s Women’s Under 20 soccer camp.

If selected to the team, Guevara would compete in Veracruz, Mexico, next year. Guevara has been honing her soccer skills since the age of five. For the past six years she has been playing competitive soccer almost year round in Arizona. This past summer, Mexican National Head Coach Leonardo Cuellar selected Guevara to be part of the National Under 15 team.

With new formatting changes and a strong returning line-up, varsity wrestling at Corona prepares to continue its strong tradition of excellence in state. Returning seniors include state champion Cory Hale as well as Robert Holbrook, Luis Flores, Kevin Hager and Justin Fish.

The squad is off to a strong start with a 5-1 team record.  The only loss for the Aztecs came against the reigning state champion Highland Hawks.

Corona put up a strong fight, but fell 34-27 in the match. Several members of the team are coming over from football to wrestling.  The transition between the two sports will be an important factor in the team’s success.

“It was difficult because of the difference in styles,” Fish said. “In football you focus on bulking up, while in wrestling you are trying to lose some weight.”

Changing your dietary habits does not come easy for most high school students, let alone athletes.

“I had to cut back on my eating,” Fish said.  “I just got rid of mostly junk food and soda from my diet. I basically eat healthier in general.”

With a top-notch JV program known for its undefeated seasons, the talent level of this year’s varsity squad is especially high.

“I think we’re going to be up there in state,” Fish said. “If we wrestle well, maybe even become the state champions.”

The Aztecs will need all the help they can get in a tough region including former state champions Marcos de Niza as well as Desert Vista High School.

“Desert Vista will be a really strong team,” Fish said.  “We’ll be contending with them all season to be Central Region champs.”

Editor’s note: One of the Corona athletes pictured in the Dec. 3 issue of Wrangler News was inadvertently misidentified as Cory Hale. The caption should have read Tim Kirch.



































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