U.S. Soccer championships draw Corona grad

Nathan Flood, a 2010 Corona graduate and member of the Aztecs’ 5A-I Championship soccer team, is playing in the U.S. Youth Soccer 2011 National Championships being held through July 31.

This championship tournament is considered one of the most prestigious in the country, attracting hundreds of college scouts searching for talented players. It is the culmination of yearlong competition where the top teams from each state, in age groups Under-14 through Under-19, earn their way to one of four regional championship tournaments, with the winning teams converging in this tournament in Phoenix.

All games are being played at the Reach 11 Sports Complex, a major soccer venue in Phoenix. It is the first time that this championship tournament, which provides an opportunity for 60 teams to showcase their talents to college recruiters, has been held in Arizona.

Flood, who played at Mesa Community College last season, is a member of Under-19 Sereno 92 White team coached by Brian O’Donnell and based in the Phoenix area. The Sereno 92 White team advanced out of Region IV when it defeated East Side Unified FC Liverpool Red out of Oregon 2-0 on June 26 in the Region IV final held in Boise, Idaho.

Sereno 92 White will face off against the winners from the three other regions. The first team Sereno 92 confronted was Chicago Fire, Region III winner, on July 27. Next was due a contest with the Region I champion Baltimore Bays July 28 and then the Dallas Texans out of Region III July 29. All games were scheduled to start at 8 a.m.

The championship game will be held July 31 starting at 8:30 a.m.

Three former members of this Sereno 92 team and Corona’s 2010 Championship team have already secured college scholarships. Josh von Allworden and Daniel Van Vleet both played soccer at Oregon State University as freshmen last season, starting all but two games.

Joining them this year has been goal keeper Matt Bersano. Bersano, regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the state, was only a junior when the Aztecs won the championship in 2010. He chose to play with the RSL-Arizona Development Academy in Casa Grande his last year of high school.

Corona Boys Basketball 

The team took a different approach this summer season and decided to play in several tournaments rather than the typical summer-league programs of the past.

The Aztecs were hoping to gain tournament experience after finishing last season at 23-6 and going into the postseason seeded No. 5 in the state tournament. They are led by 6 foot 2 inch senior star guard Calaen Robinson, a left-hander with great scoring range who can take over the game.

Robinson, ranked by ESPN as the nation’s No. 17 point guard, has been recruited by several schools, including Arizona State, Saint Mary’s and Weber State for his controlled play, precise passes and solid mid-range game.

The Aztecs should return several strong players from last season’s team and have more depth in the upcoming season.

In addition to Robinson, the Aztecs return 6 foot 5 inch senior forward Avery Moss, who has been playing this summer with the Arizona Magic club basketball team that in mid-July captured its fifth tournament championship so far this club season. Moss has consistently been putting up points this summer from the paint but is additionally known for clogging up the middle on defense and for his rebounding.

Moss has also emerged as another Corona football player, besides Andrus Peat, at the top of the state’s football recruits. Moss, as a 235-pound defensive end, has received verbal scholarship offers from Arizona State, Arizona, Nebraska, Washington, Washington State and Oregon State.

It is rumored that the other big basketball presence on Corona’s team, Andrus Peat, will not be playing basketball his senior year because he wants to concentrate on football. The Aztecs will miss Peat’s 6 foot 7 inch, 301-pound presence, but the defensive left tackle was most recently rated by The Sporting News as the No. 1 overall 2012 college recruit in the nation.

The Aztecs should also return point guard Casey Benson and forward Braden Tennyson, which will give the Aztecs four solid players with experience and talent when the season starts in November.

Corona played in the Mesa Summer Prime Time tournament at Red Mountain High School in June. The Aztecs started the tournament seeded No. 1 but lost in the first round to Mountain Pointe, a late addition to the tournament, before regrouping and winning the rest of their games.

The Aztecs played well in the fourth annual Basketball Summer Invitational at Mesa Skyline High July 1-3, winning all their games before heading off to a team camp at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif.

“We played very well at the Saint Mary’s team camp, losing to Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) in the championship game,” said head coach Sam Duane Jr. “Overall, as a team, we had a very good summer.”

“We made some strides and have a chance to be very good this upcoming season,” he said. “We have good depth, and that will be a key for us this year. As we progress to the season, our guys will need to understand what it really takes as far as understanding their roles and the sacrifices it takes to win a championship.”

 High Performance Team

Corona’s sophomore setter Olivia Ortiz was selected to the Arizona High Performance girls select volleyball team that will be competing in the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships held at the Tucson Convention Center July 26-30.

 Corona Fall Sports Update

If you are considering playing a sport at Corona this fall, you can pick up the necessary paperwork to be filled out now at Corona’s Athletic office. In order to try out for a sport you must:

  • Have a white physical card filled in during your sports physical;
  • Pay a $50 activity fee and get a receipt from the bookstore; and
  • Bring to the athletic office the completed white physical card, two white emergency cards, the fee receipt and birth certificate.

Varsity and JV football begins Aug. l at 7 a.m. and freshman football on Aug. 8 after school at the stadium. Email coach Joseph at tjoseph@tuhsd.k12.az.us  with any questions.

Girls volleyball tryouts begin Aug. 8 after school in the large gym. Email coach Maxfield with questions at bmaxfield@tuhsd.k12.az.us

Boys golf will meet Aug. 10 after school in the small gym. Tryouts start Aug. 15 at the Ahwatukee Community Center. Contact coach Ray at 752-8867 or by email at jray@tuhsd.k12.az.us with questions.

Girl’s golf tryouts start Aug. 8 with a meeting in room E0080 at 2:20 p.m. No clubs are needed until August 9 when tryouts continue at the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course. Contact coach Reed at preed@tuhsd.k12.az.us or 752-8888 ext. 85080 with any questions.

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