Sports awards banquet: 38th year, countless winners

The All-City Sports Banquet drew athletes from around Tempe high schools for an evening to celebrate hard work and success. Jim Martinez, head wrestling coach at Corona del Sol, alongside Zackary Kvavle, Shane Aguarin and Anthony Gonzales, with Sierrah Thrun, the first female state championship wrestler from the Tempe Union High School District.       —Wrangler News photos by Billy Hardiman

The 2018-19 school year marks the 38th time that the Tempe All-City Association has given out awards to Tempe Union High School District student athletes who have excelled in sports.

On March 25 the winter sports awards banquet was held at the Phoenix Sheraton where awards were given to student athletes in basketball, soccer, boys wrestling and for the first year girls wrestling was included in the awards.

This year was the first time girls wrestling was part of the AIA State Wrestling Tournament and the Tempe All-City Awards committee did not waste anytime in recognizing girls wrestling at this year’s awards banquet.

Corona’s Sierrah Thrun was recognized for her outstanding wrestling season which culminated with her winning, in the 110-pound weight category, the first Girl’s State Wrestling Championship.

Thrun, only a sophomore, won all 10 of her regular season matches and all four of her matches at the state tournament to end up with a 14-0 record.

“Sierrah winning a state title in the inaugural year has great significance for the sport of girls wrestling,” said Corona’s head wrestling coach, Jimmy Martinez. “We honor boys and girls who were the best in our district in their sport at the Tempe All-City banquet.”

John Busch, Tempe All City board member, shakes hands with Samiyah Washington, member of the Marcos de Niza girls soccer team.

“It was good that Sierrah, a state champion, was recognized and received an award for her accomplishments in girls wrestling.” Three wrestlers from Corona and one wrestler rom Marcos de Niza received an award.

Noah Perez Valenciano, a junior from Marcos de Niza high school, was honored for his wrestling skills in the 106-pound weight category with a 14-4 record and a fourth- place finish at the Division III state wrestling tournament.

Corona wrestlers, Anthony Gonzales, Zackary Kvavie and Shane Aguarin received awards. Gonzales, wrestling in the 113-pound weight category his junior year ended the season with a 43-9 record with a sixth-place finish at the Division I state wrestling tournament.

Kvavie, a senior wrestling in his final high school season, took second place at the state wrestling tournament in the 120-pound weight category. He won 46 matches and only lost four.

Coach Matt Smith with Riye Torrance, Kira Caspers and Allyson Wachtel, members of the Corona del Sol girls’ soccer team.

Aguarin, wrestling in the 138-pound weight category his junior year, after wrestling at the state tournament ended the season with a 39-10 record.

Three Corona girls soccer players received awards including Riye Torrance, Allyson Wachtel and Kira Caspers while McClintock’s Alicia Nicholson, Marcos de Niza’s Samiyah Washington and Tempe’s Alejandra Gomez-Lopez also received awards.

Torrance played in all 15 matches for Corona her senior year scoring five goals with eight assists and 18 points from the midfielder position.

Wachtel and Caspers, as only freshmen, were outstanding defenders for the Aztecs.

Nicholson, also a freshman, was the leading scorer for the Chargers with 14 goals, 31 points and three assists playing in 15 out of 16 games.

Washington played in 13 out of 16 matches for the Padres and as a sophomore, was the leading scorer on the team.

Gomez-Lopez was a senior midfielder for the Buffaloes.

Corona’s Boys Soccer team, who made into the quarterfinals of the Division I State Championship tournament before losing to Desert Vista, had two seniors and two juniors receive awards at the All-City banquet.

Jim Warne, 2019 Tempe All City Hall of Fame inductee, who played for Tempe High and ASU and was a member of the 1987 Rose Bowl championship team.

Blake Cutlip and Daniel Lopez, both seniors, played midfielder position for the Aztecs as did junior Jacob Flores while junior Jacob Helm played the defender position.

Tempe High School had two soccer players receive awards. Senior Mariano Leon played in 13 out of 14 matches scoring nine goals with 11 assists and seven points while junior Jonathan Rodriguez scored an amazing 19 goals with eight assists and 46 points in 14 matches.

Gustavo “Angel” Campos, a senior from Marcos De Niza, also received an award for boys soccer.

Tempe’s Jalen Grant, McClintock’s Joshua Baker and Corona’s Eric Blackwell received awards for boys basketball.

Grant, who played in all 25 games his senior season, was the leading scorer for the Buffaloes averaging 17.9 points a game for a total of 447 points during the season shooting 51%. His 447 points was almost double the next leading scorer on the team. Grant was also the leading rebounder averaging 9.7 rebound per game.

Baker, also a senior, played on the Charger’s 23-6 team that made it all the way to the semifinals of the Division 5 State Championships before losing to the No. 1 seed Gilbert by one point at 46-45.

McClintock’s Mya Scott received an award for girls basketball. Scott, a senior, played in 24 out of 25 games and was the leading scorer on the team averaging over nine points a game.

Corona Softball

Corona’s softball team, with a 12-7 record, will need to rely on their hitters and defense as they play teams in their section during April.

The five leading hitters on the team are seniors Alexis Massie, Ally Quintero and Reyna Mori, junior Summer Duran and sophomore Tristan Jamar. Massie is hitting .382 with 21 hits scoring 14 runs with 14 RBI’s while Quintero is batting .371 with 23 hits scoring 14 runs with 10 RBI’s.

Mori is hitting .341 with 15 hits scoring 9 runs with 11 RBI’s.

Duran is batting .404 with 23 hits scoring 14 runs with 6 RBI’s while Jamar has played in 17 games hitting .327 scoring 14 runs on 17 hits with 11 RBI’s Jamar is also the leading base runner with seven stolen bases credited to her name on the stat sheet.

On defense, Massie, Quintero and Mori have put out the most players. Massie has 66 putouts out of 88 chances while Quintero has 52 putouts out of 71 chances and Mori has 43 out of 53 chances.

Junior Jada Wendling and freshman Emmalyn Brinka are the main pitchers where Wendling has pitched in 57 innings and Brinka in 54 innings where she has been credited with 8 wins.

Corona was scheduled to play at home against Queen Creek on Oct. 2 and against Highland on April 4 and at Highland April 5.

Next week they are scheduled to play at home against Desert Vista on April 9 before traveling to Desert Vista for a game April 12.

The last two games of the season will be April 16 at Mountain Pointe and at home against Mountain Pointe on April 18 for senior night.

Corona Baseball

The Aztecs are off to one of their strongest starts in recent years with a 12-3 overall record and 3-0 section record which has earned them a No. 30 national ranking and a No. 2 ranking in the state and in the 6A conference behind Hamilton who is 13-4 overall. Part of their success could be related to their deep pitching staff with six pitchers who have pitched innings so far this season.

Senior Nick Schobinger has started four games and pitched 22.2 innings this season. He is credited with two wins. Junior David Utagawa has pitched in 16 innings and is credited with three wins while junior Bryan Webb has started three games this season pitching 10 innings and is credited with one win.

Senior Jack Schobinger has started two games pitching 16 innings and is crediting with winning two games while senior Daniel Sotelo is credited with two wins while pitching nine innings.

Senior Aaron Garcia has pitched eight innings allowing only six hits while striking out five batters.

The Aztecs have seven games left starting with a game at Desert Vista on April 9 and then a game at Highland on April 10. It’s back at home against Desert Vista on April 13 and against Mountain Pointe April 16.

The last two games of the regular season will be a game at Mountain Pointe on April 18 and a home game against Queen Creek for senior night on April 22.

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