Sports Notebook
AIA Scholar/Athlete award salutes Valley Christian junior

By Ethan Holly

Junior Varsity football coach Phil Mize is moving on from Corona del Sol to Texas. A member of the math department, Mize guided this year’s JV football squad to a 5-4 record with a season-ending victory over rival Marcos de Niza High School. 

Nathan Papadeas of Valley Christian High School capped off an impressive junior season by being awarded the AIA Scholar-Athlete award.

While batting well over .500, Papadeas led all hitters in 1A-4A with 43 runs batted in. This was the third consecutive season he won the 2A All Metro region award. Although the Trojans came excruciatingly close to their first ever trip to the 2A baseball championship, they fell short against rival Thatcher High. Returning with Papadeas to try and break Valley Christian’s baseball championship drought is promising second baseman Koby Temple.

Summer league basketball is under way and Corona boys varsity basketball continues to build upon last year’s success.

With a 2-0 record after squeaking by region rival Desert Vista 50-45, the Aztecs are working on improving in practice every day.

“During summer league we want to bond and get better as a team,” Senior Eric Michaelis said.

With a large crop of returning players, head coach Sammy Duane has numerous options off the bench.

“Eight guys are coming back and all of them have the chance to be a factor for us,” Duane said. 

“This summer league is giving  us a chance to look at things in a team concept, it also gives us the chance to see how we stack up.”

A total of 18 different high school basketball teams are competing in the summer varsity boys basketball league. The summer leagues are generally used by coaches to improve individual skills as well as for teams to become more cohesive as a group.

This year’s league has games Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at McClintock and Corona high schools.

The Kyrene Warriors lacrosse team rolled to the state lacrosse championship in only the third year of its existence.

A combination of sixth through eighth graders drawn from Aprende, Kyrene and Pueblo Middle Schools, the players united to defeat the Scottsdale Mustangs. The Mustangs are a feeder program into two-time state champion and perennial lacrosse powerhouse Chaparral High School.

”I enjoy the excitement the kids get out of the sport that has so much action in it,” Head Warriors lacrosse coach Cliff Prausa said. 

Involved since the inception of this lacrosse team, Prausa also coaches the JV team at Corona. Although not recognized by the AIA as an official high school sport in Arizona, lacrosse has widely increased in popularity and is growing nationwide. 

“The kids love it,” Prausa said. “This is a bunch of kids that have worked hard and did something that only one other team from the east valley has done in nine years.”

Boys Hoop Star Camp Basketball Camp will be held during the months of June and July at Corona del Sol High School. Coaching the camp will be father-son duo Sammy Duane and Boys Varsity Head Coach Sammy Duane Jr.

Camps will be divided into grades 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9. There will also be a shooting camp and offensive specialty camp held at Kiwanis Recreation Center. For more information call (480) 350-5201.