Alex Verdugo one step closer to majors & 3 Pima athletes recognized


Courtney Brown (Pima)

Courtney Brown (Pima) named Alex Verdugo (Sahuaro) to it’s All-Leap Team for the coming season. These are the 10 players expected to get one step closer to the majors: All-Leap Team
C: Tyler Stephenson, Reds
1B: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
2B: Alex Blandino, Reds
3B: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pirates
SS: Lucius Fox, Giants
OF: Harold Ramirez, Pirates
OF: Raimel Tapia, Rockies
OF: Alex Verdugo, Dodgers
LHP: Justus Sheffield, Indians
RHP: Sean Reid-Foley, Blue Jays

Pima Community College softball player Courtney Brown (Flowing Wells) started off her collegiate career with a bang as she was named ACCAC Division II Player of the Week on Tuesday for the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 6.

Brown, a freshman outfielder, batted .462 (12 for 26) in nine of the first 10 games played. The Aztecs went 5-5 in that stretch but Brown was one of the bright spots on offense. She hit two home runs with 15 RBIs, nine runs scored, four doubles, three stolen bases and two walks.

Brown was also one of our Student Athletes of the Year for 2015.

The Aztecs (7-5) won two games at Mesa Community College as Brown went 6 for 9 with two runs scored and an RBI on Tuesday.

The Pima Community College baseball team (9-0) is off to a hot start and two players were recognized by the NJCAA for their efforts for the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 6.

Sophomore first baseman Francisco Rodriguez (Tucson) and sophomore pitcher Daniel Tolano (Cholla) were named NJCAA Division II Player and Pitcher of the Week respectively.

Rodriguez batted .588 with nine RBIs, 10 runs scored, three walks and two doubles in the four-game sweeps over Utah State University-Eastern and El Paso Community College.

Tolano started off his season pitching two gems with one being a no-hitter in a 13-0 victory over Utah State-Eastern. He pitched 12 innings with 2-0 record and a 0.75 ERA. He gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits with 14 strikeouts and two walks.

This list will be updated all year in an effort to recognize all former local prep stars who have gone on to achieve either academic and/or athletic awards at the next level,. These are not high school awards but college and professional awards. NOT CHAMPIONSHIPS.

If you are aware of anything I have missed along the way please let me know.

Alex Verdugo/Baseball
Sahuaro (2014)/Dodgers 2016 All-Leap Team

Courtney Brown/Softball
Flowing Wells (2015)/Pima
ACCAC Division II Player of the Week (2/9)

Daniel Tolano/Baseball
Cholla (2014)/Pima
NJCAA Division II Pitcher of the Week (2/11)

Francisco Rodriguez/Baseball
Tucson (2013)/Pima
NJCAA Division II Player of the Week (2/11)

Sydni Stallworth/Basketball
Palo Verde (2015)/Pima
ACCAC Player of the Week (1/18)
ACCAC Player of the Week (2/8)

Kayla Bonstrom/Softball
Canyon del Oro (2012) /Stanford
USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List (2/3)

Kellye Springstead/Softball
Tanque Verde (2015)/Cal Baptist
PacWest Newcomer of the Week (2/1)

Ryan Gray/Baseball
Catalina Foothills (2012)/Trinity
Baseball America Preseason DIII Pitcher of the Year (1/29)

Kennedy Kurtz/Volleyball
Ironwood Ridge (2014)/Sacramento State
Big Sky All-Academic (1/27)

Terrence Johnson/Basketball
Cienega (2015)/South Mountain
ACCA D2 Player of the Week (1/20)

2016 NJCAA DI Baseball Top Incoming Freshmen – Southwest District
Jared Cochran, New Mexico Military, DH, Palo Verde

2016 NJCAA DI Baseball Top Incoming Freshmen – Western District
Sati Santa Cruz, Central Arizona, P, Sahuarita

2016 NJCAA DII Baseball Top Incoming Freshmen – Southwest District
Miguel Figueroa, Pima, P, Tucson High
Trevelle Hill, Pima, P, Tucson High
Manny Ramirez, Pima, SS, Bisbee

2016 NJCAA DI Softball Top Newcomers – District A (Region 1)
Margarita Corona, Pima, C, Tucson
Courtney Brown, Pima, LF, Flowing Wells

2016 NJCAA DI Softball Top Newcomers – District J (Regions 11, 16)
Hailly Greenough, Southeastern, Buena

2016 NJCAA DII Softball Top Newcomers – District A (Region 1)
Jade Allee Gateway, P, Buena
Lexi Valencia, Mesa, 3B, Tucson
Leighann Ballesteros, Mesa, Tucson

Edgar Poe/Football
Cienega (2012)/Army
Army Most Valuable Player (1/9)

Jeremy Timpf/Football
Sabino (2012)/Army
Creighton W. Abrams Award (1/9)

Shalise Fernander/Basketball
Flowing Wells (2014)/Pima
ACCAC Player of the Week (1/4)
NJCAA National Player of the Week (11/6)

Portions from news release.

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at


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