We will be previewing the winter sport season over the next couple of weeks or so and the responses you see below come directly from the coaches who returned a questionnaire. As you will see, the winter season is comprised of soccer, wrestling and basketball. All three sports deserve equal attention.
We are proud that our site is the only one in Southern Arizona that covered (and is still covering) cross country, swim and dive, small-school soccer, golf, volleyball and football during the fall season. We’ve been covering both boys and girls in programs from the 6A Conference to the 1A Conference.
WALDEN GROVE GIRLS SOCCER
Head coach: Carey Bauer
2015-16 record: 21-4
Finish: D-III second round
1. Rachel Carrell: Senior, four-year starter, captain, Center Mid/Forward. Rachel has a verbal commitment to Point Loma University in San Diego.
2. Malia Vanisi, Senior, four-year starter, captain, Midfield/Goalkeeper, Malia has a verbal commitment to the University of New Mexico. She is just as good on the field as she is in the goal. Most people are surprised when we use her in goal. Though her commitment to UNM is as a goalkeeper. Malia amassed around 60 goals in her WG career. Most of which were earned of headers. (Probably around 75%).
3. Isabella Solorza, senior, three-year starter, Midfield/Forward. Bella has had a very successful career at Walden Grove. Her sophomore season earned her the Division III player of the Year, Section Player of the Year, 1st team all division. Her Junior year she logged over 20 goals, and was selected to 1st team All Division.
4. Other Players to watch: Haven Chambers (Jr), Olivia Ceballos (Sr), Hayden and Keyara Zuniga,
New players expected Demi Zuniga (little sister to the twins, great movement and ball control expected to pick up our vacant spot on the defensive wing.
BOWIE/SAN SIMON GIRLS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Chris Lentz
2015-16 record: 13-16
Five returning starters – Britanie Keil (Sr.), Sabrina Zerkle (Sr.), Hunter Bidegain (Sr.), Hannah Adame (Jr.), and Cassie Rourke (So.)
Returning players – Candice Clark (Jr.)
Top new players – Davia Wiston (Jr.), Nyomi Hernandez (Fr.)
“We are going to try and build upon our successes from last year. We finished 4th in our section and 23rd in the final power point rankings. A new section alignment will present challenges, but my girls have a great attitude and work ethic. They have their sights set on taking the program to new heights.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW GIRLS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Niki Melchiori
2015-16 record: 14-13
Top returning players are Jazzy Hughes, senior, being recruited by various schools and Zaryna Urbina will be a junior.
EMPIRE BOYS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Dana Plouck
2015-16 record: 1912
PG-Jack Plouck 12 ppg, 5 apg, 2 spg
G-Gabe Martin 9 ppg, 5 rpg
Sr F James Chase
Jr F Adam Gomez
Jr G Adrian Vera
Jr G Elijah Harris
“We have a very young team with a strong Junior class. What we lack in height we hope to make up with depth.”
MARANA BOYS SOCCER
Head coach: Mike Frederick
2015-16 record: 1-16-1
Top returning varsity players:
– Jaime Avila: GK/Junior; was selected as Defender All-Section 2nd Team (AIA) last year and Honorable Mention as a Freshman.
– Reiss Rhodes: MF/Senior; was selected as Forward All-Section 2nd Team (AIA) last year.
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 and on AZPreps365.com. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com