Wednesday, the tale was told at high schools all over Southern Arizona. It was one about youth athletes reaching the culmination of their high school careers and using their success on the field, pitch, court, pool or mat to parlay those achievements into higher education opportunities. Here’s at AllSportsTucson.com, we cover our kids accomplishments, at all levels, as best as we can. We don’t get compensated for the work we do and any funds that do come in, are channeled right back into the operation of this site. We cover Tucson’s athletes with pride and it is a tremendous joy to see them reach new heights.
Our entire staff want to congratulate every single one of Tucson’s young adults that have accepted scholarship offers to pursue degrees all over the country. Have fun! Play hard! Most importantly, get your degree!
While covering the Tucson High Letter of Intent ceremony on Wednesday, I was able to highlight the fact that head football coach Justin Argraves had his largest class of athletes signing letters of intent to date. Joining them was a girls soccer player who had to scramble out of there as soon as it was over to take part in a match against Pinnacle High School. My opportunity to get her story was missed, for the time being. Since then, I was able to catch up with the newest Oregon Tech Owl and learn more about her long road to college.
When Oregon Tech head coach Brandon Porter brought Sydney Lockery from Southern Arizona to Southern Oregon for a visit in mid-November, he didn’t have to sell Lockery on much. The academics of the school fit right in with her goals to major in Biology Health Sciences and in Lockery’s own words, “Oregon Tech really stood out to me once I visited the school. The girls were very welcoming and the academics were impressive for what I want to pursue.”
Lockery credits high school soccer coach David Goodkin with teaching her the importance of giving 100% effort at all times. When she talked to us about her club ball experience, which was mostly played with the Fort Lowell SV 99 Arsenal, she credited Coach Sean Abrigo with high praise as well.
“Coach Abrigo has really improved the way I play by helping me mentally and physically. He really focused on improving both my strengths and weaknesses. He is one of the best coaches I’ve had because he was always encouraging,” Lockery said of her Arsenal coach.
The hard work Goodkin and Abrigo put into developing Lockery did not go unnoticed.
According to the Owl’s official roster post on their website, Oregon Tech didn’t have a single player from Arizona listed. This year, they’ve actively sought out talent throughout our state.
“It is not a coincidence that we have a couple of Arizona players coming to us. I spent four years as an Assistant Coach at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and am fairly knowledgeable about soccer in the southwest and have good recruiting connections there still,” Porter said when he spoke of his recruiting efforts in our state.
Porter spent four seasons as an Assistant Coach at Northern Arizona University where he helped turn the program around from a 3-9-7 record in his first year to the Big Sky Championship and a 12-6-4 record in his final 2014 season.
In April of 2015, Porter was announced as the head coach for the Oregon Tech Owls Women’s Soccer Program. He told us he has big plans for Lockery and shared some high praise with us.
When we asked Coach Porter how he planned to utilize Lockery’s talents, he answered, “The main thing that drew our attention to Sydney was her length and athleticism and how she used that as a dangerous asset in the attacking third. We plan on trying to develop her technical side of the game more to make her a more balanced and well rounded soccer player for her career. Due to her size and speed, Sydney’s potential to be successful at the collegiate level is very good, it will just be a matter of putting her in the most productive and consistent training environment.”
Another one of Tucson’s young people with an incredibly bright future ahead of them.