Football

Six from Southern Arizona named to Big Sky All-Academic list

Jake Casteel (NAU)

Former Salpointe football standout Jake Casteel (NAU) earned recognition for his fourth straight year of academic excellence in the Big Sky Conference and he leads a group of former Southern Arizona prep athletes recognized for their performances from the fall season. With a 4.0 GPA, Casteel highlights the Big Sky All-Academic list of honorees that includes fellow Lumberjacks Chase Laurita (Ironwood Ridge), Victoria Cooper (Ironwood Ridge) and Max Michalczik (Catalina Foothills).

Also, Isabella Almazan (Salpointe) was recognized from Northern Colorado, Mykaela Hammer (Ironwood Ridge) was recognized from Montana and Allison Raniere (Sahuaro) was recognized from Eastern Washington. Almazan also recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Isabella Almazan (NCU)

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 collegiate and professional recognitions. NOT CHAMPIONSHIPS. If you are aware of anything I have missed along the way, please let me know.

We recognized 164 athletes in 2018. We have 12 athletes recognized this year so far.

Isabella Almazan/Soccer
Salpointe/Northern Colorado
Big Sky All-Academic (1/24)

Allison Raniere/Soccer
Sahuaro/Eastern Washington
Big Sky All-Academic (1/24)

Mykaela Hammer/Volleyball
Ironwood Ridge/Montana
Big Sky All-Academic (1/24)

Victoria Cooper/Soccer
Ironwood Ridge/NAU
Big Sky All-Academic (1/24)

Chase Laurita/Football
Ironwood Ridge/NAU
Big Sky All-Academic (1/24)

Jake Casteel/Football
Salpointe/NAU
Big Sky All-Academic (1/24)

Max Michalczik/Football
Catalina Foothills/ NAU
Big Sky All-Academic (1/24)

Maggie Morales/Softball
Canyon del Oro/Minnesota Crookston
NSIC All-Academic with Distinction Award (1/18)

Abram Carrasco/Basketball
Cholla/Pima
ACCAC D-II Player of the Week (1/15)

Josh Herzog/Basketball
Catalina Foothills/MSOE
Raider of the Week (1/14)

Alexis Cortez/Basketball
Tucson High/Utah Valley
WAC Player of the Week (1/7)

Levi Wallace/Football
Tucson High/Buffalo Bills
PFF Top Graded Rookie Cornerback (1/2)

Portions from news release.

FOLLOW @ANDYMORALES8 ON TWITTER!

Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he 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. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at

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