Arizona Athletics

Maya Benita takes second at the Thunderbird High School Senior Classic

L-R: Madeleine Laux, Maya Benita & Ali Schmunk (JGAA Photo)

Thunderbird High School Senior Classic

July 19: Piipaash Course at Talking Stick

The Thunderbird High School Senior Classic was held today on the Piipaash Course at Talking Stick located in Scottsdale. On the women’s side, former Millennium standout Madeleine Laux held off former Catalina Foothills standout Maya Benita and former Yuma Catholic standout Alexandria Schmunk by three strokes for the win.

Laux shot a 3-under-par 68 on the one-round event and Benita and Schmunk tied for second at an even 71. Laux birdied holes 2, 3 and 4 and never looked back. She will be playing for UNLV in the fall and Schmunk will be competing for Hawaii. Benita won the AIA D-II state championship last year and she will be playing for Arizona.

Riley Lewis from Prescott won the men’s championship in commanding fashion with a 9-under 62 to hold off the field by five strokes.

Former Bisbee standout RJ Wright III (South Mountain) tied for 13th at 3-over 74 and former Canyon del Oro standout Andrew Rivas (Pima) tied for 17th (77).

The Phoenix Thunderbirds sponsored the event run by the Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA).

(Blake Wilson)


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. 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 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. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at

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