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Former Caballero Ashley Monceaux-Valenzuela returns to Coach Flowing Wells Softball

Ashley Monceaux-Valenzuela (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

They say you can never go home again but former Caballero Ashley Monceaux-Valenzuela just might prove that theory wrong after she was selected to replace Abe Grijalva in the dugout on Tuesday night.

Monceaux helped lead Flowing Wells to three state championships (1999, 2000, 2002) and it’s important to point out she is considered one of the best ever to come out of Tucson considering her own high school teammates included big names such as Candace Abrams (Arizona), Rebekah Quiroz (Pima/Arizona), Desiree Williams (Texas) and Cyndi Duran (Kansas/Pima/Arizona).

Monceaux had, and still has, a towering presence at 6-foot-2 from the circle and her bat was equally impressive. Monceaux also lettered in volleyball and basketball at Flowing Wells, earning All-State recognition with whatever ball she was playing with. She played for former Arizona standout Stacy Iveson at Pima, helping lead the Aztecs to a national title in 2004, while earning National Player of the Year honors.

Monceaux transferred to Baylor to complete her studies where she helped her team win a Big 12 title and an NCAA appearance while earning three All-American nods. A dominating pitcher, Monceaux also led the Aztecs and the Bears in almost every offensive category including batting average, hits, RBI and home runs.

Monceaux was drafted into the pro leagues and was a member of the Team USA Olympic tryout program in 2007 before serving as a coordinator for the Mustangs Softball Association in Kansas. She followed that up with an assistant coaching stint with Evansville. Monceaux returned to Pima as an assistant coach before replacing former Arizona standout Jill Malina at Mountain View from 2014 to 2016.

Grijalva came to Flowing Wells from Douglas in 2014 and his well-deserved retirement opened the door for Monceaux to return to her roots.

Q & A WITH MONCEAUX-VALENZUELA

What is it like to be able to “go home” to Flowing Wells?

It’s extremely exciting and I feel blessed! It is absolutely wonderful to be given this opportunity to come back to where my journey started and give back.

How have you and your family been doing through this pandemic?

The pandemic has been a learning curve for my family. We are taking it very seriously as we have what is considered “high risk” family members. But we are hopeful and have really enjoyed the extra time together that being quarantined has brought.

Do you still play or give lessons?

I am not competitively playing anymore. Some slow pitch here and there is about as much playing time as I see. And, yes, I love working with athletics on an individual or group basis, so lessons is something I am actively involved in.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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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 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. 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 amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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