Featured

Soccer Playoffs: Salpointe boys advance to state final; Pusch Ridge girls find greatness in giving

Wolfgang Weber is taking another generation of athletes to a state final. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

With 698 career wins, 11 trips to the state final and 7 state championships, it’s pretty clear legendary Salpointe head coach Wolfgang Weber has given quite a few speeches to his players over the years to prepare them for that one final game. His first state title came in 1985 and his last came in 2019 and he will get another shot after his top-seeded Lancers defeated No. 4 Saguaro 2-0 in the semifinal round of the 4A Conference played at Mountain View Marana on Tuesday.

“Over the years I have become more calm about all this,” Weber said. “I want them to not be overwhelmed by the occasion. I remind them it’s really just a game.”

LINK: SALPOINTE GAME STORY AT AZPREPS365

PLAYOFF NOTE

Amy Garelick (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

While preparing the for her 3A quarterfinal match against Northwest Christian, Pusch Ridge head coach Amy Garelick came upon the story of Crusader freshman Wilson Floyd. Wilson was set to join her junior twin sisters Belle and Beasley on the school’s soccer team but the young defender was diagnosed with a tumor (Ewing Sarcoma) in her left leg and life took her on a different path.

Garelick could have ignored the obvious sadness of the situation but she has young kids of her own and she is one of the most decorated coaches in Tucson history, earning not one but two “Coach of the Year” recognitions by Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), coaching the FC Tucson Women. Typically, a coach with those kid of credentials would focus on the opponent but we are all on the same team when a child is in pain.

The Crusaders came into that quarterfinal match outscoring their opponents 125 to 5 or roughly 10 goals a game. That’s a lot to plan for. A lot of chalk and a lot of erasing.

Instead, Garelick dedicated some of that valuable planning to talk to her team about Wilson. Instead of using time to decide how to stop Belle and Beasley on the pitch, her players wrote notes of encouragement and scripture passages and each one of Garelick’s players took turns handing those notes to Belle and Beasley during warmups because Wilson is unable to attend matches but watches at home, wearing her number 16 jersey.

The Lions lost the match 4-1 in what turned out to be the most competitive game for the Crusaders but each note passed on to Wilson by her twin sisters when they got home was a shot that found its way to the net.

TUESDAY, MARCH 16

BOYS STATE WRESTLING
D-IV: Poston Butte Day One

138: Wyatt Ogle (Santa Cruz) 10-0
152: Oren Allsup (Willcox) 14-0
160: Ote Allsup (Willcox) 15-0
170: Hunter Ogle (Santa Cruz) 8-1
195: Diego Chavez (Santa Cruz) 10-0

4A-6A BOYS SOCCER SEMIFINALS
(4A) No. 1 Salpointe 2, No. 4 Saguaro 0
(5A) No. 3 Ironwood 5, No. 10 Sunnyside 1
(6A) No. 1 San Luis 3, No. 4 Tucson 2

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17

BOYS STATE WRESTLING
D-IV: Poston Butte Day Two

4A/5A GIRLS BASKETBALL SEMIFINALS
(4A) No. 3 Sahuaro at No. 2 Salpointe, 7 p.m.
(5A) No. 8 Gilbert at No. 5 Flowing Wells, 7 p.m.

4A/5A GIRLS SOCCER SEMIFINALS
(4A) No. 3 Salpointe vs. No. 2 Notre Dame at Scottsdale Christian, 6 p.m.
(5A) No. 5 Catalina Foothills vs. No. 1 Casteel at Desert Vista, 6 p.m.

4A BOYS SOCCER SEMIFINAL
No. 3 Walden Grove vs. No. 2 Prescott at Scottsdale Christian, 4 p.m.

THURSDAY, MARCH 18

BOYS STATE WRESTLING
D-III: Poston Butte

4A/5A BOYS BASKETBALL SEMIFINALS
(4A) No. 3 Paradise Honors at No. 2 Salpointe, 7 p.m.
(5A) No. 3 Ironwood at No. 2 Catalina Foothills, 7 p.m.

FRIDAY, MARCH 19

BOYS STATE WRESTLING
D-II: Poston Butte

SATURDAY, MARCH 20

4A GIRLS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 3 Sahuaro/No. 2 Salpointe winner vs. TBD
(St. John Paul II Catholic, Noon)

4A BOYS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 1 Salpointe vs. Walden Grove/Prescott winner, TBD

BOYS STATE WRESTLING
D-I: Poston Butte

FOLLOW @ANDYMORALES8 ON TWITTER

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

Comments
To Top