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Three Southern Arizona graduates earn scholar athlete of year honors


Santa Rita’s Juan “Richie” Acosta, Sahuaro’s Eric Foiryolo and Palo Verde’s Desire Havyarimana — all Class of 2021 graduates — were selected by the Phoenix Chapter of the National Alliance of African-American Athletes as a scholar athletes of the year last week.

Acosta was an offensive lineman at Santa Rita, Foiryolo ran cross country runner and played soccer, and Havyarimana competed in soccer, cross country and track and field.

Left to right: Desire Havyarimana of Palo Verde, Eric Foiryolo of Sahuaro and Juan “Richie” Acosta of Santa Rita

Every year the Phoenix Chapter does a statewide search for premiere African-American male scholar athletes in grades 7th through 12th. To be selected as as a scholar athlete of the year the athlete must have 3.0 GPA or higher, do community service and have a high level of athletic skills.

Acosta compiled a 3.57 GPA and plans to study psychology in college. Foiryolo (4.10 GPA) plans on being a medical-school student. Havyarimana (3.50) will attend Pima Community College and major in Engineering.

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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