Old Pueblo Abuelo: Top High School Moment of 2021

Old Pueblo Abuelo. No pressure on my kids but there are six grandchildren depicted her….

This is the 22nd installment of “Old Pueblo Abuelo,” a thought on positive things happening in the Old Pueblo from a sometimes cranky and often times humorous grandfather actually born in Tucson and writing from my desk in Tucson, the Old Pueblo.

The world has changed, but it changes every year. Still, 2021 just seemed different. We didn’t feel the ice melt slowly, and not everything came out all right, but the sun did come out at times like it always does. Personally, I lost two teacher colleagues and one of my students died while dashing across a street, doing what kids do. Illness is real and so is saying goodbye.

I’ve mentioned this several times before, but it’s important we know the waves that take us out to the open sea can only win if there’s nothing there to pull us back to the shore. We must find a way to be stronger than the current that never grows tired. For me, strength was found while holding my newborn granddaughter while attempting to sing her a lullaby about a way to get back homeward. Pretty darling do not cry.

More “Old Pueblo Abuelo” can be found here.

In my life, things might have changed forever, and not always for the better, but the world of sports remain. Athletics helps keep us warm when life gets cold, but only if you let it be. Watching children play gives me strength. 2020 was difficult for our young athletes but it was also very difficult for parents. 2021 almost brought us back home but not quite.

We still have a long road ahead of us but we can let it wind around us or we can let it lead us to back to where we were before. I’ve seen that road before, many times. We need to get back to where we once belonged. We can do this by recognizing the many sounds of laughter that made us stop with joy and the too many images of broken light that forced us to turn away.

Here are the top moments in the world of high school sports as I saw them:

Well, there were literally hundreds of great moments. So, rather than chasing paper and getting nowhere, I’m going to pick the second week of March as the top moment in high school sports in 2021.

That was the week when spring athletes got to play again after their season was cut short in 2020. Those athletes gave up more as a collective group than any other group of athletes and they almost didn’t get to fully play again in 2021 because some wanted to shift the fall sports of 2020 to the spring of 2021 which would have hurt the same athletes all over again. Sure, football was lost after a few games that fall for most but pushing a drowning person deeper under the current so you can take a breath is not strength, it’s nothing at all and we needed something. All they needed was some love.

Life goes on, how the life goes on.

CLICK ON THIS LINK to access a complete rundown of the top developments of December 2021 in Southern Arizona

CLICK HERE to access the Year That Was 2021 series


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, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and he earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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