Ironwood Ridge and Tucson honor Troy Iturralde; Nighthawks win 2-1 in overtime

The two teams gathered at the end for a group photo. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)

Ironwood Ridge beat Tucson 2-1 in overtime Monday night to end the regular season on a high note. The victory also helped preserve a seed high enough to avoid the 5A Play-In Tournament scheduled for Wednesday night which takes in team ranked No. 9-24. Ironwood Ridge (10-2 in power-ranking matches) started the night ranked No. 6 in the 5A Conference and Tucson (7-5-1) brought in a No. 13 ranking in the 6A Conference….


The two teams honored Tucson High baseball player Troy Iturralde who passed away one month ago from testicular cancer. Only a junior, Troy touched many lives and his baseball coach, Mark Morris, talked to the soccer players and the fans in the stands about seeking help for pains and injuries they might be suffering. Troy’s cancer was discovered too late.

Troy’s cousin, Ironwood Ridge defender Analee Oropeza, gave a moving speech to both teams at the half. The two teams took a knee for nine seconds prior to the opening kick because Troy wore number 9 on his baseball uniform.

The two programs also collected youth tennis shoes to be handed out to kids in need in Troy’s name.


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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