We will be previewing the winter sport season over the next couple of weeks or so and the responses you see below come directly from the coaches who returned a questionnaire. As you will see, the winter season is comprised of soccer, wrestling and basketball. All three sports deserve equal attention.
We are proud that our site is the only one in Southern Arizona that covered (and is still covering) cross country, swim and dive, small-school soccer, golf, volleyball and football during the fall season. We’ve been covering both boys and girls in programs from the 6A Conference to the 1A Conference.
WALDEN GROVE WRESTLING
Head coach: Victor Gonzalez
2015-16 Finish: state 9th place
“We are expecting to improve on our 9th place finish from the State Tournament last year. Led by returning State Champion (sophomore) Diego Guerrero and 3rd placer (senior) Lance Killgore. Other wrestlers to watch out for are state qualifiers from last year are
Isahiah W. White (senior), Evan Killgore (sophomore) and Conrad Medina (sophomore).
Upper classmen who will be making a huge impact is year are Sal Silva (junior – 3rd place finish 2015 – 106 lbs) and Ethan Palomino (senior).
Up and comers (sophomore) Carlos Ramos and (sophomore) Jaylon Daniels will play a big role in our team’s success this season.”
CATALINA FOOTHILLS GIRLS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Michelle Gallagher
2015-16 record: 14-11
top returning players:
Kelsey Siemons,12 & Emily Chua,10
Top new player:
“ We are excited for the season to start and looking for a state tournament run this year!”
SAHUARO GIRLS BASKETBALL
Head coach: Steve Botkin
2015-16 record: 23-6
Finish: Division II quarterfinals
Top Returning Players:
Elena Arriaga- Senior Guard
Destiny Zaragoza- Senior Guard
Carina Mendoza- Junior Point Guard
Shayla McCraney- Junior Forward
Top new players:
Serena Lewis- Junior Guard
Luli Heslep- Sophomore Guard
Milaya Leon- Freshman Guard
Susy Heslep – Sophomore Guard
Eliseanna Martinez- Senior Center
“We are very young. Have some talent but really need to develop more depth.”
TANQUE VERDE GIRLS BASKETBALL
Head Coach: Michael Edwards
2015-16 Record: 18-12
Finish: D4 First Round
Top Returning Players:
Four-year varsity players Ava Rauschen and Bridget Spooner.
Top New Players:
An in-coming class of four freshmen, one returning senior that did not play her junior year and one junior that only started playing the game of basketball last season for the first time.
“Our team is very top heavy/bottom heavy this season with five seniors, one junior, one sophomore and four freshman. Success early will be placed on our returning varsity members and on how quickly a returning player that did not play her junior year can grasp our concepts and return to basketball form. Success in January and February will be determined on how our younger kids have developed, are contributing to our team and how our returning senior shooting guard recovers from a current knee injury.”
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. 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. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com