High School & Youth Sports: The Best of 2017

Legendary Amphi coach Vern Friedli passed away in July. (Andy Morales/

Another year is in the books and, once again, has been the undisputed leader in providing you all the news and updates from Little League to local kids doing well at the next level.

Here is a rundown of 2017:

Jacqueline Igulu named Student-Athlete of the Year


FEB 11: Salpointe wins the 4A State Girls Soccer Championship.
FEB 11: Salpointe takes second in the 4A Boys Soccer Final.
FEB 11: Sunnyside takes second place in the D-I State Wrestling Final
FEB 11: Mountain View wins the D-II State Wrestling Championship
FEB 25: Salpointe takes second place in the 4A Boys Basketball Final.
FEB 25: The Gregory School takes second place in the 1A Boys Basketball Final.
MAY 6: Catalina Foothills wins the D-II Boys State Tennis Championship.
MAY 6: Tanque Verde beats Pusch Ridge to win the D-III Boys Tennis Championship.
MAY 6: Pusch Ridge wins the D-III Girls Tennis Championship.
MAY 6: Canyon del Oro takes second place in the D-II Boys Track Final.
MAY 6: Salpointe takes second place in the D-III Boys Track Final.
MAY 6: Walden Grove takes second place in the D-III Girls Track Final.
MAY 6: Pusch Ridge wins the D-IV Girls Track Championship.
MAY 8: Benson wins the 2A State Softball Championship.
MAY 9: Empire wins the 3A State Softball Championship.
MAY 9: Canyon del Oro wins the 4A State Softball Championship.
MAY 12: Cienega wins the 5A Boys State Volleyball Championship.
MAY 13: Nogales beat Salpointe to win the 4A State Baseball Championship.
MAY 13: Willcox takes second place in the 2A Baseball Final.
MAY13: Valley Union takes second place in the 1A Baseball Final.
MAY 15: Cienega beats Sahuaro to win the 5A State Softball Championship.
NOV 4: Sabino wins the D-III Girls State Swim Championship.
NOV 9: Salpointe wins the 4A Girls State Volleyball Championship.
NOV 25: Santa Cruz takes second place in the 2A State Football Final.
NOV 25: Pusch Ridge takes second place in the 3A State Football Final.
DEC 2: Salpointe takes second place in the 4A State Football Final.



Samantha Schadler, Jr. Rio Rico (D-III, 18:06).


Hannah Houlton, Jr. Ironwood Ridge (D-II: 50 FREE)
Hannah Houlton, Jr. Ironwood Ridge (D-II: 100 FREE)
Skylar Dikeman, So. Sabino (D-III: 50 FREE)
Sabino (D-III: 200 Medley Relay)
(Dikeman, Skylar; Oliver, Beatrice; Oliver, Margaret; Farnum, Kaylin)
Sabino (D-III: 400 Free Relay)
(Dikeman, Skylar; Montague, Laurel; Farnum, Amanda; Farnum, Kaylin)
Drake Barberii, Jr. Rincon/University (D-I: 100 FLY)
Scott Pekarske, Jr. Catalina Foothills (D-II: 200 FREE)
Scott Pekarske, Jr. Catalina Foothills (D-II: 500 FREE)
William Newman, Sr. Pusch Ridge (D-III: 200 IM)
William Newman, Sr. Pusch Ridge (D-III: 100 BACK)
Grant Nations, Jr. (D-III: 100 BREAST)
Catalina Foothills (D-II: 400 Free Relay)
(DeFoor, Bradley; Greener, John; Mulay, Sam; Pekarske, Scott)


George Jiang (Catalina Foothills) D-II Singles Champion.
Preston Grammond (Pusch Ridge) D-III Singles Champion.
Kay Lee Merrill and Carli Merrill (Benson) D-III Doubles Champions.


D-II: Manuel Olivo-Quinones, Buena: 1600 (4:22.28)
D-II: Manuel Olivo-Quinones, Buena: 3200 (9:16.36)
D-II: Cameron Crandall, Canyon del Oro: High Jump (7-0)
D-II: Mele Hala’ufia, Marana: Triple Jump (37-04.25)
D-II: Katherine Daily, Flowing Wells: Pole Vault (11-06)
D-II: Turner Washington, Canyon del Oro: Discus (218-07)
D-III: Jala Pinckney, Walden Grove: 100 Hurdles (15.23)
D-III: Naudia Dawson, Walden Grove: 100M (12.95)
D-III: Sean Barton, Salpointe: Triple Jump (45-04.75)
D-III: Rio Rico: Girls 1600 Relay (4:05.08)
(Victoria Valencia, Kiara Laborin, Samantha Schadler, Halle Dewitt, Allie Schadler)
D-III: Rio Rico: Girls 3200 Relay (9:54.25)
(Kiara Laborin, Valeria Cabello, Samantha Schadler, Allie Schadler)
D-III: Gamar Garem, Amphitheater: 800 (1:57.29)
D-III: Samantha Schadler, Rio Rico: 3200 (11:16.84)
D-III: Samantha Schadler, Rio Rico: 800 (2:22.68)
D-III: Allie Schadler, Rio Rico: 1600 (5:08.20)
D-III: Allie Schadler, Rio Rico: 400 (58.02)
D-III: Salpointe: Boys 400 Relay (42.64)
(Trevor Volpe, Sean Barton, William Juniper, Mario Padilla)
D-III: Walden Grove: Girls 400 Relay (49.13)
(Olivia Ceballos, Naudia Dawson, Jala Pinckney, Sakovia Thompson)
D-III: William Juniper, Salpointe: 400 (49.84)
D-III: Andrew Ference, Salpointe: Pole Vault (14-00)
D-IV: Sara Sawyer, Pusch Ridge: Long Jump (17-07)
D-IV: Edwin Lovett, Pusch Ridge: 100M (11.73)
D-IV: Kacy Haynes, Pusch Ridge: 100M (13.12)
D-IV: Kacy Haynes, Pusch Ridge: 200 (27.57)
D-IV: Pusch Ridge: 400 Relay (50.66)
(Angel Addleman, Cherish Gotcher, Sara Sawyer, Kacy Haynes)
D-IV: Pusch Ridge: Boys 3200 Relay (3:33.76)
(Mitch Maas, John Voorhees, Eric Smith, Kaleb Bowers)


Sunnyside freshman Jesse Ybarra (45-3) over Chris Kelly of Chandler (106).
Sunnyside junior Manny Garcia (38-4) over Andres Duron of Cibola (113).
Mountain View senior Jayce Cunha (28-4) over Armando Valencia of Sahuaro (120).
Sunnyside junior Roman Bravo-Young (43-0) over Peter Rossi of Desert Mountain (132).
Mountain View sophomore Marcus Castillo (38-2) over Atilano Escobar of Liberty (132).
Sunnyside senior David Salazar (48-3) over Alan Beltran of Cibola (145).
Cienega senior Skyler Cavanaugh (30-5) over Jacob Kidd of Bradshaw Mountain (220).


Jamarye Joiner named Ed Doherty Finalist.

Zona 17-1 captured the gold medal in the Patriot Division at the USA Volleyball Girl’s Junior National Championships.

Tucson Turf won the Pylon Elite 7v7 National Championship.

Michael Masunas selected to play for US National Football Team.

Salpointe freshman Cade McGee went 1-for-3 with three RBIs to help pace the Southwest squad to an 11-6 win over New England in the 15U USA Baseball National Team Identification Series (NTIS) championship.

Tucson Post 7 won State American Legion Championship.

WORLD CUP OF SOFTBALL: Brianna Aguilar Beaucage & Kelsey Jenkins help lead Canada to 3rd place.

Ruben Castro powered Southwest to USA Baseball 13U championship.

Cienega freshman Ayden Schilb won the USATF national championship in the 1,500.

Sam Beskind & Tamara Statman competed at the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel.

University of Arizona commits Ian Mejia & Zach Martinez named to USA Baseball 17U National Team Development Program

Roman Bravo Young ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Rincon won the Arizona state 8-10 Little League championship.

Chris Moon Statue.

Delaney Schnell nailed final dive to make USA World Championships roster

Tucson Redskins standout Michael Delgado named MVP at the American Youth Football National Championships.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he 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 Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at


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