Marana’s Tyson Corner named 2018 Student-Athlete of the Year

Tyson Corner (Andy Morales/

The Tucson Citizen profiled Southern Arizona’s finest high school student-athletes from 1957 through 2008. The tradition of recognizing only the very best was continued only on the pages of and we have continued this tradition at

Each of the 11 candidates were judged on academics, athletics, leadership, service to their school and on an essay on who influenced them most. Tyson Corner is the third student-athlete from Marana (Vickie Patton in 1982 and Mally McGarity in 2013) and the 67th overall to be recognized.

Tyson played a key role in Marana winning back-to-back region championships in football and he was part of a basketball program that just completed its first winning season, with a playoff berth, in a generation. More importantly, Tyson was the salutatorian (4.55 GPA) of his graduating class and the student body treasurer.

Tyson is headed to Boston to attend Babson College where he will pursue his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with concentrations in finance and entrepreneurship.

Who Influenced Me the Most in My Life

My inspiration for success comes from my foundation, my parents. Both of my parents lead successful lives and they have instilled in me the traits necessary for success through their efforts. My mom and dad have both created entire curriculums to teach subjects they loved and pass down their enthusiasm to the many students who took advantage of the programs they taught. Whenever my parents wanted something to be done, they took it upon themselves and created it.

My mom inspires me because she taught me persistence and working hard for what you want to achieve. She did this by leaving a job where she was comfortable, the curriculum was perfectly laid out, and changed from teaching the brightest high schoolers to middle school physical education. The adjustment was a shocking and drastic change, and at times it made my mom question her decision. However, she was determined to succeed and came in with one goal in mind, which was winning an extremely competitive grant worth over $600,000 to completely rebuild and reshape the physical education program at the middle school. She did the work necessary to achieve this goal and everything fell into place because of her persistence. My mom did not get the grant the first time she applied and used that as fuel to make her second application stronger through the countless hours she spent perfecting it. She was determined to achieve her goal. My mom’s example of dedication and persistence shaped the way I have lived my life. I learned from her to keep improving, and if you seize the opportunity to learn from your mistakes there is no such thing as failure.

My dad was my coach for almost 13 years and without him I would not be the successful man I am today. He taught me the pillars of success I needed in life to come out on top. The very first lesson he taught me was practice. Not the practice that we put in as athletes, but the practice he put into the art of coaching. He coached me in basketball and had very little basketball coaching experience. I recall him spending countless hours each day learning how to better teach us the game of basketball and improving as a coach. He taught me that everything we do we should do to the best of our abilities and the only way to get better is to practice.

My dad can truly be credited for my work ethic which, over the years, has become my greatest asset. As a young boy my work ethic was abysmal. I was not ahead athletically, and it was as if I was content playing from the bench and being mediocre. Mediocrity is intolerable in my family, and my dad made that abundantly clear to me when I was young. I am grateful that he did, because without these lessons and expectations my entire life’s direction would have been sidetracked and potentially ruined forever. My dad called me out on my work ethic and tested my resolve as a third-grade child. He said, “Ty, everyone around you is improving and getting better and you have remained stagnant. You aren’t improving because you don’t work hard in practice or give your all in every drill. If you don’t start improving soon I am going to stop coaching you, because at the end of the day I am here for you and if you aren’t getting better then I don’t want to be a part of it.” These words stung my soul like alcohol on a wound. I was horrified at the thought of losing my role model, a man who built success for himself in everything he did. He called me out as a slacker and slackers are not winners. I used his words to completely transform myself and my work ethic. This took me from a place of stagnation to defying the odds and breaking through boundaries no one expected of me due to my hard work and dedication. Because of the skills and inspiration passed down to me by my parents I have matured into an accomplished young man with all the tools necessary to lead a prosperous life going forward.

1957 D.L. Secrist Jr. Tucson High
1958 Donald Parsons Catalina
1959 Edward Brown Flowing Wells
1960 Terry DeJonghe Salpointe
1961 Robert Svob Catalina
1962 Ray Kosanke Tucson High
1963 Michael Aboud Tucson High
1964 Pat McAndrew Flowing Wells
1965 Charles Begley Sunnyside
1966 Eric Evett Catalina
1967 Ron Curry Tucson High
1968 Jeff Lovin Palo Verde
1969 Bruce Pawlowski Salpointe
1970 Dave Henry Sahuaro
1971 Tom Hagen Salpointe
1972 Bill Baechler Palo Verde
1973 Francisco Gomez Pueblo
1974 Richard Rucker Canyon del Oro
1975 Guillermo Robles Sunnyside
1976 Karen Christensen Rincon
1977 Michael Wing Rincon
1978 Craig Barker Amphitheater
1979 Ralph Gay Sunnyside
1980 Kristine Bush Sabino
1981 Lisa Kay Baker Sahuaro
1982 Vickie Patton Marana
1983 Martin Tetreault Sahuaro
1984 Molly Reiling Salpointe
1985 Timothy Roggeman Salpointe
1986 Jon Volpe Amphitheater
1987 Luis A. Padilla Pueblo
1988 Nicole Stern Catalina
1989 Robert Moen Flowing Wells
1990 Grace O’Neill Salpointe
1991 Angel Phillips Rincon
1992 Zenen Salazar Sunnyside
1993 Michelle Vielledent Sahuaro
1994 Julie Reitan Sahuaro and Brady Bennon Sabino
1995 Kelly Yablonski University High
1996 Joe Aguirre Palo Verde
1997 Andy Viner University High
1998 Scott Beck Canyon del Oro
1999 Glenn Schatz University High
2000 Nicole Voelkel University High
2001 Ai-ris Yonekura Catalina Foothills
2002 Philo Sanchez Sunnyside
2003 Tim Ashcraft Sahuaro
2004 Joe Kay Tucson High
2005 Tiffany Hosten Tucson High and Echo Fallon Catalina Foothills
2006 Michael Smith Sunnyside
2007 Tara Erdmann Flowing Wells
2008 James Eichberger Catalina

2009 Sun Park Cienega
2010 Christine Clark Tucson High
2011 LeeAndra Smith Palo Verde
2012 Rachel Ward (Pusch Ridge) and Robin Landrith (Ironwood Ridge)
2013 Mally McGarity (Marana) and Asha Esprit (University High)

2014 Amanda Nicholas Sahuaro
2015 Laura McGeary Flowing Wells and Courtney Brown Flowing Wells
2016 Cheyenne Pitts Mountain View
2017 Jacqueline Igulu Palo Verde
2018 Tyson Corner Marana


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 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. Contact Andy Morales at


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