Salpointe, under tireless legendary coach Wolfgang Weber, is well on its way to making another defense of a state championship with a 7-0 record at the winter holiday break.
Weber, who has coached the Lancers to nine state titles including a couple in the last two seasons, is led by super sophomore forward Leo Gutierrez (10 goals and six assists).
Senior midfielder Nicolas Valenzuela (nine goals and four assists) is another threat.
The Lancers will play in the 2022 Arizona Soccer Showcase hosted by Chandler Hamilton from Tuesday through Thursday.
Other top Southern Arizona boys teams at the break:
Sunnyside (6-1): Casey O’Brien’s team is off to a strong start with the only setback a 2-0 loss to very talented Phoenix Brophy Prep in a tournament played in Tempe. Senior forward Ivan Felix (seven goals and four assists) is one of the top players in Southern Arizona along with fellow senior midfielder Joe Duran (five goals). Another star of the future, sophomore midfielder Adrian Gutierrez has four goals and two assists. Circle the calendar: Sunnyside visits Salpointe on Jan. 11. The Blue Devils will also compete in the Arizona Soccer Showcase at Chandler Hamilton from Tuesday to Thursday.
Walden Grove (4-2): The Red Wolves’ two losses are to Salpointe in the Brandon Bean Classic and at home in a regular-season game. Walden Grove senior forward Joseph Miranda (seven goals and four assists) is the leader who is one of the top players in Southern Arizona.
Rincon/University (4-1): Keep an eye on senior striker Voltaire Tillakembaye as one of the top local players. An all-region selection last year by AllSportsTucson.com, he comes out of the Renegades Soccer Club in Tucson. The Rangers are coached by longtime legendary coach Roxanne Taylor, who is in the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame. Taylor’s team will compete in the TUSD Boys Soccer Invitational at Palo Verde from Jan. 3-5.
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.