Leah Salas named NAIA Player of the Week; Abril Nerey, Emma Almodoba, Isaiah Roebuck, Abraham Valenzuela, Nathaniel Curtiss, Vanessa Brink and Alec Larson earned collegiate honors

(NAIA Graphic)

Former Sahuarita standout Leah Salas of Embry-Riddle was named the NAIA Softball Player of the Week based on her performance from March 18-24. Salas went 9 for 11 (.818 batting average) in a series sweep over Saint Katherine last week, belting four home runs (including a pair in game 3), scoring six times, and driving home 11 to compile a 2.182 slugging percentage.

Former Ironwood Ridge standout Emma Almodoba of Embry-Riddle was a hard out for Park-Gilbert as the junior outfielder went 8 for 8 during a doubleheader, driving home nine runs. Almodoba walked four times, giving her a batting average of .800, an on base percentage of .857, and a slugging percentage of 1.000. She had ten total bases and two extra base hits. She was named Cal PAC Player of the Week.

Former Rio Rico standout Abril Nerey was named Cal PAC Pitcher of the Week after her 10 inning winning performance against La Sierra on Sunday, March 24. After surrendering two runs on a home run in the first to the Eagles, she only allowed two more hits over the next nine innings and struck out eight as she allowed the Bucs time to tie the game and ultimately win it in the 10th inning.

Abraham Valenzuela (Palo Verde) took first place in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 15 minutes, 30.34 seconds for Pima at the ACCAC Championships and Nathaniel Curtiss (Rincon/University) claimed the High Jump crown, finishing with a jump of 2.04 meters (6-8.25). They both earned First Team ACCAC status.

Former Marana standout Isaiah Roebuck was named “Iron Jimmie of the Month” for the University of Jamestown by the schools’ strength program for his leadership qualities.

This list will be updated all year in an effort to recognize all former local prep stars who have gone on to win either academic and/or athletic awards at the next level. These are not high school awards but collegiate and professional recognitions. NOT CHAMPIONSHIPS. If you are aware of anything I have missed along the way, please let me know. amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

Portions from news release.

30 athletes have been recognized for 2024 – we had 307 athletes recognized in 2023.

Leah Salas/Softball
Cal PAC Player of the Week nominee (3/18)
NAIA Player of the Week (3/26)

Abril Nerey/Softball
Rio Rico/Park-Gilbert
Cal Pac Pitcher of the Week nominee (3/18)
Cal PAC Pitcher of the Week (3/25)

Vanessa Brink/Softball
Cal PAC Pitcher of the Week (3/11)
Cal PAC Pitcher of the Week (3/18)

Emma Almodoba/Softball
Ironwood Ridge/Embry-Riddle
Cal Pac Player of the Week (3/4)

Alec Larson/Baseball
Catalina Foothills/Benedictine Mesa
Cal Pac Player of the Week nominee (3/4)

Isaiah Roebuck/Baseball
Iron Jimmie of the Month (3/29)

Abraham Valenzuela/Track and Field
Palo Verde/Pima
First Team All-ACCAC (3/29)

Nathaniel Curtiss/Track and Field
First Team All-ACCAC (3/29)

Alyssa Brown/Basketball
Mountain West Player of the Week (1/8)
Mountain West Tourney MVP (3/13)
Outstanding Rebel of the Week (3/22)

Camilla Zepeda/Softball
ACCAC D-I Player of the Week (3/21)

Jazmyne Waddell/Softball
San Manuel/Pima
ACCAC D-I Pitcher of the Week (2/28)
ACCAC D-I Pitcher of the Week (3/21)

Emily Darwin/Softball
Benson/Grand Canyon
WAC Pitcher of the Week (3/11)

Sydney Gray/Softball
Big Ten Player of the Week (2/19)
Big Ten Player of the Week (2/21)
Big Ten Player of the Week (3/11)

Neysia Howard/Track
WAC High Point Award (2/20)
WAC Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year (3/5)

Dillan Baker/Basketball
ACCAC Player of the Week (1/2)
ACCAC Player of the Week (1/9)
All-ACCAC DII First Team (3/6)
All-Region DII First Team (3/6)

Lual Lual/Basketball
Catalina Foothills/Mesa
All-ACCAC DII Second Team (3/6)
All-Region DII Second Team (3/6)

Gabriella Lopez/Basketball
DII Defensive Player of the Year (3/6)
All-ACCAC DII Second Team (3/6)
All-Region DII Second Team (3/6)

Dominique Acosta/Basketball
ACCAC Player of the Week (1/2)
All-ACCAC DII First Team (3/6)
All-Region DII Second Team (3/6)

Mason White/Baseball
Bobby Bragan Award Watch List (2/16)
Pac-12 Preseason Team (2/8)
Frisco Classic All-Tournament Team (3/6)

Bria Medina/Basketball
Midwest Conference Newcomer of the Year (2/27)
Midwest Conference First Team (2/27)

Kylee Callahan/Basketball
Midwest Player of the Week (1/3)
Midwest Conference First Team (2/27)

Aaliyah Ortiz/Basketball
Palo Verde/Culver-Stockton
All-Heart of America Team (3/1)

Dylan Dreis/Football
Arizona Bow Intern of the Year (2/29)

Isaiah Miller/Wrestling
GPAC Freshman of the Year
GPAC First Team (2/21)

Rumur Rouille/Volleyball
Ironwood Ridge/Long Island
NEC Scholar Athlete (2/7)
NEC Academic Honor Roll (2/7)

Bryce Cotton/Basketball
Palo Verde/Perth
NBL Most Valuable Player (2/19)

Spencer Packard/Baseball
Canyon del Oro/Arkansas Travelers
MLB Prospect (2/7)

Devyn Netz/Softball
Ironwood Ridge/Arizona
D-I Softball Preseason Top 100-94 (1/19)
Pac-12 Preseason Team (2/1)

Mariah Lopez/Softball
D-I Softball Preseason Top 100-23 (1/19)
Pac-12 Preseason Team (2/1)

Allie Skaggs/Softball
Ironwood Ridge/Arizona
D-I Softball Preseason Top 100-18 (1/19)
Pac-12 Preseason Team (2/1)

Carlie Scupin/Softball
D-I Softball Preseason Top 100-37 (1/19)
Pac-12 Preseason Team (2/1)

Aquarina Thomas/Volleyball
Tucson/Des Moines Area CC
Fall Academic All-Region (1/16)

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