If first impressions are the greatest, the ’93 Girls AZFC (Arizona Futbol Club) Hammers left no doubts about their abilities at the Thanksgiving Surf Tournament in San Diego.
In their initial appearance at the invitation-only tournament, the girls brought home the championship trophy.
“Expectations were high having won the Northern Huntington Beach tournament earlier in the year,” Hammers coach Chris Carr said.
Overall, the Hammers, who all attend East Valley high schools, went 6-0-0, with 14 goals scored and four goals conceded. In the quarterfinals, they took on local rival and No. 4 nationally ranked Sereno, beating them 2-1. In the final, the Hammers faced Eagles FC (No. 9 nationally). The game went into golden-goal overtime tied at 1 and the game winner was scored with four minutes left.
In the tournament, Alex Doller had eight goals, Rylie Johnson had two, Simran Dhaliwal had two and Mackenzie Semerad (the championship game winner) and Sofia Cabrejas both scored one. Defenders Kristin Sankey, Karen Kierstead, Jordan Bergeson and Sammie Webber and goalkeeper Hannah Fadenrecht combined to give the Hammers three shutouts. Julia Waterhouse, Tara Rickenbach, Jessica Schafer, Nicole Reese and Katelynn Tupponce all played.
“This was the toughest tournament we have ever played in,” said Carr, a computer graphics teacher and varsity girls coach at Tempe Marcos de Niza High School. “We played several great teams, and every member of our squad made important contributions towards us becoming champions.”
Also bringing home championship hardware following the Thanksgiving holidays were the AZFC Girls U19, which won the prestigious Nomads soccer tournament in San Diego.
The U19 girls division had 28 elite teams from the western United States. To get to the championship match, the AZFC Girls U19 played six games in three days.
The team first won its four-team bracket and progressed through the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matches. The championship was tied at 1, went into overtime and eventually was settled on penalty kicks.
This is the third tournament victory for the East Valley-based team in the 2007 season. Team members are: Aubri Carman, Sam Conrad, Ellie Cobb, Courtney Lane, Tessa Bowie, Mallorie Jorgenson, Lexi Dahl, Mari Greenberg, Brittany Cole, Kat McDonald, Kimmie Feidler, Ariel Cook, Abby Guerra, Gabby Valles and Blakele Bergman.
BIG FISH, BIG POND
Several local swim clubs and athletes successfully competed at last weekend’s USA Swimming short-course nationals in Atlanta. Swimmers were trying to make cuts for the Olympic trials, which will be held next June in Omaha, Neb.
Scottsdale Aquatic Club, coached by American Swim Coach Association’s 2007 Arizona Age Group Coach of the Year Kevin Zacher, completed its summer season ranked 29th in the country among more than 2,000 swim clubs and sent six swimmers to the meet.
Annika Jonsson, Lindsey LaPorte, Kacey Milligan and Erica Stock finished in the top 25 (24th) in the 800-yard freestyle relay. They were joined in Atlanta by teammates Robert Barrett and Tyler Pennington.
Sun Devil Aquatics finished fifth overall in the women’s team division out of 49 squads. Brophy East Swim Team was tied for 22nd. The Brophy East men’s squad finished 44th of 46.
Whitney Lopus and Christine Olson led Sun Devil Aquatics with five top-25 finishes. Lopus finished sixth in the 100 butterfly; 19th in 200 fly, sixth in 400 freestyle relay, fourth in 400 medley relay and fifth in 800 freestyle relay. Olson, last year’s East Valley Tribune swimmer of the year, joined Lopus on the 400 relay teams, finished 11th in the 200 breaststroke, 15th in 200 breast and 22nd in 200 IM.
Haley Krakoski cracked the top 25 three times, joining Lopus on all three relay teams, and Angela Duckworth was a member of the 800 freestyle relay team and finished 14th in the 1,650 freestyle. Traycie Swartz was the final member of all three top-25 relay teams.
Sun Devil also got a 24th-place finish from Emily Barton in the 400 IM.
For Brophy East, Ashley Evans was second in the 1,650 freestyle and 15th in the 500 free; Alex Lendrum was 14th in the 400 IM and 22nd in the 200 backstroke and Austen Thompson was 19th in the 400 IM.
Brophy East finished 16th of 21 teams with combined scored.
Ten-year-old Brock Heffron of Gilbert has had a great year. After becoming the International Cycling Union World Champion and the USA Cycling Champion in his age class this summer, things got better.
He was voted the first Sports Illustrated Kids Youth Athlete of the Year by readers in an online ballot.
Heffron, a fifth-grader, appeared on the cover of the December issue of SI for Kids along with their athlete of the year — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
Heffron began BMX racing in Nov. 2004 and figures he has between 200-300 trophies.
“Despite the dedication and focus his sport demands, Brock manages to be a well-rounded guy,” said Andrea Huelsenbeck, his music teacher at Weinberg Elementary. “He’s a straight-A student, plays in the school orchestra (violin) and in his spare time plays football, baseball and video games.
Heffron, who rides/practices an average of five days per week for about two hours per practice, competes in at least one national race each month.
“His National Racing Tour has him traveling all over the country,” Brock’s dad John said.
“But his most important race in 2008 will be in China.”
Brock, who says his biggest fan is his older sister Lindsay (11), will be defending his world championship next May in Taiyuan, China and hopes to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics, when he is 19.
The Heffrons have a different tour on tap over the next several days. Brock will be appearing in special news segments on Ch. 15 Sunday around 10:40 p.m., Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. and on “Good Morning Arizona” (Ch. 3) during the early segment on Dec. 14.
East Valley Papago FITA Archers performed well in Senior Olympic “Robin Hood” Tournament. The following archers from the Papago FITA Archery Club had solid finishes:
• Jim Cantillo — 55-59 age group, Chandler, first, 728 points, recurve bow division.
• Dave Aprea, 65-69, Fountain Hills, first, 810 points, recurve
• Mike Mounsey, 65-69, Chino Valley, second, 792 point, recurve.
• John Hufflefinger, 65-69, Phoenix, third, 771 points, recurve.
• Sue McGee, 55-59, Scottsdale, first, 652 points, recurve.
• David Twigg, 55-59, Mesa, first, 699 points, barebow.
• Richard Doria, 55-59, Chandler, second, 550 points, barebow.
Patrick Peters was the club’s lone compound shooter. He took second in the 60-64 age group with 865 points in compound/mechanical release.
The first three place finishers received Arizona Senior Olympic medals.
The next Senior Olympic Archery event is in January at Tucson.
The Arizona State Senior Olympics Championship will be held the first weekend of March at the Papago Park Archery Range at 63rd Street and McDowell Road in Phoenix. The event will be the qualifying tournament for the 2009 Senior Olympics Nationals in California.
Camp’s in session: Pro Baseball Camp will be Dec. 22-23 (grades 6-8/$200) and Dec. 27-29 (grades 9-12/$300) at Papago Sports Complex (1802 N. 64th St.) in Phoenix. Pro scouts and coaches, plus college coaches, will be present. Call Steve Kmetko at (480) 215-9709 or e-mail email@example.com. Visit www.phdbaseball.net. Fees go up after Dec. 15.
Are you ready for some Futsal?
New league: Futsal (football and soccer) is played on an indoor hard court with a specially designed low-bounce ball and is an ultimate skill development and control sport. The league is a team sign-up league with games played on Sunday. Earliest game time will be 1:30 p.m,, the latest will be 4:30 p.m. Registration is open to teams composed of 50 percent Tempe residents starting Dec. 10. Open registration begins on Dec. 17. Cost is $325. Call (480) 350-5811 or attend the organizational meeting at 7 p.m. today at the Escalante Community Center. Information, registration packets and handouts will be available at the meeting.
Another diamond dandy: The Marcos de Niza High School Homerun Club will conduct the second Holiday Baseball Camp from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 15 at the school (6000 S. Lakeshore Drive, Tempe). Camp is open for all players between the ages of 8-18, and will feature major league instructors Rafael Melchiane and Les Lancaster, as well as the Marcos de Niza coaching staff, including 2007 coach of the year Felipe Becerra. Cost: $75, which covers both days of instructions, camp T-shirt and lunch. Contact Carlos Batlle at (602) 751-8733.
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Play ball: The Marcos de Niza High School Homerun Club will conduct the second Holiday Baseball Camp Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school (6000 S. Lakeshore Dr. Tempe). Camp is open for all players between the ages of 8 - 18, and will feature Major League instructors Rafael Melchiane and Les Lancaster as well as the Marcos de Niza coaching staff including 2007 Coach of the Year - Felipe Becerra. Cost: $75. Covers both days of instructions, camp T-shirt and lunch. Contact Carlos Batlle at (602) 751-8733.
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