Prep athletes of the decade - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Prep athletes of the decade

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Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 9:36 pm | Updated: 1:43 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A decade ago, the list you’re about to read could have been 25 percent of its current size, but as we approach the beginning of the millennium’s second decade, this compilation of the best East Valley-bred high school athletes the Tribune came up with isn’t long enough.

How much has changed here in 10 years.

A decade ago, the list you’re about to read could have been 25 percent of its current size, but as we approach the beginning of the millennium’s second decade, this compilation of the best East Valley-bred high school athletes the Tribune came up with isn’t long enough.

If you like what you see, let us know. If we missed the boat, let us know the athlete, school and sport and we’ll add them to the list. ’Twas a four-person “think tank” who put this together, and that tank isn’t always on “full.”

Here are our picks, so enjoy this look back at our picks for the top East Valley athlete this decade for each sport:


GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Tara Mueller, Desert Mountain: Two state titles for outside hitter who went to Nebraska.

BADMINTON: Emily Harris, Desert Mountain: Two individual state titles and a runner-up finish in three years; didn’t lose a match her final two years.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Aaron Aguayo, Mountain Pointe: Won individual state title and went on to star at ASU.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY: Jessica Tonn, Xavier: State champion twice and made four trips to Footlocker Nationals (no other Arizona runner has more than two).

BOYS GOLF: C.J. Kim, Hamilton: Only boys golfer to repeat as state champion this decade and win team title all four years.

GIRLS GOLF: Esther Choe, Cactus Shadows: Two-time state champion shot sub-130 both times and is now on LPGA.

FOOTBALL: Max Hall, Mountain View: Played in 2 state title games and won one; now a star at BYU.

BOYS SWIMMING: Buddy Turner, Horizon: Six-time state champion dominated the 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly for years.

GIRLS SWIMMING: Ashley Chandler, Chandler: Won 5 individual state titles and has a couple of school records at California-Berkeley.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Jerryd Bayless, St. Mary’s: Averaged 28.3 points per game for his career, an Arizona record; now in the NBA.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Kayla Pedersen, Red Mountain: Owns nearly every school record and won state title; now filling it up as Stanford junior.

WRESTLING: Luke Macchiaroli, Corona del Sol: Three-time state champ and a third-place finish at state.

BOYS SOCCER: Kyle Ciliento, Pinnacle: All-time leading goal scorer in Arizona history with 160 in his prep career.

GIRLS SOCCER: Caitlin Benyi, Horizon: Tribune’s softball and soccer player of the year in 2002-03, started as freshman and became All-American at UCLA.

BOYS TENNIS: Andy Nguyen, Mountain Pointe: Followed his brother’s greatness with two singles titles and a doubles crown in his three years of H.S. tennis.

GIRLS TENNIS: Lynley Wasson, Corona del Sol: Won three straight state titles and starred at U of Houston.

BOYS TRACK: Allante Battle, Desert Vista: Won four events at 5A-I meet as a junior (100, 200, 400 and 4X400) and two as a senior to lead Thunder domination.

GIRLS TRACK: Kari Hardt, Queen Creek: Won nine gold medals in career, and only two people ever beat her in a race at state meet (one being her older sister Whitney).

BASEBALL: Tim Alderson, Horizon: State’s best pitcher three consecutive years in a row; won two state titles and quickly working toward the major leagues.

SOFTBALL: Sam Parlich, Basha: Two-time state champion, arguably best pitcher/hitter/speed combo.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Jared Morrison, Mountain Pointe: Two-time state champion might have been best all-around player during Pride’s decade-long run.


Apache Junction: Shane McCullen, football/track; Cody Anderson, football/basketball;

Arcadia: Paula Liebler, softball;

Basha: Shane McBurney, football/track; Kaela Oakes, girls basketball;

Brophy: Drew Maggi, football/baseball; Nick Ayers, boys soccer; John Wojciechowski, boys swimming; Temi Molinar, boys soccer; Alex Lendrum, boys swimming;

Cactus Shadows: Phillip Aholt, football; Lauren Weaver, girls golf;

Chaparral: Ike Davis, baseball; Ekom Udofia, football; John Peel, football; Mackenzie Popescue, softball;

Chandler: Dominique Lamb, girls volleyball/track; Bryce Lamb, football/track; Cameron Jordan, football/track;

Corona del Sol: Kirby Pellant, football/baseball; Ashley Hansen, softball; Brittany Cole, girls soccer; Phil Feinberg, boys basketball/track;

Coronado: Lou Marson, baseball; Brittney Strumer, girls basketball/volleyball;

Desert Mountain: Erin Greenberg, girls basketball; Caleb Percevez, diving; Ashley McKenney, girls golf; Tim McKenney, boys golf;

Desert Ridge: Chris Jamison, football/track; C.J. Navarro, girls track; Jake Barrett, baseball

Desert Vista: Monique Bribiescas, girls basketball; Devon Kennard, football; Tara Cozetto, girls soccer/track; Zach Miller, football;

Dobson: Marissa Stotler, girls basketball; Matt McConnell, basketball/baseball; Mickey McConnell, basketball/baseball;

Gilbert: Ryan Toolson, boys basketball; Kacie Wagner, girls tennis; Stephanie Nucci, girls volleyball;

Hamilton: Ryan Milus, football/track; Dontay Moch, football/track; C.J. Retherford, baseball; Lauren Niblett, soccer;

Highland: Morgan Wohltman, girls basketball; B.J. Hiapo, boys volleyball; Talor Haro, softball; Erin O’Bryan, girls basketball; Derek Breinholt, cross country/track;

Higley: Danica Webb, girls soccer; Jeremy Marcinko, boys track;

Horizon: Brandon Wood, baseball; Cassidy Crum, girls volleyball/track; Rob Finley, boys soccer;

Marcos de Niza: Joy Burke basketball; Jessica Mapes, softball; Sam Dorman, diving; Kal Bay, boys basketball; Joy Burke, girls basketball; Sam O’Grady, boys soccer; Alex Pavlenko, wrestling;

McClintock: Amy Patton, girls basketball; Jimmy Patterson, baseball; Trey Kaahanui, boys golf;

Mesquite: Christine Olson, girls swimming; Saunders Montague, football; Andie Mason, girls basketball;

Mesa: Jodi Norton, girls basketball/softball; Lee Cummard, boys basketball; Anthony Robles, wrestling;

Mountain Pointe: Brad Evans, boys soccer; Will Claye, track; Alexandra Elston, girls soccer/badminton; Kristin Phillips, girls cross country;

Mountain View: Brooke Jackson, girls basketball/volleyball/track; Harper Kamp, boys basketball; Kendall Wallace, boys basketball;

Notre Dame: Sean Renfree, football; Tom Fow, boys basketball; Jackie Chang, girls golf/tennis;

Paradise Valley: Matt Clapp, football; James Vogmer, boys cross country/track; Annie Lockwood, softball;

Pinnacle: Taylor Rohde, boys basketball; Aley Rohde, girls basketball;

Queen Creek: Tod Workman, wrestling; Nicole Nevitt, girls volleyball/track; Whitney Hardt, cross country/ basketball/track;

Red Mountain: Bri Ensminger, softball; Lacy Goodman, softball; Jon Hargis, football;

Saguaro: Tim Ruben, football;

Scottsdale Christian: Jillian Klassen, cross country/track; Kevin Coble, boys basketball;

Seton: Meghan Mullin, softball; Christina Wirth, girls basketball; Joe Jimenez, boys tennis;

Skyline: Erinn Goodman, girls basketball; Ashleigh Schoonover, girls basketball/softball;

St. Mary’s: Dymond Simon, girls basketball; Davellyn White, girls basketball; Brian Matusz, baseball;

Valley Christian: Quinton McCoy, football/track; David Mehlhorn, cross country/track; Shane Johanssen, boys basketball;

Westwood: Larry Owens, boys basketball; Cylend Simmons, football/track;

Xavier: Amanda Blumenhurt, girls golf; Natalie Johnson, girls track; Stephanie Preach, girls volleyball

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