By: Alex Vasquez and Annabella Tarzia
OwlFeed Sports Editors
Recently, many student-athletes here at Agua Fria have been nominated for Athlete of the Month. In respect to all the great athletes the school has, these are the ones selected for going beyond what was expected of them, in the classroom and on the field.
In August, Senior Kasiah Johnson dominated the Lady Owls volleyball varsity team for 4 years! Kasiah is the team captain for the Owls, manages Student Council and plays Volleyball all at the same time. Kasiah is on the MaxPreps Stats for 10th in the Conference for kills with 73 total, averaging 2.6 kills per set. Johnson was named the All-Region 1st Team Hitter. Johnson was named to the All-Region 1st Team Hitter. Congrats Kasiah!
Also, in August Junior Camden Weeg won athlete of the month and has been with the Owls football program for 3 years. Weeg plays middle linebacker and is the kicker for the team. This 2nd-year Varsity player was nominated by the Agua Fria Coaching Staff for his game-winning field goal vs. Tolleson as the time expired to help the Owls bring home the Rock! Camden ranks 16th in the state for punting yards and ranks 7th in the Desert West Region for tackles. Weeg was named All-Region 1st Team as a Lineback, Punter, & Kicker. Congrats Camden!
Then in September junior Aspen Charles won. She is a two-sport athlete in Swimming and Cross Country. She is able to balance being at the top of her class (13th overall) while excelling in both sports. She is currently the fastest runner on the cross country team and one of the most versatile members of the Swim Team. She leads by example in the pool and on deck. We have seen her technique and times improve and are very proud that she is a member of our team.
Following Charles was another September athlete of the month, Oscar Gonzalas, who broke the school record in the 5k back on September 14th, and broke it again on September 27th. He is the best cross country runner the school has ever had and he is only a sophomore. His personal, and the now school’s, record is 16 minutes and 13.8 seconds. This is an average pace of about 5:13 per mile. Oscar helped the team qualify for the State Meet. Run Oscar, run!
In October, Sophomore Raven Roberts took the title. She qualified for the Arizona State Swim and Dive Tournament for her 2nd year in a row! She is among a small group of elite swimmers in Arizona who excel in freestyle events (50 free and 100 free). She carries our team in relay events and she finished in the top 3 in both of her individual events at our district invite in October. Roberts qualified for State and ended her season 9th in the State. Congratulations Raven!
Following Roberts was Jeff Handlong who is an amazing three-sport athlete (football, band, and baseball). It is not easy balancing two sports in the same season at the same time, but he handles it with grace. He goes above and beyond in moving equipment and is always one of the first to be ready for reps during practice. He is an all-around wonderful guy that makes everyone around him better. Congratulations Jeff!
In November Jaida Steward took on the title. She is the only sophomore on the Varsity women’s basketball team and has seriously stepped up her game this season! She is the definition of coachable. You can give her feedback on the bench and then she can walk on the court and immediately implement the feedback. She always stays composed during games and practice. Even if she’s playing an extra physical team, Jaida lets her gameplay speak for her. Congrats Jaida!
Also for November, Jesus Soto, varsity men’s soccer player, has battled through injuries and has played multiple positions so far this season. He can be relied on whenever the going gets tough. We are so proud of Jesus and how far he has improved this season through injuries. Congratulations Jesus! We wish this Owl all the best on the field!
In December, Jesus Valenzuela took the title he started one game in the 5th Annual Agua Fria Soccer Tournament. He also provides an instant spark when he enters the game. His energy on the field helps drive the Owls Soccer Team. Jesus also has two goals on the season! We looked forward to seeing what more Jesus can do for the Owls, both on and off the field. Congratulations!
Also in December, Marisol Tena Jacuinde was nominated as a freshman for her all-out hustle and commitment to playing and practicing on both the freshman and JV teams. Marisol is averaging 8.3 points per game for the freshman team and 5.8 points per game for the JV team. We are so proud of Marisol for her hard work and dedication to the Owls! We wish her the best on the court! Congratulations Marisol!
In January Neysa Munguia was nominated. Neysa was challenged after the 2nd game of the season to be a rebounding machine for us to help limit the opponents shots that they get during a game. Thru January Neysa is averaging 12.6 rebounds per game which is 1st in our section and 4th in all of 5A. Her top rebounding games have been 23, 21, 21 and 19. Neysa leads our section in blocks and is tied for 1st in all of 5A with 3.4 blocks per game. Congrats Neysa!
Also nominated for January was Joey Laborin. Joey took: 1st Place – Big Red, 1st Place – Verrado Tournament, 2nd Place – Ironwood Invitational, and his current record is 40-5. Joey placed 3rd place at sectionals and even went to state. Congrats Joey!
In February soccer player Carlonia Rodrigues was nominated. Carolina is one of those players that holds herself to a higher standard. She is always looking for ways to improve and grow as a player and person. Carolina has used her soccer experience off the field as she has applied many of her game lessons in the classroom. Carolina has a 3.98 GPA and is an excellent student at Agua Fria High School. Congrats Carolina!
Also in February was Darnell Trimble. The 6’2 junior guard rose above in player effort and consistency. Trimble a two sport athlete has found his way as a scorer and a big time defender on the court, averaging 16 points and five steals per game. In the last five outings Darnell has led the Agua Fria Owls Boys Basketball program to three straight wins with his extra effort and hard work on the court. Congrats Darnell!
Then, Abriana Tillmon was nominated by her Coach, Mark James in conjunction with AZ Sports 360 to the AZ All American Athletic First Team for her outstanding academics. Abriana has a strong presence in the classroom holding an above average GPA. We are so proud of Abriana! Keep up the excellent work in the classroom and on the golf course! Congratulations to this amazing athlete!
Finally and certainly not least, Carter Weeg was nominated by his Football Coach, George Martinez in conjunction with AZ Sports 360, to the AZ All American Athletic First Team for his outstanding academics. Carter has a strong presence in the classroom holding a GPA of 5.3 weighted & 3.83 non. Carter was also named to the All-Region Team in Football for excellence on the field.
Stay tuned Owls! Athletes are chosen every month, you could be the next!