It’s hard to figure whether it was a new coach that got Valley
Christian HS over the hump this year, or whether the Trojans were just
waiting for Chanel Brown to get to her senior year.
Brown (shown here holding the trophy in this school photo), is a
5’10″senior outside hitter who led Valley Christian to a 34-win season
and its first 2A state title in eight years, which also earned her the
prestigious honor of being named Small Schools Player of the Year (second
consecutive), as selected by the Arizona Republic sports writers. The
Trojans were runners-up to the title for the past three years, but head
coach Molly Stark, who came over from Cactus Shadows HS this year where
she was Region Coach of the Year, got the girls over what was becoming
a psychological hurdle.
Stephanie Preach, setter for Xavier Prep, was the Big Schools Player of the Year
(also a second time), also leading her squad to a 39-6 record and the
5A state title before heading off next year to Arizona State University
to play for the Sun Devils.
Both were part of the 2009 All Arizona team that also included Madison Kingdon, a junior outside hitter from Sunnsyslope HS; Betsi Metter, senior outside hitter from Desert Vista HS; Katie Rutherford, senior setter from Sunrise Mountain HS; and the sophomore sensation from Seton Catholic HS, 6’4″ outside hitter Haley Lawless, who has led Seton to a 4A-II state title in each of her years there.
This year’s picks for the All State teams:
5A first team: Michaela Christiansen, Ironwood Ridge HS; Macey Gardner, Gilbert HS; Emily Helm, Hamilton HS; Bethany Jorgensen, Corona del Sol HS; Betsi Metter; Stephanie Preach. Second team: Alyssa Dwyer, Gilbert HS; Davia Lee, Sandra Day O’Connor HS; Sarah McGaffin, Horizon HS; Brooke Pottle, Centennial HS; Cassie Ronda, Corona del Sol; Katarina Schulz, Xavier Prep.
4A first team: Maddie Bushman, Sabino HS (Tucson); Jacquie Cason, Cienega HS (Vail); Alex Green, Cactus HS; Haley Lawless; Madison Kingdon; Katie Rutherford. 4A second team: Summer Anderson, Cactus Shadows HS; Niara Greathouse, Greenway HS; MaryJo Koize, McClintock HS; Kenzie Phelps, Prescott HS; Leah Stevens, Notre Dame Prep; Neidi Thompson, Sunnyslope HS.
1A-3A first team: Chanel Brown; Terah Fullman, Horizon Honors HS; Bradley Nash, Monument Valley HS (Kayenta); Rachel Orr, Thatcher HS; Danine Smith, Valley Lutheran HS; Dakota Yazzie, Tuba City HS. 1A-3A second team: Shaysea Alba, Safford HS; Jordy Clifton, Northwest Christian HS; Kristen Johannsen, Valley Christian HS; Rebecca Sponcil, Veritas Prep; Anna Martinson, Fountain Hills HS; Chelcy Motes, Thatcher HS.