Tennis is just the latest sport to fall under the Aztec spell
The gods must be smiling on the Aztecs.
The Corona del Sol HS Aztecs won the Kiwanis tennis tournament over the weekend, repeating as champions. Brophy Prep was the boys’ champion, not a surprise since Brophy enters this season as the defending high school 5A-I state champions.
Corona’s girls finished in a three-way tie for first place with Xavier Prep and Highland HS, but the boys were able to add enough points to win the combined championship. Kelsey Lawson, last year’s state singles champion, led the charge for the Aztecs by winning the singles championship.
But tennis is just part of the story lately. Corona seems to be everywhere, reaching for a trophy.
The Aztecs got both girls’ and boys’ teams to the 5A-1 soccer finals, with the boys capturing the championship trophy in a 1-0 overtime victory over Hamilton HS on a goal by Daniel Van Vleet in the last minute of the extra period. The No. 5 Aztecs first had to pull a major upset of No. 1 Salpointe Catholic in the semis to get a shot at another upset of the No. 2 Huskies.
The girls lost their championship match to Xavier Prep, but that game was a true example of an over-achieving team. The Aztecs were ranked No. 15 and had to beat No. 2 Gilbert HS just to get past the first round. Goalie Hailey Hayes deflected Xavier shots right and left, but the Gators got enough through the net for a 2-0 win.
Another Aztec team overcoming long odds could be found on the basketball court, where the boys’ team was 12th-seeded but made it to the quarter-finals before getting beat 67-60 by North HS. But they were within two points with 16 seconds left to play; that’s how close they came to moving on. Calaen Robinson hit six three-pointers and finished with 21 points as he tried to carry the Aztecs to the semi-finals.
And let’s not forget about wrestling. The Aztecs wrapped up a second straight state championship, beating Mesa HS, 38-16, for the title. The seniors stepped up to make sure they would repeat; six of the seven won their final high school matches: Brad Spadafore (130), Ryan Miller (154), Blake Ortiz (162), Derek Felton (171), Sam Fulton (189), and heavyweight Mike Howard. The senior class together accounted for 304 wins during the season.
It’s been a great ride for the Tempe high school with the mascot named after a warrior. And there are still more battles ahead to be waged.
They’re called spring sports.