Over the last 10 years, Brophy Prep and Xavier Prep have combined to win six Gatorade Arizona Soccer Player of the Year honors.
And this year the two Catholic high schools in central Phoenix whose campuses adjoin each other swept the awards, with Xavier’s Kyla Ferry being named the girls’ POY and Carter Clemmensen taking the boys’ honor on behalf of the Brophy Broncos. It’s the second time in that decade-long period that the two schools pulled off a ‘sweep’ of the state award.
In the 2008-09 school year, Jessica Petznick won it for Xavier and Nick Ayers for Brophy.
The Ayers selection came during a four-year period in which Brophy dominated the competition, winning three times in four years. In addition to Ayers, Temi Molinar earned the first part of back-to-back awards with his win during the 2007-08 season, and Riggs Lennon was the most recent awardee in 2010-2011.
This year’s Players of the Year led their teams to the state championship finals, with Xavier winning the 6A crown to make it back-to-back titles, and Brophy finishing runner-up to Desert Vista High School. Brophy finished with a 21-1-2 record and Xavier went 15-3-2.
Clemmensen got the first nod as his selection was announced earlier this month. The 6’3″ forward wrapped up the 2017-18 season with 39 goals and 13 assists and had 14 games in which he scored more than a single goal – including eight straight multi-goal games to start the season. During that opening stretch, the Broncos outscored their opponents 34-4.
(6/27/18 Update: Clemmensen has also picked up a national honor. He has been named the American Family Insurance All-USA Boys Soccer Player of the Year.)
The Gatorade award capped a prep career in which Clemmensen rolled up 113 goals and 24 assists and now he moves on to play next season at UC Santa Barbara.
Community service and academic achievement are also important elements to Gatorade’s selection committee. Clemmensen volunteered in the Phoenix community at St. Simon & Jude elementary school and at Andre House, a ministry to the homeless, and also served as a youth soccer coach. He has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Ferry, who played forward and midfielder for the Gators, racked up 19 goals and 12 assists this season to earn another major recognition, the azcentral Player of the Year in her sport. That honor was bestowed at the Sports Awards Show on June 10 and a week later came the Gatorade award.
A 4.14 GPA student, Ferry volunteered in the community for several fundraising campaigns to benefit victims of domestic violence and also donated her time as a peer tutor and youth soccer coach.
She’s the third soccer player from Xavier to win the Gatorade award and will continue playing in college at the University of Colorado.
Clemmensen is done with his impressive prep career, but Ferry, who has accumulated 46 goals and 23 assists in three years, will have a senior season to try for a repeat of her Player of the Year honors.