Each week, the azcentral.com Sports Awards, presented by Arby’s, will honor two Athletes of the Week, presented by La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, and an Academic All-Star of the Week.
To learn more about the azcentral.com Sports Awards, visit hsawards.azcentral.com.
To nominate an Athlete or Academic All-Star of the Week, visit nominations.azcentral.com.
Academic All-Star of the Week
School: Gilbert Higley
Has a 4.1 GPA … Point guard and captain … First year on varsity, second year in basketball program … Also plays third base in softball … Scored a season-high 22 points against Apache Junction on Dec. 15 … “I want to improve on the highest level of expectations I can,” she said … National Honor Society member … Involved in the Best Buddies program and Higley’s Unified Sports … Started playing basketball in seventh grade … Wants to play in college … “She exemplifies everything you want in a student-athlete,” coach Brandon Large said.
- Vote in our azcentral.com Sports Awards Fan Experience contest
- Nominate: All-Arizona teams, Athletes of the Week, Academic All-Stars
- Larry Fitzgerald to headline azcentral.com Sports Awards show in April
Male Athlete of the Week presented by La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries
School: Paradise Valley
Wrestles at 170 pounds … Finished his 52-0 season with a Division II state championship, the first for Paradise Valley since 1988 … Broke school records in most career wins in a season (52), career wins (112) and pins in a season (32) … “I learned how to work hard,” he said … Wrestles club with Grindhouse … Spent his summer traveling to tournaments … Up 12-2 in the third period when he pinned his opponent … Had 32 pins, and has had 94 wins total in the last two seasons … Looks up to Jason Nolf, a 157-pounder from Penn State … Hopes to continue his wrestling career for a college program … “Every time he steps on the mat, he’s ready to go,” coach Michael Butterfield said.
AZCENTRAL.COM SPORTS AWARDS: List of azcentral.com Sports Awards Athletes of the Week, Month
Female Athlete of the Week presented by La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries
School: Fountain HIlls
Has a 4.1 GPA … Forward and two-time captain … Had 54 goals, 20 assists, 11 hat tricks and 128 points this season … Set the Fountain Hills goals scored in a single season record … “You can do anything you put your mind to,” she said … Plays club at SC Del Sol … Earned azcentral sports’ All-Division III first-team forward last year … Scholar athlete every season for every sport played in four-year high school career … Also competes in track and field … Committed to play soccer at University of Oklahoma … “She’s such a determined player … she’s so composed with the ball,” coach Alison Mabery said.