Here are the candidates for the WaFd Bank Arizona High School Athlete of the Week for Sept. 27-Oct. 3 as nominated by coaches, fans and readers.
Read through the nominees and cast your vote. We’ll send a free SBLive T-shirt to the winner of the poll! Voting will conclude Sunday at 11:59 p.m. and the winner will be announced Monday.
Dematris Azcueta, Senior, Casa Grande – In Casa Grande’s 56-7 rout of the Douglas Bulldogs, Azcueta had two punt returns, one for a touchdown, for a total of 110 yards along with five tackles and an interception.
Gage Baker, Sophomore, Paradise Honors – In his first varsity game as quarterback, Baker was 19 for 26 for around 400 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions to lift the team to a 61-13 win over Odyssey Institute.
Deyon Bradley, Junior, Moon Valley – Despite the Rockets’ 27-26 loss to Arizona College Prep, Bradley racked up 268 yards on 41 carries with a touchdown and a two-point conversion. He also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Angel Flores, Senior, Casa Grande – Flores had five touchdown passes in the 56-7 domination of Douglas under the Thursday Night Lights Game of the Week.
Will Galvan, Junior, Cactus – Back on the list again this week is Galvan, who passed for seven touchdowns to five different receivers, lifting the Cobras to their fifth straight big win, 54-6 over Poston Butte.
Surge Gboweiah, Senior, Desert View – The Jaguars racked up a whopping 512 yards on the ground in the 46-28 win over Marana, with 315 of the yards coming from Gboweiah on 24 carries. He also had three of the team’s touchdowns.
Rudy Gonzales, Junior, Deer Valley – In the Skyhawks’ 63-35 rout of Walden Grove, Gonzales passed for five touchdowns to help Deer Valley advance to 4-0 on the season.
Grady Hickey, Senior, Chaparral – On just nine receptions, Hickey had 175 yards and two touchdowns to help the Firebirds defeat O’Connor 42-21.
Lance Holtzclaw, Senior, Desert Ridge – The future Washington Husky had nine tackles, two sacks, four passes defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in a 44-23 victory over Cesar Chavez.
Jase Hudson, Junior, Campo Verde – Hudson had the game-winning field goal as time expired to help the Coyotes defeat the Cienega Bobcats 23-21.
Javen Jacobs, Senior, Saguaro – Jacobs was an offensive spark plug for the Sabercats in their 49-21 win over Salpointe Catholic on Friday, scoring three touchdowns in the win.
AJ Murphy, Senior, Casteel – The senior had a record-setting night with 384 official rushing yards and five touchdowns in Casteel’s 47-27 win over Higley.
Spencer Nielsen, Senior, ALA Gilbert North – It was a strong game for Nielsen on Friday against ALA Queen Creek despite the 38-35 loss. He had 16 tackles, 10 of them solo tackles, and two of them for losses.
Skyler Partridge, Senior, Horizon – Partridge had five total touchdowns in Horizon’s 43-36 win over Millennium. He passed for 291 yards and rushed for 106.
Isaac Stopke, Junior, Lake Havasu – Both a running back and linebacker, Stopke had four touchdowns on the night while also recording four tackles in the 35-6 win over Mohave.
Jordan Wilson, Senior, Desert Ridge – On just 21 carries, Wilson had 272 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 44-23 victory over Cesar Chavez.
Abigail Araujo, Junior, Northwest Christian – Araujo had a solid game Tuesday against Wickenburg, leading the way with 17 digs and 15 kills to help the Crusaders sweep the Wranglers.
Allison Birtcil, Senior, Ironwood Ridge – Making her way on the list again is Birtcil, who had 16 digs, 15 kills, a block and an ace in the 3-2 victory over Catalina Foothills on Thursday.
Hollyn Frano, Junior, Cactus Shadows – In Tuesday’s 3-0 sweep of Sunrise Mountain, Frano had an outstanding overall performance with 15 kills, 13 digs, four aces and a block.
Evan Hendrix, Sophomore, Notre Dame Prep – Back on the list this week is Hendrix, who had 21 kills, nine digs and a block in the Saints’ 3-0 victory over Deer Valley on Thursday.
Shelby Lemm, Sophomore, St. Mary’s – With a career-high 27 kills, Lemm helped St. Mary’s defeat Shadow Mountain 3-1 on Tuesday. She also had 20 digs, three aces and two blocks.
Tatum Parrott, Senior, Greenway – Parrott had a career-high 42 kills Wednesday in Greenway’s 3-2 battle against St. Mary’s, along with nine digs, an ace and a block.
Emma Reardon, Senior, Thunderbird – Another player returning to the list this week, Reardon had 18 kills, 10 digs, four aces and a block in Thunderbird’s 3-0 sweep of Shadow Mountain.
Lauren Rumel, Senior, Catalina Foothills – Rumel is back on the list once again for her outstanding performance Tuesday, when she had 29 kills, nine digs, three aces and a block to help the Falcons defeat Mountain View Marana 3-1.
Makena Rumple, Freshman, Mesa – Setting a career high of 20 kills Tuesday along with four blocks and a dig, the freshman helped lift the Jackrabbits to a 3-1 victory over Skyline.
Sophia Smith, Junior, Shadow Mountain – In Monday’s game against Moon Valley, Smith had 23 kills, 15 digs, three aces and a block in the 3-2 victory.
Naia Stewart, Senior, Gilbert – Helping the Tigers defeat the Campo Verde Coyotes 3-0 on Tuesday, Stewart had 10 kills, nine digs, five blocks and an ace.
Boys cross country
Deion Begay, Senior, Westwood – At the Fountain Hills Home Meet on Wednesday, Begay finished the 3.1-mile race with a time of 18:54.
Donovan Bitticks, Sophomore, Horizon – Bitticks won the Thunderbird “Dave Doerrer” Invitational on Saturday for the Boys Freshman-Sophomore 2.8-mile race with a time of 15:40.39.
Jorge Corona Carmona, Senior, Maryvale – Clocking in at 16:12.00 at the Juan Reyes Invitational over the weekend for the Varsity 5000M race, Corona Carmona took home the gold.
Elijah Davis, Senior, Red Mountain – The senior had the top overall time for the Varsity 5000M race at 16:42.45.
Cesar Diaz, Junior, Mingus Union – At the Thunderbird “Dave Doerrer” Invitational on Saturday, Diaz won the Boys Varsity 2.8-mile race with a time of 14:32.40.
Sam Eby, Freshman, Boulder Creek – At the Ray Wherley Invitational in Prescott over the weekend, the freshman won the Boys Freshman/Sophomore 5000M open with a time of 20:05.75.
Caden Edgerton, Senior, ALA Ironwood – Edgerton won the Erin Botma Invitational’s 5k, finishing in 17:33.10.
Landon Holm, Junior, Shadow Ridge – In the Open Boys 5000 Meter Race at the Glendale Showcase, Holm finished in first place with a time of 19:13.33.
Joshua Lumpkin, Senior, Lake Havasu – Lumpkin had an outstanding week. On Wednesday, he won the Ray Reynolds Invitational with a time of 16:51.00 before winning the Kingman Academy Tiger Invitational over the weekend, finishing the 5,000-meter run in 16:47.20, nearly two minutes ahead of his closest competitor and teammate who placed second.
Chase Markunas, Freshman, Hamilton – In the Freshman Boys Division of the Glendale Showcase, Markunas took first place with a time of 17:29.17.
Trevor Querciagrossa, Senior, Sunnyslope – At the Glendale Showcase over the weekend, Querciagrossa won the varsity boys race, finishing almost exactly a minute ahead of the rest of the pack at 15:31.67
Girls cross country
Katie Bell, Sophomore, Lake Havasu – The sophomore had a strong week. Not only did she win the Ray Reynolds invitational on Wednesday with a time of 21:36.00, she won the Kingman Academy Tiger Invitational over the weekend with a time of 21:12.30.
Evelyn Carr, Junior, ALA Queen Creek – Carr won the Glendale Showcase’s Girls Varsity 5000M race over the weekend with a time of 19:01.27.
Ava Christensen, Freshman, Red Mountain – At the Ray Wherley Invitational in Prescott over the weekend, the freshman won the Girls Freshman/Sophomore 5000M open with a time of 23:34.85.
Bella Gomez, Sophomore, Xavier College Prep – At the Thunderbird “Dave Doerrer” Invitational over the weekend, Gomez took first for the Girls Freshman-Sophomore 2.8-mile race with a time of 20:08.25.
Erin Holley, Sophomore, Fountain Hills – On Wednesday, Holley won her school’s meet (Fountain Hills Home Meet) with a time of 21:02.
Taylor Jacobs, Senior, Red Mountain – Jacobs finished the Ray Wherley Invitational with the top time for the girls varsity 5000M race at 21:19.84.
Jessica Madrid, Senior, Round Valley – In the Girls Varsity 5000M race at the Juan Reyes Invitational over the weekend, Madrid finished with a time of 18:40.90 to take home the gold.
Ryley Nelson, Sophomore, Gilbert Christian – At the Erin Botma Invitational, Nelson won the 5K with a time of 20:20.00.
Britney Perera, Junior, Millennium – In the Girls Open 5000M race at the Glendale Showcase, Perera was able to break just far enough away from the pack to comfortably finish in first place with a time of 23:28.78.
Lucy Turley, Junior, Greenway – Turley won the Thunderbird “Dave Doerrer” Invitational over the weekend for the Girls Varsity 2.8-mile race with a time of 18:01.98.
Corinne Warriner, Freshman, Hamilton – Hamilton’s freshmen had a strong weekend, with Warriner joining her teammate Markunas for the Huskies to take first in both of the divisions, finishing the race in 21:25.79.