Mesa Community College standout quarterback Colton Malone will leave on a two-year church mission and will not be under center for the Thunderbirds next season.
Malone threw for 2,118 yards and 22 touchdowns as a freshman and was named to the All-Western States Football League second team.
Possible replacements include returning quarterbacks Victor Anderson and Luke Taylor, neither of whom took a snap for Mesa last season, or one of a number of newcomers. The incoming class consists of Brice Wilkins (Westwood High), Adam Moreno (Mesa High) and Erik Archuleta (Phoenix North High).
“We’re fortunate to have several holdover quarterbacks, plus an incoming group of promising prospects,” Mesa coach Dan Dunn said of replacing Malone.
Chandler-Gilbert men and women’s soccer coach Drew Guarneri was honored Saturday at the Phoenix Women's Sports Association's Spirit of the Athletes Awards Dinner at the Arizona Biltmore.
Guarneri was one of eight honored for his contributions to the advancement of women’s sports. Guarneri first learned of the award from Chandler-Gilbert athletic director Jeff Mason.
“I was very surprised,” Guarneri said. “I know I do a lot of things, but I don’t do it for the awards. I do it for the athletes.”
Guarneri said former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes and current ASU athletic director Lisa Love were at the event.
“It was a big dinner,” Guarneri said. “It was neat to be recognized like that.”
Scottsdale coach Dave Critchley knew his team had the talent to compete with the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference’s best before the season began. But with only one returner from last season, he just wasn’t sure how the players would respond in actual court situations.
He knows now.
The Artichokes have begun the year 4-0, including wins over chief conference rivals Glendale and Mesa, each by a 7-2 margin.
“I’m pleased with (the start),” Critchley said. “It definitely wasn’t a given, but this wasn’t a surprise. I knew talent-wise the ability to compete was there.”
After finishing last season ranked 17th nationally, Critchley says his main focus is turning Scottsdale into a junior college power by continuing to schedule some of the nation's toughest teams.
Chandler-Gilbert's Josh Hawkins has been doing his best Boris Diaw impression lately, and it led to an ACCAC men's basketball Division II player of the week award.
Hawkins had 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in a 67-62 win over Central Arizona on Feb. 8, then posted seven points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a 73-66 victory over Pima on Feb. 11.