Athlete of the week: Brandon Norem - The Phoenix Arcadia senior decided to play for his high school for the first time this season. Good thing.
Norem scored three goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as Arcadia beat Scottsdale Notre Dame, 5-4, in its season opener Tuesday.
“I felt I owed it to them,” said Norem, a club player. “I have known most of these guys my whole life so it’s pretty easy to fit in.”
Beyond the box score
Honor roll: Chandler and Gilbert Highland’s boys were named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s National Team Academic Award list for team grade-point averages. Both teams had GPAs better than 3.25. It is the first award for Highland and the third consecutive year for Chandler.
Familiar faces: It was déjà vu for a few of the Chandler Hamilton girls on Wednesday. The Huskies opened the season hosting Phoenix Mountain Pointe, the school from which its current coaching staff of Kirk Nelson, Pat Jackson and Brittany Whalen all came. Nelson was the Pride’s coach for two seasons. Whalen, a pride alum, was his assistant.
Still thirsty: Last year’s male and female state Gatorade Players of the Year are thirsty to repeat the honors.
Phoenix Pinnacle’s Kyle Ciliento opened the season with four goals in a 6-0 win over Phoenix Central. Tempe Corona del Sol’s Brittany Cole scored twice as the Aztecs rolled to a 10-0 win against Mesa on Wednesday.
Tourney time: The Tempe Diablos tournament starts Monday at Tempe Sports Complex. Pool play continues through Wednesday with the semifinals set for Thursday and the boys and girls title matches on Friday at 6 p.m.
Contact John Mahnke: (480) 898-5904 (Ext. 4) or firstname.lastname@example.org