What a crazy three days for area athletes.
Baseball players were being drafted into the professional ranks, track athletes were more than holding their own in one of the West’s best showcase events, a soccer player was scoring game-winning goal for the U.S. National team and two area football players were attending one of the premier camps – the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge at Soldier Field – in the nation.
This little area of Arizona known as Ahwatukee sure is a sports Mecca anymore.
While I didn’t attend any of these happenings it was cool watching it all unfold over the last few days via the internet.
Area products Jaycob Brugman (Desert Vista) has had three good years at BYU and was rewarded by being selected in the 17th round by the Athletics on Saturday, while Desert Vista right-handed pitcher Tyler Viza went in the 32nd to the Phillies. He is committed to Utah so a decision is forthcoming.
Then later in the day the track results started flowing in as area competitors fared well at the Great Southwest Classic in New Mexico.
Here are some highlights:
Mountain Pointe graduate Travonn White won the long jump with leap of 25 feet and 5 inches.
Desert Vista graduate Dylan Fischer won the shot put (59-5) and finished second in the discus (178).
Mountain Pointe graduate Kejavon Moore has been overshadowed all year by his younger teammate Paul Lucas but proved how good his by posting a 10.65 in the 100.
Lucas, who just finished his sophomore year, finished second in the 100 (10.43) and 200 (20.78).
While these athletes did a great job representing the state, Brad Evans did it on the international level.
The Mountain Pointe graduate and MSL veteran went through a recent position change – from wing to right back – and made his first start Friday night as the U.S. Men’s National Team participated in a World Cup Qualifying match against Jamaica at National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.
Evans scored in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, giving the United States a thrilling 2-1 victory over Jamaica that solidified the U.S. team’s chances of qualifying for next year’s World Cup.
“It was a totally blind shot,” Evans said told the Associated Press. “The only thing in my mind was turn and shoot. That was it.”
Evans, who received a yellow card for pulling his jersey over his head in celebration, said, “Pure elation after the goal, for sure. I had no idea it was stoppage time.”
It was the first international goal for Evans, starting at right back because Steve Cherundolo and Timmy Chandler weren’t available.
“They’re dire moments.” said Evans, who was making his first World Cup qualifying match start. “There’s still work to be done. I think we can do better at certain moments and I think everybody will tell you that from the top down. So there’s still work to be done. But three points, on the road, in a place we haven’t won, is pretty special.”
Then there are the Mountain Pointe duo of wide receiver Jalen Brown and lineman Natrell Curtis as they participated in the Rivals camp.
Brown made news soon after landing in Chicago by saying he is graduating in December and making his college choice soon so he can, I assume, participate in spring ball for the college of his choice.
Think about all that happened this weekend then throw in a state baseball championship (2011), a football championship (2011), a cross country championship (2012), a badminton championship (2012) plus so many other things over the last two years.
Oh, and last summer Will Claye won two Olympic medals and Reid Priddy captaining the men’s volleyball team and its just crazy what this area sees in the athletic realm.
I am not sure there is another 35.8 square-mile area in this world that can boast similar accomplishments.
That might be crazy talk, but I really can’t see too many other places (although Chandler might be close) that have seen that type of success that we have been seems to always be happening in Ahwatukee.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @jskodaAFN.