MP community embracing 2 Olympic athletes in 1 year - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

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MP community embracing 2 Olympic athletes in 1 year

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Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:49 am

Ian Moses is unsure of the odds or if it has even happened before, but it matters not.

All he, and the rest of the Mountain Pointe community, cares about is the fact that the large Arizona high school, located in the so-called world’s largest cul-de-sac, has a connection to the world’s largest sporting event.

Former Mountain Pointe student athletes Reid Priddy and Will Claye are participating in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“Reid has been in it before and it was great to watch him win gold,” said Moses, the school’s athletic director. “It was, but it is a little different with Will being there as well. Can you imagine if they both came home with gold?

“It’s amazing to think two kids, both who were great students, from the same high school, our school, are in the same Olympic Games.”

Moses said there haven’t been concrete plans made yet for the community to watch their athletic standouts compete in London, but believes once the teachers return fully and if the Olympic television schedule allows it, they will make an even out of it.

“It’s a special time,” Moses said.

It’s a similar feeling boys volleyball coach Fred Mann had about an era on Knox Road that saw an incredible amount of top athletes come through the halls of Mountain Pointe.

“I am surprised we have two in the Olympics, but you know, in a way I’m not,” he said. “There was a time when we had a bunch of amazing athletes here. It was pretty special.”

Priddy graduated in 1996, Stanford and WNBA star Nicole Powell graduated in 2000 and 10-time All-American distance runner Sarah Gorton-Slattery graduated in 2000, while Chicago Cub Joe Mather got his diploma in 2001.

The late and 2012 Olympic marathon hopeful Sally Meyerhoff graduated in and Claye came a few years later in 2008.

That’s an awful impressive list of athletes, and there are few more who could have been listed, to come from one school in a short period of time.

“I am honored to have them associated with Mountain Pointe and it is a testament to what a special place this community can be and the coaches we have in Fred Mann and (Pride jump coach) Larry Todd,” Moses said. “When I am on vacation in northern Wisconsin and the talk turned toward the Olympics I can say I come from a school where we have Olympic athletes.”

The common thread between Priddy, who is in his third Olympics, and Claye, other than being elite in their respective sports, for Moses was a combination of two very important aspects of life.

“They were great students and had great parental support,” Moses said. “Reid’s parents (Ken and Sharon) did everything they could and Saffie (Claye’s mother) is one of my all-time favorites.”

Moses said while he knew Priddy and it was a prideful moment to see him win gold in the Beijing Olympics, Clay’s inclusion in the games hits closer to home.

“There was a time he wanted to transfer to Chandler, but his mother knew this was the best place for him,” Moses said. “He was being stubborn and there were times I had to go pick him up at his home and bring him to school.

“I still see him as a 17-year-old boy with dreadlocks, but that will change when I see him wearing red, white and blue with USA emblazoned across his chest.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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