Bouncing around the ’Tukee - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

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Jason P. Skoda is the sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Contact him at (480) 898-7915 or

Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:34 am

It’s time to clear out the notebook with some quick thoughts and notes.

After all, it is the first week of the July and there is a pool somewhere that needs to be cannonballed.

So let’s take a look at some storylines involving Ahwatukee athletes and teams. ...

Former Mountain Pointe basketball player Jahii Carson, who transferred to Mesa for his junior year after two years of playing varsity for the Pride, went undrafted in this week’s NBA draft.

The Arizona State redshirt sophomore has reportedly signed with the Houston Rockets summer league team.

Apparently, his height (5-foot-11 in shoes) and his reputation as a scoring point guard were the knocks against him. It won’t stop him from playing professionally somewhere. He will probably light up the NBA summer league.

It will be an interesting follow to see how his career progresses from here. …

Mountain Pointe graduate and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Will Claye captured his first outdoor triple-jump title Friday at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

Claye, 23, blasted to a lifetime-best 58 feet and 3 inches (17.75 meters) on his last jump to move to No. 7 on the all-time U.S. list. Claye never trailed in the competition, spanning 57-10.5 on his third attempt, then adding a centimeter in round five before his big final leap.

The man who beat him in London, Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.), jumped 57-0 in round three to take second.

Claye was in the second flight for the long jump, an event in which he won the bronze in London, on Sunday in Sacramento, but he ended up not competing. …

After spending one season as a graduate assistant in 2013 with the Hawaii football coaching staff, Desert Vista product Luke Matthews was promoted to full-time wide receivers coach for the 2014 season.

A four-year starter at the University of Utah, Matthews made an immediate impact as the de-facto receivers coach in 2013 and helped the unit show statistical improvement in several categories when compared with 2012, head coach Norm Chow’s first year at UH.

The group caught 31 touchdown passes in 2013, compared with 12 the previous year. In addition, the receivers made 43 receptions of 25 or more yards, compared with 15 in 2012. Matthews helped tutor receiver Chris Gant, who earned an invitation to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and finished the year with team highs of 59 receptions for 973 yards and nine touchdowns. …

Matthews’ father, John, is back in the wrestling room as he headed to Mexico City to help coach the Greco-Roman senior national team for the Pan-Am Championships July 15-17. Matthews added he should have more time to get back into the Thunder wrestling room after taking a step back last year. …

Mountain Pointe football will be opening the year in the Sollenberger Classic in Las Vegas again.

The game will be played Aug. 23 at Bishop Gorman’s Fertitta Field, but the opponent won’t be the Gaels this time around. Gorman will host Brophy the day before.

The Pride will open the year against Nevada’s big-school runner-up Reed, which is located in Sparks in the northern part of the state and is led by Ernie Howren.

Howren, who took over Reed in 2001, inherited a program that went 1-8 the year prior to his promotion. After a 1-8 campaign in his first season, it’s been a steady rise ever since.

Reed has a 110-33 record since 2004 with regional titles in 2004, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

It was a very senior-heavy team last year (as was Mountain Pointe) as the quarterback, two 1,000-yard rushers and a 1,000-yard receiver were seniors last season along with the top four tacklers and leading sack guy. …

Finally, I am here to admit that I watched a full-length soccer match when the USA played Germany.

I said before the World Cup I’d never watch a match, and yet I found myself feeling like I was missing out on something, so I tuned in on Thursday.

I blame Facebook and Twitter.

Just about everyone was on social media posting about it. So I flipped it on and surprisingly never turned it off. I didn’t particularly enjoy it, but I didn’t choose a “Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives” rerun over it, either.

Felt like I did my American duty to support the team, but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t an extremely bored American.

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

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