High-SchoolArizona: Soccer

Brophy Prep soccer ready to reign

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
10:31
AM ET
This story originally appeared in the Holiday issue of ESPNHS magazine’s Arizona edition.

The father of one of the players on the Brophy Prep soccer team carries a large wooden staff with him to each one of the team’s matches. THEMIS MOURIKES’ dad comes to every game with this ornamental staff, which is covered in cowbells, and he shakes it violently every time Brophy Prep scores.

The family is Greek, and Brophy soccer coach Marc Kelly says it’s “like Zeus’ devastating thunderbolt raining fire down on the tiny Greek city-states.” It’s so loud, Kelly says, that he almost dislikes scoring more than three goals a game.

But for this team, less than three goals is a rare occurance. Brophy Prep enters the season as the nation’s No. 2 team in the POWERADE FAB 50 Winter Rankings. The Broncos have one of the nation’s best players, the state’s best goaltender and a supporting cast that’s as good as you’ll find anywhere. And they’re the reigning 5A-I state champs after beating Hamilton last year, 1-0. The team is led by junior RIGGS LENNON, who’s rated the nation’s No. 10 player in the Class of 2013 by ESPNHS.

“He had moments where he literally ripped opponents apart on his own,” Kelly says. “At the same time, he’s raw. Should he continue to develop, there’s really nothing that can stop him from greatness.”

Brophy also boasts a stellar defensive unit that’s backstopped by senior NATE SUNDERMEIER, who had 17 shutouts last season.

“He had arguably the best year in Arizona high school soccer history,” Kelly says.

Seniors CHAD AHRENSDORF and TYLER McGEHEE anchor the defense, and junior DAVID LANE helps create opportunities up front for Lennon. The team will face a big test at an Orlando tournament in January against the top team in the country, Florida’s Montverde Academy.

No word yet on whether the fire-raining staff will make it through airport security.

Christopher Parish is an associate editor with ESPNHS magazine. You can reach him on Twitter @CParishESPNHS.

From the Mag: Arizona’s All-State soccer team

September, 27, 2011
9/27/11
4:43
PM ET
The Arizona All-State soccer team will be unveiled in our October issue of the magazine. But if you haven't seen it yet, here's who we picked as the top players in the state.

STARTING 11
Position/Name, School, Year, Club Team

[F] Colby Carr , Kofa, Senior, None
Helped lead Yuma school to 5A-I state semifinals last season
[F] Vladislav Kalinteev, Saguaro, Senior, Nomads SC
Tallied 16 goals and 11 assists for the Sabercats last winter
[F] Riggs Lennon, Brophy Prep, Junior, Sereno SC
Star striker was last year’s All-Arizona POY by The Arizona Republic
[MF] Mike Costello, Northwest Christian, Senior, None
Named The Arizona Republic Small School Player of the Year
[MF] Charlie Dukes, Gilbert, Senior, None
Led the Tigers to the 5A-I state semifinals last season
[MF] Keifer Dunham, Fountain Hills, Senior, Nomads SC
Multi-talented midfielder earned numerous accolades last year
[MF] Tejas Narkhede, Mountain Pointe, Senior, Sereno SC
Earned All-East Valley Tribune honors after stellar junior season
[MF] Cesar Sandoval, Desert Vista, Senior, Gilbert Arsenal
Named to All-City and All-Fiesta Region teams last year
[D] Tyler James, Catalina Foothills, Senior, None
All-Arizona defender led Foothills to the 4A-I state title
[D] Tyler Scrivner, Arcadia, Senior, None
Still managed eight goals despite playing from the back line
[GK] Nate Sundermeier, Brophy Prep, Senior, Nomads SC
Posted 16 shutouts for state champion Broncos last season

OTHER TOP PLAYERS
Position/Name, School, Year, Club Team

[F] Albon Gbapou, Palo Verde, Senior, Real Salt Lake Ac.
Native of South Africa has a lethal shot from distance
[F] Francisco Lopez, Glendale, Senior, None
Has nose for the net; he tallied 29 goals on 112 shots last season
[F] Cole Nagy, Vista Grande, Senior, Real Salt Lake Ac.
UCLA recruit taking year off from HS team to focus on club soccer
[F] Jeremy Steiner, Tolleson, Junior, Sereno SC
A dangerous scorer during club or high school season
[MF] Trey Cavanaugh, Blue Ridge, Senior, Mountain United
Scored 26 goals last season; enters senior season with 53 in career
[MF] Mason Robertson, Pinnacle, Senior, Sereno SC
Was offered a pro contract at age 15 by Reading FC of England
[MF] Adrian Rodriguez, Phoenix Central, Junior, Sereno SC
Star club player capable of playing any position on the field
[MF] Jorge Zavala, Yuma Catholic, Senior, Chivas USA Ac.
Posted 11 goals and added 19 assists for the Shamrocks last year
[D] Kelvin Fares, Mesa Mountain View, Senior, Nomads SC
Shut-down defenseman earned Arizona Republic Class 5A honors
[D] Bryce Terrill, Desert Mountain, Senior, Sereno SC
Back-line stalwart headed to Columbia next season
[GK] Kyle Jackson, Chaparral, Senior, Sereno SC
One of the most sure-handed keepers on the club circuit

Note: The Starting 11 is comprised of the best players in Arizona who are projected to suit up for their high school teams this year. The Other Top Players are comprised of high school players as well as club-only players.

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