By Nolberto Waddell
Hayden, AZ – Hayden High School honored their student-athletes on Thurs., May 16, with a potluck banquet and awards presentation.
After the pledge of allegiance, led by Alexis Felix, and a welcome speech by Athletic Club President Danielle Paton, Athletic Director Lydia Martinez introduced all the senior athletes and also introduced past Hayden coaches present in the audience. The student-athletes could hardly wait for the speech to end. They had seen the variety of food awaiting them.
After the meal, the awards presentation began with the Spirit Line. Just like other sports, Spirit Line members have to get in shape for strenuous routines and have to keep their grades up. Spirit Line coach Maria Gonzales introduced her team and awarded her Outstanding Spirit Line trophy to Kiani Kame.
Football Assistant Coach R.J. Guzman was next, taking over for Head Coach Matt Waddell who had to stay home due to a family illness. After giving a summary of the season, he introduced the players and handed out the All-Section selections.
Getting honorable mention awards were Aaron Lagunas, Rodney Ortiz and Roman Padilla. Second-Team Defense awards were Manny Armenia and Francisco Moreno. Robert Sandoval earned a Second-Team Offense award.
Earning First-Team Defense and Offense awards was Erica Rivera. After announcing that Eric Rivera and Adrian Ochoa would represent Hayden in this summer’s Football Coaches All-Star Game, Guzman presented the most valuable player trophy to Eric Rivera.
After the awards, Martinez paid tribute to long time educator, coach and friend to many, Mr. Robert “Coach” Lorona, Sr. He had many accomplishments and it was announced that next year the Lobos would play at Lalo Serrano Stadium on the Robert Lorona field. The field will be dedicated in his honor during the first football game this coming season.
Boys Basketball coach Enrique Padilla stepped up next, introducing his very successful team. Padilla had two All-Section selections with Julian Gomez awarded a second team certificate and Adrian Ochoa receiving a Fast Team selection. After announcing that Adrian Ochoa would play in the Basketball Coaches All-Star Game, he presented the Most Valuable Player award to Adrian Ochoa.
Volleyball coach Marissa Gallego praised her team on the great season they had. She named Danielle Paton as the Most Valuable Player.
Girls Basketball coach Helene Martinez commented on the hard season her team had playing teams that were always much taller. Martinez presented her Most Valuable Player trophy to Devin Estrada.
Jeff Gregorich came to the podium next to introduce the of the wrestling team. After a few years of no wrestling at school, the program was resurrected with five young men stepping up to represent Hayden on the wrestling mats. Gregorich presented the Most Valuable Wrestler award to Francisco Morena.
Baseball awards were next and after a brief overview of the season, coach Salvador Gallego announced All-Tournament players Eric Rivera and Wyatt Forno. He then announced that the baseball Most Valuable Player trophy would be awarded to Roman Padilla.
After the awards, Martinez gave tribute to the success of Hayden baseball coach, educator and administrator, Mr. David O. Lacuyurs. She mentioned his State Tournament success, numerous outstanding coaching awards and his presence on the A.I. A. Executive Board and announced that the Hayden Baseball Field would be named David D. Lagunas Baseball Field.
The next presenter was softball coach Gene Westrope, who commented on the great season the softball team had and the remarkable defensive production of the Lady Lobos Softball Team. He introduced his team and handed out All-Section certificates to Melissa Marinez for Second Team honors and to Melissa Islava, Dean Estrada and to Marlisse Perez for First-Team honors.
Westrope explained that he had two MVP selections because of their play on the field. He and his assistants could not just pick one over the other. For her performance in the pitching circle, not wanting to come out of a game despite a painful injury, he presented the first M.V.P. trophy to Marlisse Perez. The second M.V.P. trophy went to Devan Estrada, a Lobos softball player that put up some astronomical offensive numbers for the season, led the team in just about every offensive statistic and other teams hate to see come up to bat.
Martinez then paid tribute to one of the most successful softball coaches in Arizona softball history, Ysideo “Chito” Guzman. He had eight state champions with several more teams bringing home running trophies. His coaching awards are equal to any coach in the state and the admiration his past players have for him is a great tribute. Henceforth, Lobos Softball Field will be known as Ysideo “Chito” Guzman Softball Field.
The banquet ended with the presentation of the newly created Principal’s Award, an award to honor a male and female student who showed the true spirit of being a Lobos Student-Athlete by working hard on the field, hard on the grades and being a mentor at school. Francisco Moreno and Melinda Martinez were the first recipients of the award.
Finally, the presentation of the Outstanding Senior Athlete trophies, and no better student-athletes could have been found then Roman Padilla and Melissa Islava.