On Friday, February 26, Salt River High School (SRHS) held a Champions’ Assembly to recognize five groups of students who have worked hard to earn a championship title: the SRHS Student Council, the Robotics Club, the girls JV basketball team, the girls varsity basketball team and the wrestling team.
The assembly began with the posting of the colors by the school’s ROTC members and the national anthem, sung by SRHS teacher Lisa Schroeder. Principal Jon Gentile then spoke about what it means to be a champion.
“What’s it mean to be a champion? [Being a champion is] all the time, it’s a way of being. You can’t just turn it on and off. You can’t just show up for the game on Friday. You can’t just show up for [a] test on Thursday. It’s all the time; when you’re at school or at home, you keep that vision [of being a champion]. I admire people in my life … who always focus on that main goal. It’s not about making a decision right now, it’s about the end goal,” said Gentile. He continued by providing students with words of encouragement and urged them to surround themselves with good people.
The SRHS gymnasium grew loud as the students cheered on their champion peers in a parade on the basketball court. The song “We Are the Champions” by Queen accompanied the parade. Each group of students held a banner and walked proudly with their coaches and mentors.
The coach or leader for each group spoke, offering the following highlights:
The SRHS Student Council participated in the Arizona Association of Student Councils State Convention, held at Coconino High School in Flagstaff February 4-6. There they competed against 150-plus schools and more than 1,700 students from across the state of Arizona. SRHS placed first out of 13 schools to win the prestigious Council of Distinction Award, with more than 200 hours of service. Schroeder also won the 2015 Outstanding Advisor of the Year award.
The Robotics Club won a robot skills champion award for having 43 points, the highest score overall. SRHS is eighth out of 149 high school teams. SRHS is currently ranks in the top 250 school robotics teams in the world, out of more than 4,000 teams that participate. The SRES Robotics Club is under the direction of teacher Nathan Remington, Sr., school instructional aide Eric Barton, and curriculum and instruction specialist Gayl Howell.
“We worked very hard and we kept pushing each other. Hopefully the junior high and high school will win the state championship [this year],” said Remington. “We started off with 20 students, and these few stuck with it and pushed through. Now their work is paying off.”
The SRHS girls JV basketball team finished the season with 13 wins and two losses and also won the school’s first Canyon Athletic Association (CAA) Girls JV Basketball Championship. The girls beat Madison Highland Prep, 35-31, on Saturday, February 20; the MVP player was Tia Loring. The team is coached by Robert Ramirez.
The SRHS girls varsity basketball team finished the season with 22 wins and one loss and brought home their third CAA Girls Basketball Championship trophy. The Lady Eagles beat Imagine Prep–Coolidge 70-32 on Wednesday, February 24; the MVP was Justine Cooper. The team is coached by Dino Puccetti.
The SRHS wrestling team had a lot to boast about. Wrestlers who placed in the CAA Wrestling State Championships are (JV) Alex Enos, third place; Adrian Joaquin Sineta, third place; Demetrius Garcia, second place; Leah Kochampanasken, second place; (varsity) Andre Enos, fifth place; Lou Smith, state runner-up; the first-ever girls state champion in Arizona history, Luz Jimenez-Hill, second place; and Jason James, the first-ever heavyweight state champion for SRHS. The team is led by coach Na Humma and assistants Dave Curtis and Hosteen Smith.
“We had a great wrestling team with great coaches,” said Humma. “We have a lot of sixth-graders who also came out and a lot of hope for the future.”
After the parade and recognitions, students enjoyed a wrestling “rumble” and a basketball game between the SRHS boys and girls varsity teams. The assembly ended with a slideshow of all the groups who are considered SRHS champions.
For more information, contact SRHS at (480) 362-2000.
With additional material by Richie Corrales, Au-Authm Action News