Running for a TD

Tommy Carberry returns a kickoff all the way to the end zone for Florence’s third touchdown against Gilbert Christian on Oct.17 in Florence.

FLORENCE — Several Gophers were recognized for their outstanding achievements after a season that threw every obstacle their way.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association announced its awards and all-region recognitions for the 3A South on Monday, with coaches selecting the best of the region’s five teams.

There were four Florence players represented on the all-region first team, including quarterback Christopher Walter, receiver Tommy Carberry, kicker Ty O’Rourke and offensive lineman Jacob Sarraillon.

Walter finished his three-year varsity career off with easily his best performance, completing 55% of his passes for 1,446 yards in only seven games. He also threw for 14 touchdowns during his senior campaign. His favorite target was Carberry, a junior who caught 26 passes for a total of 319 yards and five touchdowns.

There were also six players named to the all-region second team, including Cayberry who was also recognized for his role as a kickoff returner. The others are defensive back Isaac Sandoval, defensive lineman Ryan King, linebacker Victor Aguirre, offensive lineman Michael Lewis and receiver Cade Stenson.

Among the honorable mentions were defensive back Adomi Barnett, defensive lineman Brian Jones, linebacker Kaleb Lewis, running back Josh McEvoy and defensive back Angel Rankin.

Tucson Pusch Ridge dominated the region awards, winning coach of the year (Kent Middleton), defensive player of the year (Tyler Mustain) and finally player of the year (Evan Lovett). Thatcher’s Mark Wren won the region’s offensive player of the year.