Valley of the Sun National Football Foundation Chapter honored state's scholar-athletes

April 23, 2022 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

2021-22 Scholar-Athlete National Football Foundation Valley of the Sun Chapter Class. Jose Garcia/

The annual National Football Foundation Valley of the Sun Chapter Scholar-Athlete banquet returned with a bang. 

Scholar athletes from around the state were feted Saturday during a gala inside the grand showroom of Wild Horse Pass. The NFF's event was held virtually during the last two years due to the pandemic.

But the 41st edition of the NFF Valley of the Sun Scholar-Athlete banquet was a sold out experience that Arizona's brightest high school football players will certainly remember. More than 50 football players were recognized for their exploits in the classroom, including this school year's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Thomas DeChesaro of Saguaro High School.  

Saguaro's Thomas DeChesaro was named the 2021-22 Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the National Football Foundation Valley of the Sun Chapter. Jose Garcia/ 

Arizona Interscholastic Association executive director David Hines and Dan Manucci,'s analyst during its football broadcasts, were also honored. Hines and Manucci received the Distinguished Arizonan award along with longtime Arizona State senior associate athletic director Mark Brand. 

Ariozna Interscholastic Association executive director Davind Hines received the National Football Foundation's Distinguished Arizonan award. Jose Garcia/azpreps365.comLocal sports radio co-host, quarterback coach and football broadcast analyst also received the Distinguished Arizonan award. Jose Garcia/ year the NFF for the first time presented a scholar athlete with an award named after a well-respected assistant from the Arizona high school community, the late Chris Chick. Ryan King of Florence was the inaguaral recipient of the Chris Chick Memorial Scholar award. 

Florence's Ryan King received the Chris Chick Memorial Scholar award. Jose Garcia/azpreps365.  Award winners

Hustle Attitude Toughness Widmark family scholarship

Brandon Craddock, Sandra Day O’Connor

Shaw Courage Scholarships

Andrew Dalmacio, Poston Butte

Adonis Watt, Brophy

Native American Cultural Heritage

Mittias Benally, Seton Catholic

Frances Kush Dedicated Student Athlete

Ashton Hill, Deer Valley

NFF Valley of the Sun Chapter and Fiesta Bowl Charities Scholarship Honorees

Duke Frye, Notre Dame

Bryce Chen, Arizona College Prep

Austin Rush, Yuma Catholic

Jacob Bennett, Parker

Nason Coleman, Chandler

Miles Crutchley, Saguaro

Ryan Grossklaus, Red Mountain

Case Heap, St. Johns

Dawson Hubbard, Hamilton

Joshua Irish, Mesa

Luke Johnson, Northwest Christian

Ryan Meloche, Pinnacle

Joshua Minton, Brophy

Dylan Spencer, Trivium Prep

Nathaniel Sanchez, Marcos de Niza

2021-22 NFF Chapter College Scholar Athletes

Corey Stephen, ASU

Anthony Sweeney, NAU

Austin Bohn, Ottawa University

Coaches Scholar Athletes

Kemonte Wesson, Agua Fria

Jacob Ford-Ponce, Alhambra

YanCarlos Hernandez, Alhambra

Rogelio Miranda-Mora, Brophy

Luke Ulrich, Brophy

Jacob Steward, Cactus Shadows

Devin Dunn, Chandler

Franky Morales, Chandler

Ty Thomas, Deer Valley

Garrett Weissert, Desert Ridge

Michael Clymer, Dysart

Gavin Turley, Highland

Hunter Stewart, Highland

Ethan Morrison, Ironwood Ridge

Zachary Oakes, Ironwood Ridge

Collin Shannon, Liberty

Julius Rhodes, Marcos de Niza

Cy Schmaltz, Mesa

Etwood Williams, Mesa

Jeremiah Gossett, Peoria

Kolton Cunningham, Perry

Cooper Beecher, Red Mountain

Tyler Brown, Red Mountain

Skylar Edmonds, Red Mountain

Jayden Hurst, Red Mountain

Michael Kossler, Seton Catholic

Camden Brimhall, Snowflake

Nicholas Rodriguez, Verrado

Josiah Gardner, Willow Canyon

Xereque Parham, Willow Canyon

Memphis York, Youngker

Austin Priest, Yuma Catholic

Mario Martinez, Yuma Catholic

Devon Schmidt-Black, Yuma Catholic

2022 “Riddle” Chapter Leadership Award

Bradin Dockall, Banquet Program Chairman