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San Luis boys soccer honored with state sportsmanship award

SLHS team photoThe San Luis High School varsity boys soccer team was awarded as this year's recipient of the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) 6A Conference Sportsmanship Award. 

The award is handed out annually in each conference to the team that exhibits the highest level of sportsmanship, as voted on by game officials. The team was honored during halftime of the boys soccer state championship game between Desert Vista and Chandler on Feb. 24. 

“Anytime we can get recognized for the amazing things we do here at San Luis we are honored and proud,” SLHS Athletic Director David Barrios said. “Coach [Jesus] Rojas does an incredible job with his program of emphasizing hard work to achieve success on the field, but also hard work to build character to achieve success off the field and in the future. When someone notices this level of sportsmanship, whether it is an official, opposing team, spectator or family member, it reassures the type of culture we want our students to embody when they participate in SLHS athletics. In this case, we appreciate all the AIA officials that support athletics in the community and hope that we can continue to pursue victory with honor.”

In the past two regular seasons, the Sidewinders have finished with an undefeated record in power-point games. The 2022 season ended with a quarterfinal loss to Hamilton High School after defeating Westwood, 9-1, in the opening round of the state playoffs. The second-round exit followed up a championship game loss to Brophy Prep in 2021. 

Rojas, who was a SLHS varsity player for two seasons more than a decade ago, just completed his fifth year as the team’s head coach. He expects to return nearly 20 players from this season’s roster in 2022-23, including sophomore forward Jesus Ochoa and standout junior Erick Quirarte. 

The last Yuma Union High School District program to be recognized with a conference sportsmanship award was the Cibola High School girls basketball team at the conclusion of the 2020 season

Eric Patten