Cord claims Boys Athlete of the Year vote

Sunrise Mountain quarterback Chase Cord (10) runs for a 15-yard touchdown against Liberty on a quarterback keeper during the first half of their football game on Friday Sept. 9, 2016. (Ralph Freso for West Valley Preps)

West Valley Preps

On his way to Boise State, Chase Cord can add one more accolade to his Sunrise Mountain career.

Voters chose the recent graduate of the Peoria school and the Arizona all-time leader in touchdown passes with 137. More than 2,100 votes were cast since June 13.

The Mustangs’ star quarterback burst out to an early lead and never looked back, winning with 895 votes. Ironically, the award came after a less prolific season than his junior year.

Recovering from a torn ACL in December 2015, Cord sat out one game entirely and left early in two blowout wins. He finished with 2,721 passing yards and 28 touchdowns but ran far less than the previous two seasons.

Northwest Christian’s Tyler Worrell (20) slides into second with a stolen base as Sahuarita shortstop Rigo Leon fields the throw during the second inning of their 3A state baseball semifinal. (Ralph Freso for West Valley Preps)

Northwest Christian graduate and two-sport star Tyler Worrell finished second with 519 votes. Worrell started at quarterback in the fall, leading the Crusaders to the 3A semifinals, throwing for 2,086 yards and 29 touchdowns. He signed to play football at Mesa Community College in 2017.

But in high school, Worrell was best known as the top player on the young Northwest Christian baseball team that matured into a state champion by May. The third baseman hit .406 with 31 RBI and an OPS of 1.169.

Kellis graduate and West Valley Preps baseball player of the year Adrian Salazar finished third with 210 votes. Salazar pitched the Cougars to their first state title in 5A, starting four of the five Kellis playoff wins.

Salazar went 11-2 on the mound with a 1.83 ERA, and led the Cougars with a .477 batting average and added 20 RBI. He signed to play with the new baseball program at Ottawa University in Surprise.

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