The Walden Grove High School football team didn’t win their recent game in the playoffs and that means their season is over. They played against Phoenix Northwest Christian and lost 40-12. Even though they worked hard, this loss marked the end of their 2023 season.
One of the players, Carlos Montoya, who is in 11th grade, did well in the game. He ran for 78 yards and scored a touchdown while carrying the ball seven times.
Last year, the Red Wolves did really well and won the 4A Gila championship in 2022. Even though they had a good season this year with eight wins and only two losses, they didn’t make it to the playoffs last time. This year they made it but unfortunately lost in the first round, ending their season with a total of six wins and five losses.
Walden Grove moved to a different group called the 4A Kino after the teams were rearranged by the Arizona Interscholastic Association. The Kino group has tougher teams compared to the Gila region, where Walden Grove was before.
Carlos Montoya, who plays as a linebacker, did really well throughout the season. He made 115 tackles, which was the fourth highest in Arizona among 4A players.
Gabriel Smith, who is a senior and plays as a quarterback, threw for 2,109 yards this season. Jayvon Coleman, a junior wide receiver, caught passes for 843 yards. They both ranked fifth in the state in their respective categories among 4A players.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association selected many Walden Grove players for the 4A Kino All-Region team.
Players who made the First Team are: Gabriel Smith, Carlos Montoya, Pierce Elliott, Jayden Bitton, Skylar Allen, Salvador Nieves, Enzo Morales, and Jayvon Coleman.
Those who made it to the Second Team include: Eduard Lopez, Jose JD Chafin, and Sebastian Garcia-Ontiveros.
Several other players received Honorable Mentions for their good play during the season. These players are: Eduard Lopez, Robert Cash III, Jaxsen Philistine, AJ Gonzalez, Rodrigo Carrizosa, Steven Valdez, Gabriel Carranza, Skylar Allen, and Carlos Montoya.
Even though the season ended with a loss, many players from Walden Grove were recognized for their hard work and skills in the game.