It’s almost been 25 years since Desert Mountain High School opened and the athletics department wanted to do something special.
This led Desert Mountain Athletic Director Stephan Cervantez and the school to create an athletics hall of fame, inducting its first class during halftime of a Jan. 10 home basketball game. Desert Mountain officially opened in the summer of 1995.
The inaugural class included former multi-sport athlete Chad Christensen, former swimmer Angela Duckworth, former volleyball player Tara Mueller, former multi-sport athlete Tyeler Davison, former baseball player David Greer, former tennis and badminton player Emily Harris and former athletic director Steve Harris. The 2005 girls swim team also was inducted.
Mr. Cervantez said honoring these former student-athletes brings a “tremendous amount of pride” to the school.
“We appreciate these former athletes and athletic director because they represented what the Desert Mountain Community stands for, which is sportsmanship, respect and character,” he said.
Ms. Harris, an assistant athletic director for business operations at Arizona Christian University, found the night to be special not only because of the student-athletes she entered into the hall of fame with, but because she got to do it with her father Mr. Harris.
She also said she was honored to enter in as part of the inaugural class of a school that helped shape her and surround her with a supportive community.
“They served as a model for me of how to be supportive of others and I am still friends with many of them to this day,” she said via email. “It makes me realize that while I was blessed with what I was able to accomplish athletically, I am even more blessed by the relationships I was able to build.”
•Mr. Christensen, who graduated in 2001, started as quarterback for the varsity football team for three years. He earned numerous recognitions for his on-field performances, especially during his junior and senior years.
He also shined as a four-year starter on the basketball team, earning three All-Region nods and a team MVP as a senior. He earned his eighth varsity letter as a track athlete his senior year.
Along with being multi-year captains in basketball and football, Mr. Christensen was also student body president as a senior, homecoming king and Senior Male Athlete of the Year.
He later went on to play football at Arizona State University where he played a variety of positions. He was a four-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree and earned degrees in marketing and finance.
•Ms. Duckworth, class of 2008, was a four-year varsity swimmer who earned 11 state titles. She was a four-time winner in the 500-meter freestyle, three-time winner in the 400-meter relays and a two-time winner in the 200-meter relays. Her team also won the state title twice.
Ms. Duckworth was a captain as a senior and earned the Senior Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Her time’s qualified her for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. She also won the 2007 Wendy’s National High School Heisman Award. This honor goes to one male and one female student-athlete nationwide.
She went on to swim at Stanford University and competed all four years.
•The 2005 girls swim team, which included Coach Chrissy Bodmer and Ms. Duckworth, won the 5A Division II team state title, outscoring the second-place team by 270 points.
The Wolves swept the state meet with a Desert Mountain swimmer winning all nine individual titles and both relay titles as well as DMHS swimmers earning All-American times in 10 of the 11 events.
•Ms. Mueller, class of 2007, was a four-year starter in volleyball, earning All-Region honors each year. As an outside hitter, she led the team to back-to-back state titles, including the first for DMHS. She also earned the Senior Female Athlete of the Year award.
She earned the Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior and earned a spot on the 2006 U.S. Junior National Team, where she played for a team that finished fourth in Thailand.
Ms. Mueller went on to play for the University of Nebraska, where she earned All-Conference and All-American honors. She also was named Outstanding Player at the NCAA Regional tournament in Seattle and played in a NCAA Final.
She played professionally in Switzerland, France and Puerto Rico before coaching at Front Range Volleyball Club in Colorado.
•Mr. Davison, class of 2010, started on the offensive and defensive lines in football, earning All-City and All-Region recognitions for both. He also earned a spot on the AZ FCA All-State top 24 team.
He was a three-year varsity wrestler, winning the 5A state championship as a heavyweight his senior year. His accomplishments in both sports led him to earn the Senior Male Athlete of the Year honor.
Fresno State was his next stop where he played football every game throughout his eligibility, starting his last three years en route to All-Conference honors three times.
The New Orleans Saints selected Mr. Davison in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft where he played for four years before heading to the Atlanta Falcons.
•Mr. Greer, class of 2013, was a three-year varsity letterer in baseball, playing mainly at third base but coming in as relief at the pitchers’ mound. He earned All-Region and All-State honors as a junior and senior.
He helped the Wolves to the 2013 5A state championship where he hit a walk-off single and earned winning-pitcher-in-relief. He was the Senior Male Athlete of the Year.
He went on to ASU to play five different positions during his three-year career. He recorded 127 games with a .321 batting average, 80 runs and 77 RBIs. He was a two-time All-Conference honoree and earned a spot on the Third Team Louisville Slugger All-American team as a senior.
The Seattle Mariners selected him in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft and he has played within the organization for the past three seasons.
•Ms. Harris, class of 2010, was the No. 1 singles and doubles participant in both tennis and badminton during her 10 years at Desert Mountain. She set records in both sports for most wins in a career and was the team MVP each year in both sports.
She won the 5A Division II State singles title in tennis and also helped the team to a team title. In badminton, she won back-to-back 5A state singles titles and went 65-0 in her final two seasons.
She was the first athlete at Desert Mountain to win singles titles in two different sports. She also earned the Senior Female Athlete of the Year.
She went on to play tennis at Azusa Pacific University where she has five records, including most combined wins in singles and doubles at the No. 1 position. She earned All-Conference honors each year and two NAIA All-American honors as well as CoSIDA Academic All-American once.
•Mr. Harris was the first athletic director at Desert Mountain, serving from 1995-2013. He helped the school hire coaches, order equipment and readied facilities for the opening of the school.
As athletic director, Mr. Harris saw 16 state championships. He later earned the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Overall Athletic Excellence Award in 2006.
He earned Region AD of the Year five times and the AIA’s Pursuing Victory with Honor Administrator of the Year award in 2012. After his retirement, he won the Arizona Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association State Award of Merit.
Along with athletic director duties, Mr. Harris was also a physical education teacher, P.E. Department Chair, boys basketball coach, girls badminton coach and an assistant principal.