Mesa Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Lionel Goar

Goar served in the Mesa school district from 1979 through 1993 spending his first year as athletic director at Mesa High. From 1980 through 1993 he became district athletic director and under his leadership Mesa schools captured 36 state titles, including 11 in the 1987-88 school year. He also was named athletic director of the year for the AIAAA 5A conference in 1992. He was inducted into the AIAAA 5A Hall of Fame in 1996.

Todd Heap (1998)
Mountain View

Heap played football at Mountain View for three seasons and helped the Toros to two state titles in 1996 and 1997. He was all-state in 1996 and 1997 and named Arizona 5A player of the Year in 1997. Went on to three-year career at Arizona State University and was a first-team all-Pac-10 selection twice,. Heap left ASU as its all-time leader in catches by a tight end. Heap went on to the NFL in 2001 where he was a first-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens. He has been to the Pro Bowl twice in his career (2002 and 2003) and is the Ravens all-time leading receiver. He is in his eighth year in the NFL.

Jenny Kipp-Gabbel (1998)
Red Mountain

Kipp played basketball and softball at Red Mountain and was a standout in softball three seasons at the school. Kipp was named East Valley player of the year in 1998 her senior year. Went on to play collegiately for four years at Oklahoma State where she was named first-team All-Big 12 in 2001. She was first-team all-academic four years in the Big 12 and named female student athlete of the year her final year of college.

Aaron Muth (1988)

Muth played soccer and was an all-state player at Westwood and an all-state selection in 1988. He was also chosen Gatorade Player of the Year that season. He went on to play collegiately at UCLA and Grand Canyon College. He was chosen first-team All Far West Region for 1992-93 and set Grand Canyon's single-season scoring record in 1993. Played professionally in both indoor and outdoor soccer leagues -- Arizona Sahuaros (outdoor) and Arizona Thunder and Arizona Sandsharks (indoor).

Vance Wilson (1991)
Red Mountain

Wilson played three sports at Red Mountain and was an all-conference catcher his senior year. Wilson went on to attend Mesa Community College. He graduated from MCC in 1994 after being named a NJCAA All-American in baseball. He was signed in 1994 by the New York Mets and was a four-time minor league all-star before reaching the major leagues for good in 2001. Wilson played for two World Series teams -- the 2000 Mets and 2006 Detroit Tigers.

Sarah Tolar (1998)

Tolar won six individual state titles in her swimming career at Dobson. She was a member of the University of Arizona swim team from 1998-2002. While competing for Arizona, she was a 26-time All-American. In 2001 and 2002 Tolar was the NCAA Champion in the 200 freestyle and was a member of three national championship relays in 1999, 2000 and 2002. Tolar competed at the 1996 Olympic Trials and was a finalist and first-alternate for the Olympic team at the 2000 Olympic Trials. In 2007 Tolar was inducted into the University of Arizona Athletics Hall of Fame.

Kyle Sawyer
Westwood, Dobson, Mountain View

Sawyer coached cross country in the Mesa district for 26 ½ years and retired following the 2007-2008 season. He coached eight boys cross country state championship teams -- six at Westwood and one each at Dobson and Mountain View. While coaching at Mesa schools his cross country teams never finished less than fifth as a team at state meets. He coached three individual state champions and piloted 21 teams to region titles.

Jack Arnold (1976)

Arnold was state champion in two events in his senior year 1975-76 at Westwood High School with outstanding times that still rank high today. He won the mile and two-mile run. He was a state-record holder in the mile and a school-record holder in the half-mile, mile, two-mile and sprint medley. Still holds the school record in the mile. Also held the state indoor mile run record from 1976 through 2005.


Owen D. Skousen (1950)
Mesa High

Skousen was a three-sport athlete football, basketball and baseball and played for state championship teams at Mesa High in 1949 (football and basketball). He attended BYU on a basketball scholarship. The scholarship was switched to football, and he found time to play football and baseball. He was drafted and served in the Army in 1953-55 interrupting his athletic career. Played football at BYU in 1950-1952 and 1955. Led BYU’s conference in receiving in 1951-52 and 1955. Pitched at BYU in 1952, 1955-57 His senior year at BYU he was named regional All-American at BYU. He was signed by the Boston Red Sox and played two years in their organization.



This Warrior team under long-time head coach Jerry Loper, posted a 13-1 record and knocked off arch-rvial Mountain View 28-7 in the 5A state title game before at that time the largest crowd in state championship game history at Sun Devil Stadium. Westwood won its last 11 games of the season. Quarterback Ruben Sanchez scored a pair of touchdowns and halfback Chris Gump and fullback Zane Dickey tallied once each. A huge third period, which saw Westwood score 21 points and rush for 151 yards, was the difference. The title was the second in school history.



Mesa capped its championship season, played in the winter sports season, by winning 20 consecutive games en route to a 20-2 campaign and its first softball state championship. Pitcher Carrie Steverson pitched a three-hit shutout and drove in the only run of the title game as Mesa edged Moon Valley, 1-0, for the crown at Mesa’s Riverview Park. Clutch play in the playoffs from Steverson, Tracy Tousley, Staci Pietz and Lisa Wilkins were critical in the Jackrabbits notching three tough postseason triumphs. Mesa was coached by Jim ‘Salty’ Richardson that season.



Putting together 19 consecutive wins Mesa High captured its first boys basketball title since 1951 when it rallied in the fourth period to defeat Sahuaro, 78-76, at the ASU Activity Center. Center David Van Dyke scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the way in the victory over Sahuaro. Mike Ellsworth added 17 points, including the game winning basket in the final seconds. It was the final game of coach Paul Newendyke’s  tenure. Mesa posted a 26-3 record for the season.



Mountain View  led by guards Missy Eskew and Heidi James, rolled through the state playoffs and knocked off Marcos de Niza, 57-44,  for the its first state title and the school’s first-ever basketball title. Mountain View posted a 26-3 mark in capturing the title. Eskew came up big in the title game scoring 28 points and James added 13. The title was won during the spring sports season as Arizona was one of few states to play girls basketball in that season rather than traditional winter play. It was the first of two girls crowns coach Greg Sessions oversaw at Mountain View.



Mesa used three individual victories by sprinter Orlando McKay in cruising to the state title at Tucson High School. McKay won the 100-, 200- and 400-meters with his 400 title the third in three seasons. Mesa totaled 69 points to 48 for runner-up Mountain View. It was the swan song for coach David Hines, who left Mesa after the season to join the new staff as a coach at Red Mountain High.



With sprinter Tracie Bonner helping Westwood to 40 points by herself, the Warriors easily outdistanced Shadow Mountain High for the state title finishing with 61 points to 35 for the runner-up Matadors. Bonner won the 100 meters, 200 and ran legs of the 400 and 1,600 relays. Hurdler Shaney Starks won the 300 low hurdles and standout athlete Amy Tjaarda added points in the weights. Westwood coach Jim Jones left after the season to become head football coach at newly opened Red Mountain High.