NDP’s 2013 state championship baseball plaque is displayed next to the other two baseball plaques in a photo taken on Thursday, September 17th. Student photo/ Noah Thielen
Since its opening in 2002, NDP’s sports teams have undoubtedly played in some great games and they have even won some championships along the way. Keep in mind that my rankings of all these games are my very own opinion.
#5 2019-2020 5A Girls Soccer Semi-Finals
Last year the girl’s soccer team made a deep playoff run. They ultimately came up short of winning the title, but had a battle in the semifinals against Casteel. Casteel was the number one ranked team in the playoffs and NDP was ranked fifth. Casteel had defeated NDP earlier in the season 5-0, so NDP was definitely out for blood this time. The game was very intense as it was tied 0-0 for nearly 87.5 minutes. With two minutes to spare, Haley Kiley Ram managed to score and gave NDP the lead. Then a questionable call was made with less than thirty seconds that completely changed the flow of the game. Casteel was given a free-kick and tied the game. As time expired the game went into a shoot out. Sadly, Casteel made more shots in the shoot out and won the game. Sophomore soccer player Laine Thielen, who at the time was a freshman said, “ The game was taken from us in the final moments after an unfair, and false call, that ended up causing us the game” when asked about the questionable call. Casteel went on to become state champions and it is crazy to think that if this questionable call had not occurred NDP could be state champs.
#4 2018-2019 D-2 Hockey Championship
On February 9th, 2019 NDP pulled off a 2-1 win over Pinnacle in the Division II state championship. Former NDP player, Jonah Geiger, was named the game’s MVP scoring all two of the team’s goals. Goalie George Serbin as a freshman impressively only allowed one goal on twenty-six shots. This big win was NDP’s fifth hockey championship title.
#3 2017-2018 5A Football Quarter-Finals
NDP had a very talented football team in the 2017-2018 season. This team went undefeated in the regular season and was ranked fourth overall in the 5A conference. The quarter-final game against Queen Creek was very close and came down to the wire. NDP was up 28-21 with less than a minute left in the 4th quarter and it seemed like they were going to win right there. Somehow, Queen Creek was able to score on their last possession sending the game into overtime. Then in the last minute of overtime Kylan Weisser connected with Jake Smith on a 10-yard touchdown for the 34-31 win. Jake Smith scored three of NDP’s four touchdowns. NDP went all the way to the championship before losing 42-21 to Centennial.
#2 2007 4A D-2 Football Championship
In 2007, Coach Scot Bemis led NDP to their first football championship win in the 4A Division II championship. Number three ranked NDP defeated number one ranked Mingus 49-32 in a major upset. It only took NDP five years since its founding to win a championship. This game is important to NDP because it was a monumental piece of Coach Bemis’ legacy.
#1 2013 D-2 Baseball Championship
In 2013, the NDP baseball team won the Division II state championship. NDP defeated Sunnyslope 2-1 giving them their first and only title so far. Pitcher, Austin Schnabel, was Dominant for NDP. Schnabel pitched a complete game allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8 batters. NDP batters only got 6 hits which was just enough to help get the win. Batters Duncan Morfitt and Kobie Foppie both had 2 hits and accounted for both runs scored. Coach Brian Fischer said that a big part of that team’s success was the senior players, “ Those seniors were very talented, but more importantly, they were all great teammates.” The players had been working hard all season and definitely deserved the championship. Coach Fischer described how he felt after the championship win as, “A feeling like nothing you have ever felt before.”