Empire roundup: Soccer phenom Luis Arriaga, 14, leaves Santa Rosa

Luis Arriaga, 14. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)

Luis Arriaga, 14. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)



Luis Arriaga, 14, of Santa Rosa, has taken his soccer skills to Arizona. Arriaga, who just finished eighth grade at Slater Middle School, has signed on to go to school and train through the Major League Soccer Real Salt Lake youth academy in Casa Grande, Ariz.

Arriaga, who played club soccer with Santa Rosa United and in recent months has garnered interest from programs affiliated with the L.A. Galaxy, Chivas USA and a Mexican professional team, will train daily within the Real Salt Lake system and attend school in Casa Grande. He is also on the U15 U.S. National team.

“All signs point to him being a core member of the team, a starter and a contributor,” said Kelcey Chaidez, who coached Arriaga at United. “He has scored goals with the national team already.”

Ziemer reps US for U18s

Montgomery High School senior Taylor Ziemer, a Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year and recently named TopDrawerSoccer.com Fall All-America girls soccer team player, is in Mexico competing for the U18 U.S. Women’s National team.

The team traveled to Mexico City Aug. 8 and will hold a training camp and play in two matches during their eight-day stay. The trip includes two matches against Mexico’s U20 Women’s National team.

Scott in net for Nordic Cup

Petaluma High sophomore Brady Scott traveled to Sweden with the U18 U.S. National soccer team for the Nordic Cup July 30-Aug. 10.

Scott, one of two goalkeepers taken on the trip, plays club soccer for DeAnza Force Academy in Santa Clara. He does not play for the Trojans.

Scott started in the Aug. 5 match against Iceland but the U.S. lost 2-0 on two own goals. Scott did not play in the 2-0 win against Faroe Islands, the 2-1 loss to Sweden or the 2-1 win over Finland.

The U.S. squad finished fifth in the tournament.

San Francisco great honors Junior Giants

Five North Bay baseball players were honored with the Junior Giants Willie Mac Award at Junior Giants Day at AT&T park Thursday.

Louwegie Arriaga of Santa Rosa, Ukiah Marie Williamson of Clear Lake, Augustin Ortega of Kelseyville, Cameron Golden of Ukiah and Dawn Dunakin of Willits,were all selected by their teammates and coaching staff for best exemplifying the Junior Giants’ Four Bases of Character Development: Confidence, Integrity, Leadership and Teamwork. They are among 85 youth players being given awards.

The awards were given at home plate by Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, in whose honor they were named.

More than 4,000 Junior Giants players were expected to attend the game between the Giants and the Houston Astros.

The Junior Giants is a free, non-competitive co-ed baseball league for at-risk kids ages 5-13.

Man celebrates 85th with Water to Wine

Ralph D’Avolio turns 85 today but celebrated Sunday by completing the Water to Wine half marathon near Windsor.

D’Avolio, a former Marine who completed the race with 20 family members by his side, set the goal last year, said his eldest daughter, Maria D’Avolio of Los Gatos.

“He’s been a runner his whole life,” she said, noting that he has dialed back his marathon and half marathon participation since his late 50s.

He ran with a shirt that read “This is what a Marine does on his 85th,” and his family wore the slogans “I run to keep up with the Marine.”

“Oh my gosh, he was so happy,” Maria D’Avolio said of her dad’s crossing the finish line with race organizers holding a special tape for him. “They did a lot of fanfare for him.”

You can reach Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield.