Arthur Gibson has made the transition to outside hitter this year. “He’s so talented that we can play him at just about any position,” said Sahuaro coach Sandy Novak.

A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star

Sahuaro’s Arthur Gibson will be hard to replace.

The 6-foot-5-inch outside hitter and middle blocker helped the Cougars win 77 games in three years as a starter, including 28 this spring.

Opponents would set up based on where Gibson was on the court and create opportunities for his teammates, according to Sahuaro coach Sandy Novak who said she will miss his competitiveness, attitude and ability to play any position.

The team captain spent the last two seasons as a difference-maker, on and off the floor. Gibson, who is hoping to walk on to the NAU basketball team, averaged more than 10 kills and seven blocks a match and registered more than 30 kills in the season. His all-around versatility is why he is Player of the Year.

Cienega had the best team in Southern Arizona and earned the No. 2 seed for the state playoffs. Senior captain and outside hitter Alex Martinez and middle blocker Louis Murphy, also a senior, both played big roles in the team’s success and were considered for the honor.

Meanwhile, Catalina’s Cole Kowalski was also a strong candidate as was Catalina Foothills senior Andrew Adair. But Gibson’s presence on the floor this spring was hard to top.

Contact high school sports coordinator Daniel Gaona at or 807-7761. On Twitter @DanielGaona13