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Although a seven-on-seven football loss Thursday, June 25, reminded Camp Verde High School head coach Steve Darby of his program’s youth, winning a Big Man challenge over Flagstaff High School continued to bolster his confidence in it.

Camp Verde High School hosted a seven-on-seven football camp this summer: a two-hand touch football game with seven players on each team. Cowboy senior Kyle Little catches a pass and makes significant yardage.
“This is the best year I’ve had as far as [summer] success,” he said after wrapping up competitive seven-on-sevens with what he considered his junior varsity, which went 1-2 at Payson High School. “That’s OK.  We knew we were going to get beat, so we took a lot of our young guys and started them on varsity. We were trying to correct mistakes, so it was good for them.

“Some of these teams perform incredibly in seven-on-sevens. Then you get them in pads and they’re terrible. Our athletic ability’s a little better than the last two years.”

That has been revealed the most in June through the skill and speed of assistant coach Fernando Diaz’s linemen.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, July 1, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Javier Perez, Camp Verde High School’s prolific shooting guard, prepared for his senior season by scoring more than 20 points in three games June 12 and 13 as the Cowboys have won six basketball games in Flagstaff, San Diego and Sedona.

Javier Perez, an incoming senior guard for Camp Verde High School, is a big reason why the Cowboys are undefeated through Tuesday, June 23, in their summer games against Sedona Red Rock High School. Perez has scored more than 20 points in three of the six summer wins for the Cowboys.
“Jarvis, he’s like LeBron,” head coach Dan Wall said. “He’ll score 40 and the team will score 46. He does a lot on the court; we run our offense through him.”

Depending on the results of the Cowboys’ final two basketball games Tuesday, June 23, at Sedona Red Rock High School, CVHS has a chance to go .500 and win half of its 16 summer games.

“Right now, the goal is not winning or losing games,” Wall said. “The goal is to be ready to win those games in December and January.”

If their two games with SRRHS or the first game of their round-robin tournament at Point Loma Nazarene University are any indication, the Cowboys are ready to win the games when they count.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, June 24, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Close, but no win — yet.

Camp Verde High School has been hosting Big Man and seven-on-seven football games for the past two weeks. Seven-on-seven games such as this one June 17 against Chino Valley High School are two-hand touch, instead of tackle. The Cowboys would ultimately win that game but fall by a touchdown to Flagstaff High School.
Head coach Steve Darby and staff have finished runner-up with 20 Camp Verde High School football players the past two Wednesdays at home seven-on-seven and Big Man competitions.

In two weeks of games of skill and strength, the Cowboys have fallen short to Flagstaff by a touchdown and the Bradshaw Mountain High School varsity by a point, beating four other high schools at Sam Hammerstrom Field.

“We’re definitely ahead of where we were offensively and defensively the last two seasons,” Darby said. “I’m pretty disappointed in the lack of interest, but this core group is pretty solid and unique in the fact that they’re real coachable — they listen to what you say and put it into play.”

CVHS will also host Chino Valley, Coconino, Sedona Red Rock and Williams high schools in a final attempt Wednesday, June 24, to be the fastest and the strongest among high schools in north central Arizona. Games begin at 6 p.m.

Developing depth among players who will need to play both offense and defense, if not on special teams, has been the preoccupation for Darby this off-season.

“We’re working hard on developing backup roles for a lot of kids, if needed,” he said. “Bradshaw has a school four times our size and easily formed three teams with 125 kids — no one went both ways.

“I wish I had that problem. There’s just no way we could do that.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, June 24, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Although Danya Weir graduated from Camp Verde High School last month, she will represent the Cowboys one more time at the National High School Rodeo Finals in July after repeating her state title in breakaway roping Saturday, June 13.

Sharli Macdonald, who graduated from Camp Verde High School last month, gallops after a calf, practicing breakaway roping at the Weir Ranch. Owner Bob Weir, CVHS principal, operates the chute that turns the calves loose during roping practice two to three times a week. Weir’s daughter, Danya, successfully defended her breakaway state title Saturday, June 13, in Payson, and will advance to the national high school rodeo in July.
“We are so excited because she broke her femur and then still won,” said Weir’s mother, Daria, who accompanied her daughter, fellow outgoing senior Sharli Macdonald and incoming senior Laramie Mahan to the state finals in Payson. “We had her roping five, six calves at most before.”

Macdonald, who also ropes in team competition, finished sixth in the breakaway, while Mahan placed seventh in the state goat-tying competition.

For more photos and the full story, please see the Wednesday, June 17, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Bo Hickey, a 39-year-old Camp Verde resident, was the lone Verde Valley athlete May 9 to take two gold medals at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Phoenix.

Bo Hickey of Camp Verde recently won two gold medals in the Arizona Special Olympics. He had a 20-foot softball throw and ran the 50-meter dash in 10.65 seconds.
The 6-foot, 5-inch Hickey, who is currently diagnosed with mild cognitive delay, threw the softball nearly 20 feet and ran the 50-meter dash in 10.65 seconds to take first in those competitions in west Phoenix, just a short drive away from where Hickey graduated high school in 1994 after moving from Camp Verde.

“I did track and Special Olympics all through school, and then I got a regular job in Phoenix,” said Hickey, who competed in the pentathlon as a Camp Verde High School sophomore. “I dropped it after high school for a couple of years.”

For the next 15 years, Hickey worked odd jobs around Phoenix and Silver City, N.M., including at a golf course, a slaughterhouse, a supermarket and the base exchange at Luke Air Force Base, before returning to volunteer at Camp Verde United Christian School.

For more photos and the full story, please see the Wednesday, June 10, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Camp Verde wrestlers are building their summer development under the only female national wrestling coach.

Carolyn Wester, second from right, the head coach of the national wrestling camp in San Jose, Calif., Wrestling Prep, held a clinic for Camp Verde wrestlers last month at the Sterrett Wrestling Complex. Wester, who has trained over 300 high school national champions, showed Weekend Wars wrestlers new formations, based in physics and geometry, which will make them harder to take down.
Carolyn Wester, head coach of Wrestling Prep, awarded $1,200 worth of scholarships to four Camp Verde High School wrestlers May 2 at Weekend Wars.

Matt Mejia, state champion as a freshman heading into his final year at CVHS, will return to the San Jose, Calif., camp for the second straight summer, leading a group of four Cowboys who each received $300 in scholarship money from Wester, who helped develop CVHS four-time state champion Ryan Allred last summer with Mejia.

“Matt Mejia’s with me all summer,” Wester said. “He came out at Thanksgiving, came out at Christmas — he and Ryan Allred traveled all the way over to California to watch their friends at a state tournament. That’s irreplaceable.”

Incoming sophomore Daniel White and juniors Hulices Felix and James Abers also received scholarships from Wester to attend the camp, which begins the first week of July.

For the full story and Weekend Wars results, please see the Wednesday, June 3, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Juniors Joel Beauty and Vance Tewawina led Camp Verde High School to an upper-tier finish as a team in its first appearance at the Division III championships in five years.

Junior Vance Tewawina takes his second shot for Camp Verde High School in its first home match against Sedona Red Rock High School. Tewawina shot two 12-over-par rounds to lead the Cowboys at the Division III state championships Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, at Prescott. CVHS finished 13th overall.
Tewawina had Camp Verde High School’s highest individual finish, shooting an 84 and an 83 on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, to finish 32nd.

Beauty, after shooting an 89 on the first day, recovered on the north course of Antelope Hills Golf Course to shoot seven strokes higher and tie for 44th with a 171 overall.

“I really do well on that course,” said Beauty, who had projected to be the only CVHS player at State before the Cowboys got hot May 9 to finish 10th at the Metro Invitational. “Since the middle of my season, I’ve had the fifth seed. I managed to gain some ground by two strokes, create a lot of space and have just no pressure for like six rounds straight. The end of the year, it was just cleaning up after that.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 20, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Senior Viola Logston and junior Alyssa Watkins capped strong postseason performances for the Camp Verde High School track and field team May 13 with two top seven finishes at the Meet of Champions.

Junior Alyssa Watkins got the silver medal in the discus for Camp Verde High School at the Division III state championships May 9. Although she specializes in throwing the shot put, Watkins threw the discus nearly 114 feet for second place.
“I’m really proud of our throwers,” said first-year head coach Michael Prow. “They’ve really stepped up big in the last couple weeks. The team usually comes on strong at the end.”

Logston fought through a hamstring injury to throw the shot put 37 feet, good enough for third place at the Brophy Sports Campus, after finishing second at the Division III state championships to Sedona Red Rock High School sophomore Hannah Ringel.

“She just had no explosion,” Prow said. “Obviously, I’m really proud of her for her runner-up, but anybody who follows shot knows it’s all in the legs.

“She’s disappointed to finish second after having had the top throw all year long, but I’m still thinking she’s going to go to Northern Arizona University.”

While Watkins’ 111 feet was just over two feet short of her personal best in the discus that garnered her silver medal at State, it was good enough for eighth place.

“That made her feel even better about how the season went,” Prow said. “She was ranked fourth and had good throws at the end of the year.”

For the full story and more photos, please see the Wednesday, May 20, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

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