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For their efforts during the 2017 season, a handful of Verde Valley baseball and softball players were recognized by the staff at the Arizona Republic.

Camp Verde High School baseball seniors Wyatt Howe, a Bethany College commit, and Ryan Cain were selected to its All-Conference 2A Honorable Mention list. From the Cowboys softball team, senior infielder Kayla Hackett and freshman pitcher Jacy Finley were picked for the same honor.

Mingus Union High School sophomore Maddie Bejarano was an All-Conference 4A Honorable Mention selection as well.

Hanging from a wall of Camp Verde High School’s Dr. Mark J. Westervelt Gymnasium are two wooden fixtures that, during the season, show the names of the varsity boys and girls basketball teams.

During the summer those names have since disappeared, symbolizing a clean slate that applies to both the Cowboys and Mingus Union High School’s boys basketball teams, which each lost a core of seniors from last season.

Of all of the swimming holes around the Verde Valley, it can be argued that Grasshopper Point in Oak Creek Canyon is the most complete package.

A bit of everything that someone would want in a quality summer’s day spent outdoors, but not suffering, can be found there: Cliff jumping, relaxation, sunlight, shade, sunbathing and easy accessibility. It even has bathrooms in the parking lot.

The best athletes in high school, college and beyond more often than not got their start at a young age.

Perhaps Camp Verde’s next standout hoopster was amongst the about 70 kids, ranging from second to eighth grade, who participated in the Camp Verde High School Boys and Girls Basketball Clinic from May 30, to Friday, June 2.

Camp Verde is home to one of the best, most accessible swimming holes in the Verde Valley: Bull Pen.

A short hike and a number of forks take adventurers to the spot. Visitors must beware of their navigation, as a wrong turn can lead to much more time spent hiking.

With the passing of the days, temperatures in the Verde Valley will continue to rise as spring turns to summer.

Perhaps they will not be as blisteringly high as the Phoenix area, but nonetheless the desire for a place to stay cool will remain the same.

Traveling on State Route 89A through Oak Creek Canyon provides nice scenery and even a lesser-known spot or two to grab a bite to eat.

But among the trees and winding pavement are some swimming holes that attract day-trippers and long-distance visitors alike.

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Cottonwood United States Mostly Cloud (night), 69 °F
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