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A potentially influential rule change for Verde Valley high school sports teams was approved by the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s legislative council during its meeting in Phoenix on Friday, March 3.

Winning by a wide margin, 39-5, the measure grants high school coaches to have organized practices with their respective teams year-round. Before, they only could during their particular season or during summer, from the last day of school until the first day of August. The change goes into effect July 1.

They say that to be the best, one must compete against the best.

A group of young, local martial artists competed amongst amateurs and top professionals alike at the 30th anniversary Compete World Martial Arts Championships, held from Friday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 26 in Ontario, Calif.

The Mingus Union High School boys tennis team has removed any pressure it might have felt for the 2017 season by matching its win total from 2016, winning its season opener against Moon Valley High School, 6-3, on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Senior Alex Flannery, the Marauders’ No. 1 player, had a hand in two of the six team points by winning his singles matchup in overpowering fashion, 6-0, 6-0, and pairing with Caleb Wylie to win their doubles match, 8-3.

The Mingus Union High School softball team picked up its first home victory since the 2015 season in a 2-1 Grand Canyon Region win against Flagstaff High School on Friday, Feb. 24.

The Marauders [2-0, 1-0] took advantage of a couple of defensive misplays by the Eagles to score the game-winning run in the fourth inning.

A leadoff solo home run by junior third baseman Tyler Kelly gave the Mingus Union High School baseball a smashing start to its 2017 season, but the Marauders ultimately fell 8-5 to visiting Combs High School on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Six errors, including two in the decisive fifth inning, proved costly for the Marauders [1-1] during a game in which there were a number of big plays.

After an Arizona Interscholastic Association Division IV championship game appearance in 2016, the Camp Verde High School softball team is off to a strong start in 2017, winning its season opener 15-2 in five innings against Mayer High School on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The Cowboys [2-0] took down Wickenburg High School the following day 17-2.

A 15-0 mercy-rule win for the Camp Verde High School baseball team over Mayer High School in its first game of the season would be indicative of a team that is already performing to its standards.

But in reality, Cowboys head coach Will Davis was satisfied with only one of three facets of the team’s showing, its defense that committed zero errors and allowed zero runs. Extremely windy conditions affected play as well.

With an experienced, senior-laden squad for the 2017 season, success is the only option for the Camp Verde High School baseball team.

The Cowboys have 10 seniors, seven of whom have played on the varsity team since they were freshmen, and two sophomores on the team.

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