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Despite allowing a first-quarter touchdown, the Marauders defense held strong Friday, Sept. 17, defeating visiting Bradshaw Mountain High School, 12-7.

junior carlos abrigo looks to find a seam against Bradshaw Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 17. The Marauders played good defense and had just enough offense to get a 12-7 victory.“We were concerned if it turned into a shoot-out we might be in trouble, but our defense stepped up and did a good job,” Mingus Union High School Head Coach Bob Young said.

Bradshaw Mountain, rated No. 4 in the state in the 4A-I conference, took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter but two field goals by Mingus kicker Andrew Hickey brought the Marauders within one going into halftime, 7-6.

“I’m not a field goal kind of’ guy but they helped us out in this game,” Young said laughing.

Hickey missed two others in the game but the 30-yard field goal in the first quarter to make it 7-3, and later 7-6, was better than getting no points at all according to Young.

The defensive struggle continued into the second half until newly anointed Mingus starting quarterback Ronald Morones found senior wide receiver Eric Quessada streaking down the middle of the field for a 48-yard touchdown pass.

The touchdown throw gave Mingus a slim 12-7 lead which stayed the same after extra-point specialist Bri Nevitt missed the try.

Knowing full well Bradshaw Mountain quarterback Tyler Audsley could strike at any time, Mingus held Bradshaw Mountain to 179 yards of total offense in the game, including a final stand with less than a minute to go to seal the game.

With senior quarterback Nick Alred lost for the season due to a serious leg injury, Morones did an admirable job completing 12 of 14 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown.

The inexperience showed during a few plays Friday night with a few players running one direction, and Morones running another, causing him to have five carries for negative-25 yards on the night and one sack.

Senior Eric Quesada, left, celebrates with teammate Logan Couch in the end zone Friday, Sept. 17, after Quesada caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter. The Mingus Union High School football team went on to defeat visiting Bradshaw Mountain High School, 12-7.“I thought Ronald [Morones] handled the game well. Nick [Alred] gave us that balance with the run and the pass and with Ronald being the new guy, Bradshaw Mountain could key in on a few players,” Young said.

Bradshaw Mountain did exactly that, doing an especially good job stopping the run by allowing Mingus to get only 78 yards of offense out of the run game.

Generally, the Marauders are in the 200-plus range with yards gained by the run but not against the Bears.

In the end, the Marauders earned the victory and improved to 3-0 [0-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall on the season.

With the win, Mingus is currently ranked No. 3 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Next up, the Marauders will hit the road Friday, Sept. 24, and face Apache Junction High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The next Mingus home game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 1, against Paradise Valley High School with a start time of 7 p.m.

Camp Verde High School Football Head Coach Luke Steege was ejected from the game after having words with a referee Friday, Sept. 17.The Camp Verde High School football team scored first Friday, Sept. 17, making it a 7-0 game but that was all fans had to cheer about as their beloved Cowboys took a beating at the hands of Arizona Lutheran Academy, 64-21.

If the loss to the Coyotes wasn’t bad enough Friday, longtime Head Coach Luke Steege getting tossed probably took the cake.

With eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter, calm words were exchanged between Steege and the head referee Friday night which wound up getting the tenured Cowboys coach escorted off the field by a Phoenix police officer.

“I told the referee I wasn’t leaving and that they better go get the athletic director and a cop if they expect me to leave,” Steege said.

Steege admitted to accusing the referee of being the brother of an Arizona Lutheran athletic director while on the sidelines, in a joking matter, which was the comment that got him ejected immediately.

Sophomore Kody Rayburn runs for a few yards in a game earlier this season. Rayburn and his Cowboy offense were shut down by the Arizona Lutheran Academy Coyotes on Friday, Sept. 17, 64-21.“I wasn’t cursing, swearing, going crazy, nothing. It was calm and I got ejected,” Steege said.

Steege and his coaching staff had already received a unsportsmanlike conduct flag earlier in the game after Steege argued a pass interference flag that was called on Camp Verde linebacker Chris Zellner.

“I told the referee you might as well just put it in the end zone,” Steege recalled.

The comment, of course, drew a flag, but in the end, Steege said none of this would have mattered.

“Arizona Lutheran was the better team. Despite the numerous flags against us, it wouldn’t have mattered; they still would have beat us,” Steege said.

Camp Verde had 10 late-hit penalties thrown against them Friday night, among others.

The Coyotes ran all over the Camp Verde defense, recording 409 yards and seven touchdowns, the most the Cowboys have given up in several years.

Arizona Lutheran quarterback Kerry English completed seven of 11 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Deshon Tripp, seen here running for a touchdown earlier this season against Sedona, wasn’t much of a factor against Arizona Lutheran Academy in a 64-21 loss Friday, Sept. 17.The Cowboys dropped their regular season record to 2-2 [0-0, 2A Central] overall on the season.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier with 2A Central region play beginning Friday, Sept. 24, when Camp Verde plays host to Northwest Christian Academy for homecoming.

Northwest Christian comes to Camp Verde with a 4-0 record and is ranked No. 1 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Monday, Sept. 20.

Steege will not be on the sidelines Friday against Northwest Christian as he will serve an automatic one-game suspension for his conduct. Assistant coach Steve Hicks is expected to be the play caller.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

In its third meet of the season Thursday, Sept. 9, the Mingus Union High School swim team took on some of the best competition it will see this year at the Cottonwood Community Pool.

For the girls, the Marauders took second overall with 89 points, far behind rival Flagstaff High School, who took first with 168 points.

Sedona Red Rock High School wound up in third with 51 points and Bradshaw Mountain High School wrapped up the top four with 16 points.

Devon Edwards finished fourth overall in the boys 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:17.10 time. The Mingus Union High School boys swim team took third overall Thursday, Sept. 9, with 73 points.The Mingus boys finished third overall Thursday with 73 total points scored. The Sedona Scorpions showed why they’re 3A conference defending state champions, taking first overall with 114 points.

Coming in second was Flagstaff with 105 points while Bradshaw Mountain was fourth with 32 points and Dysart High School wrapped up the top five with five points.

“We wanted to host this meet as a state-qualifying meet in an effort to give some of the northern Arizona teams an idea, or benchmark, of where they need to be come state time in November,” first-year Mingus Head Coach Erin Estes said.

Hosting an early state qualifying meet gives teams a chance to look at what they need to improve on, according to Estes, and Mingus is no different.

The Marauders managed only one first-place finish Thursday in Cottonwood with Farrah Etcheverry taking first overall in 1-meter diving with a 141.25 score.

“For only having one month of practice, the diving program is beginning to take off for us,” Estes said.

Mingus recorded six second-place finishes, however, including the girls 200-yard medley relay event where the Marauders took second overall with a 2:07.69 time. Kyla Furey, Aly Dorris, Katheryn Knowles and Lacy O’Connell were the four to swim the event.

The four also teamed up to take second overall in the 400-yard freestyle relay event with a 4:20.32 time.

“Our relay events are going to be top-notch this season. The girls were outstanding Thursday and we put this group together to see what they could do, and good things are happening,” Estes said.

Speaking of Furey, she took second overall in the 200-yard individual medley race with a 2:31.57 time and was second in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:11.25 time.

Danielle Castillio finished fourth overall Thursday, Sept. 9, in the 500-yard freestyle event with a 6:43.92 time.The individual medley race time for Furey earns her a provisional cut for state in November; she was the only Marauder to achieve this Thursday.

In the boys 50-yard freestyle event, Cody Heflin took first overall with a 25.73 time while Logan Kitchen took second in the 1-meter diving event with a 154.80 score.

Heflin was third in the 100-yard freestyle event as well with a 57.66 time.

Other standouts for the Marauders on Thursday include Jamie Adams who took third overall in the 50-yard freestyle event with a 30.34 time while Knowles took third in the 100-yard butterfly event with a 1:18.81 time.

Adams also finished third in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:20.99 time.

O’Connell took fourth in the girls 100-yard freestyle event with a 1:05.73 time and Adam Sandoval was third in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:16.08 time.

The Marauders are back in action Thursday, Sept. 16, when they travel to Desert Edge High School for a dual meet at the YMCA pool in Litchfield.

Mingus will return home Thursday, Sept. 23, when it is scheduled to face Youngker High School in a Skyline region dual meet. The Youngker meet is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Although a second round of penalty kicks was needed to get the job done the Camp Verde High School boys soccer team de-feated the visiting Northland Preparatory Academy on Thursday, Sept. 9, 3-2 [6-5 penalty kicks].

Jake McIlvoy makes his way downfield Thursday, Sept. 9, against Northland Preparatory Academy. The Camp Verde High School boys soccer team defeated the Spartans 3-2 [6-5 penalty kicks] after the teams needed two rounds of penalty kicks.“It felt like for a while there it was never going to end,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Dave Miller said laughing.

Generally, two teams going to penalty kicks need only five players to shoot, but Thursday’s match called for 10 players from each team to shoot.

In the end, Camp Verde’s Jose Perez scored a goal to make it 6-5 Cowboys in the penalty kick session, and Marco Lozanilla did his job between the posts to stop Northland Preparatory’s last-ditch effort to record the victory.

With the win, the Cowboys improve to 1-1 [1-1, 1A-3A West] overall on the season. The Cowboys lost in overtime to Thunderbird Adventist Academy in the season opener Sept. 8, 2-1.

Last year, the Arizona Interscholastic Association executive board voted to pass the notion that soccer games would no longer end in a tie, with the match being solved by penalty kicks until one team broke.

On Thursday, Northland Preparatory took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute after a diving Lozanilla couldn’t save it.
Lozanilla had 11 saves on the day, allowing only two goals on 20 shots by Northland Preparatory.

In the second half, senior Cody Gray found a crease in the 42nd minute to tie the score, 1-1. Gray wasn’t finished, however, and in the 43rd minute, he gave the Cowboys a 2-1 lead.

“I was surprised, we were down 1-0 after the first period but made some adjustments at halftime and then Cody [Gray] out of nowhere scored two quick goals,” Miller said.

After a few red cards by both teams and emotions running at an all-time high, the two teams settled back down again but it was Northland Preparatory who capitalized, scoring a goal to tie it 2-2 with just under three minute to go in the match.

Goalkeeper Marco Lozanilla allows one of two goals the Spartans scored Thursday, Sept. 9. Lozanilla recorded 11 saves on the day.Neither team could figure each other out in the two 10-minute overtime periods, leaving it tied 2-2.
Camp Verde took 19 shots on goal Thursday with only two finding the back of the net.

The 1-1 record against the 1A-3A West region this season isn’t anything to worry about this early Miller said, with everyone beating up on each other.

“This team beats that team, then this team beats that team, and it goes on and on. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the end,” Miller said.

Teams in the 1A-3A West include Camp Verde, Northland Preparatory, Chino Valley High School, Grand Canyon High School, Verde Valley School, Thunderbird Adventist and Phoenix Country Day School.

The Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, Sept. 14, when they traveled to Phoenix Country Day. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up for Camp Verde, the Cowboys will play in the Chino Cup Invitational, which is set to begin Friday, Sept. 17, and go through Saturday, Sept. 18.

Camp Verde will then return home Tuesday, Sept. 21, to face bitter rival Chino Valley with an official start time of 6 p.m.

The Camp Verde High School football team made it look easy Friday, Sept. 10, destroying visiting rival Sedona Red Rock High School in the process, 50-14.

With only 14 players suited up to play on the Scorpions’ sideline, the Cowboys made quick work of Sedona, scoring on their first two possessions to make it 13-0 before anyone in the stands could get a hot dog and take their seats.

Junior Quarterback Jake Spleiss tries to run over a Scorpion defender and turn it upfield Friday, Sept. 10, in a 50-14 victory for the Camp Verde High School football team. With the win, Camp Verde is 2-1 [0-0, 2A Central] overall on the season.Longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Luke Steege wasn’t completely pleased, however, with Friday night’s effort.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. We need to improve a lot. After we scored two quick touchdowns some of the guys let up a bit and didn’t try hard so I ripped into them at halftime,” Steege said.

Steege sees the writing on the wall with a tough region schedule to come over the next two months that will make or break this year’s version of Cowboy football.

With the victory, the Cowboys improve to 2-1 [0-0, 2A Central] overall on the season and are now 2-0 at home in 2010.

Despite Steege’s worries and Camp Verde’s imperfections, the Cowboys still ran for over 400 yards on the ground.

Camp Verde was led by junior Kody Rayburn who had nine carries for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Rayburn also had one catch for 18 yards.

Senior Tanner Rezzonico had 11 carries for 102 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Cowboys run away with it in the second quarter.

Up 13-0 after one quarter of play, Camp Verde scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 31-6 lead at halftime.

The only score Sedona managed in the first half was a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Ryan Ramirez.

Camp Verde quarterback Jake Spleiss completed only two of seven passes for 35 yards with two interceptions. Spleiss ran 10 times for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Camp Verde scored three more touchdowns in the second half, while allowing only one for Sedona in the 50-14 final.

Junior Chris Zellner led the Cowboys on defense with 14 tackles while Joe Wilson and Gavin Collins each had 13. Paul Davis and Deshon Tripp each had 11.

Defensive tackle Andy Minner had only four tackles, but had two sacks against Sedona, a season-high for the junior.

The Cowboys had three interceptions as well on defense with Tripp, Tyler Ward and Matt Miller each getting one.

“Our offensive line is improving and our kids are learning and I guess right now, that’s all I can ask for. We are fast and physical up front on defense too, so we will continue to improve on everything we can,” Steege said.

Next up, the Cowboys will travel to Arizona Lutheran Academy on Friday, Sept. 17, with a kickoff time scheduled for 7 p.m.

There might not be an easy game left on the schedule for Camp Verde this season.

The 2A Central region is stacked this year with Valley Christian Academy, Northwest Christian Academy and Scottsdale Christian Academy all receiving votes for the top team in the state. Each is ranked in the top five in the 2A conference this season.

The grim reality of how tough the game of football is sank in quickly Friday, Sept, 10, despite all the glitz and glamour of a new turf field and a big Marauders victory over Payson High School.

Mingus Union High School Senior Quarterback Nick Alred, who suffered a severe injury to his leg during the second play of the third quarter Friday, Sept. 10, had season-ending surgery the morning of Saturday, Sept. 11, to repair a dislocated ankle, fractured fibula and two torn ligaments.Senior quarterback Nick Alred, who suffered a severe injury to his leg during the second play of the third quarter Friday, had season-ending surgery the morning of Saturday, Sept. 11, to repair a dislocated ankle, fractured fibula and two torn ligaments.

“He’s in a lot of pain right now. Anytime something happens like this you just hold your breath [hoping] it isn’t serious but this time, it was,” longtime Mingus Head Coach Bob Young said.

The Mingus Union High School football team had taken a 19-6 lead going into halftime but the shock of its senior leader getting hurt only a few minutes into the second half had an effect on the players’ concentration.
Mingus failed to score in the third quarter and led 19-12 going into the fourth but two touchdowns by the Marauders in the final period put the game away, 33-12.

With the victory, Mingus improves its record to 2-0 [0-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall on the season.

Taking the place of Alred in the second half of the Payson game, senior Ronald Morones worked on his handoff game most of the second half as he passed the ball only two times, going 0-2.

The Mingus ground game wasn’t half bad against the 3A conference powerhouse Longhorns, rushing 55 times for 312 yards and four touchdowns.

Senior Nick Alred runs for a touchdown against Payson High School in the Marauders home opener Friday, Sept. 10. Mingus won the game, 33-12, but lost Alred for the season after he was seriously injured on the second play of the second half. Alred dislocated his ankle, fractured his fibula and tore two main ligaments.Senior Juan Gonzalez led all Mingus running backs with 15 carries for 123 yards and one touchdown while Kevin Webb had 14 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown.

“We ran the ball real well. Juan [Gonzalez] ran off tackle most of the game and we were successful with it,” Young said.

Defensively for Mingus, the Marauders held the high-powered Payson offense to only 12 points while recording three sacks and two interceptions.

Gonzalez and Nate Westcott each had a sack while Carson Sandoval and Cruz Chavez each had an interception. Westcott also led the team in tackles with 10.

As for the quarterback situation, Young announced Morones would get the start this week when the Marauders play host to Bradshaw Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 17.

“Ronald [Morones] has been Alred’s back up for four years now. He’s going to have to step up and make plays. It’s his time,” Young said.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

With the 2010 season opener just around the corner for the Camp Verde High School boys soccer team, Head Coach Dave Miller believes his boys are going to be quite good this fall.

“I think we’ve got a good group of kids and should be solid this season,” Miller said at practice last week.

Jake McIlvoy works on his attack Aug. 27 at practice. McIlvoy is key to the Cowboys this season, according to Miller.When asked what he thought his chances were for a final four appearance, and perhaps even a state championship, Miller balked at the question immediately and smiled.

“I’ve had the talent before to make it that far, and we lost first round, and I’ve had a team I thought wasn’t as talented and we made it. Really, it all boils down to luck. I’d rather be lucky than good if you ask me,” Miller said in his stern approach that has earned the respect of his players for years now.

The biggest question surrounding the Cowboys this season is who will replace All-State goalkeeper Taylor Matthews between the posts in 2010.

Matthews graduated after a stellar 2009 season and will be difficult for Miller to replace.

According to the longtime head coach, however, there are a few options he thinks will work out just fine.
Junior returner Marco Lozanilla should see most of the time at goalkeeper this season for Camp Verde but waiting in the wings is freshman newcomer Chasyn Homea, who will be the backup, and has shown promise early in his career.

Top returners this season for the Cowboys include senior twin brothers Casey and Cody Gray, who should lead the offensive attack this season, while senior Jake McIlvoy could be one of the top scorers in the state when it’s all said and done.

Seniors Carlos Zavalza and Rodrigo Hernandez return this fall, while juniors Andres Orellana and Zeke O’Callaghan return as well.

Top newcomers this season include senior Roman Bux who joined the team this August looking to try a new sport, and help himself get ready for wrestling in the winter.

Freshman Chasyn Honea has impressed Camp Verde High School boys soccer Head Coach Dave Miller so far this season and is the future goalkeeper for the Cowboys).Along with Bux, sophomores Justin Ray, Oscar Lopez and L.J. Teague have made the varsity squad. Ray is a defender while Teague looks to play midfield somewhere for the Cowboys this season.

Another freshman besides Homea making the cut was Edgar Aguayo who should play midfield for Miller, but it is unclear whether the young star will be in more of a backup role this fall.

In 2009, Camp Verde went 15-6-2 overall and qualified for the 1A-3A conference state playoffs, defeating Holbrook High School in the first round, 2-0. In round two, Camp Verde fell to Desert Christian Academy in a thriller, 1-0.

The 2010 state championship is likely to go through Blue Ridge High School again which scored 17 goals and went 4-0 in 2009 to claim the title.

Camp Verde opens the regular season at home Thursday, Sept. 9, when they play host to Northland Preparatory Academy at 6 p.m.

The Cowboys hit the road after that but return to Camp Verde to host bitter rival Chino Valley High School on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m.

Camp Verde will end the season at home facing Phoenix Country Day School and Grand Canyon High School in preparation for the state tournament which is scheduled to begin Friday, Oct. 29, at Red Mountain Park in Mesa.

Two crews were working around the clock to prepare Mingus Union High School’s new track and field for the Marauders’ first home football game against Payson High School Friday, Sept. 10, starting at 7 p.m.

Under the direction of Mingus Union High School District special projects manager John Behlow, the day crew was clipping stencils into the hot synthetic turf Thursday, Sept. 2, marking areas where numbers indicating yard lines were to be stitched.

Laborer Rogelio Morales shaves the field marker numbers out of the artificial turf of the new football field currently being installed at Mingus Union High School on Friday, Sept. 3. The new field cost the school district $1.2 million.Behlow’s biggest concern Thursday was an enormous red M which still had to be cut and then sewn into the center of the field.
“It will be tight, but I believe we’re going to make it,” Behlow said.

Rain delayed paving of the new, nationally certified track until this week, but Behlow again expressed confidence the project would be completed on time and under budget.

The new design, with its 100 meter curves and 400 meter total length, will allow MUHS to host official track meets for the first time in years, Superintendent Tim Foist said.

The $1.2-million project was financed through a lease-purchase arrangement with contractors that allows the district to spread payments over five years.

A project of this scope would normally take three months to complete but contractors are expected to finish in less than seven weeks, due in large part to Behlow’s efforts, Foist said.

“John [Behlow] has saved the district literally thousands of dollars on this project,” Foist said.

Behlow, who regularly works 18-hour days at the field, slept on a cot at the sports complex many nights to supervise crews in their work. He has poured and finished concrete and completed many other tasks, relieving the contractor of duties that would otherwise require diversion of resources to finish.

The savings made it possible for contractors to perform additional paving and concrete work beyond what was originally contemplated for the project, Behlow said.

A coach for the Marauders’ kickers and receivers, Behlow has a vested interest in seeing the field is ready in time for Friday’s game against Payson.

Behlow initiated the 24-hour work schedule starting Aug. 31, about one month into the project, which first broke ground June 28.

He displayed a notebook jammed full of detailed notes Thursday showing what tasks were completed each day. The notebook gives an indication of the scope of the project.

According to Behlow’s notes, contractors have hauled more than 220 large truckloads of specially mixed sand and other materials to the work site since June. Hundreds of white plastic bags filled with sand and tiny rubber pellets hauled to the scene waited to be spread on top of the turf Thursday.

A crew of nine workers labored overnights under the stadium lights in recent weeks, stretching and pulling sheets of five-yard swatches of synthetic turf into place. The sections are stitched together and pressed into position with a road roller.

Foist, who regularly delivers breakfast to the night crew and can sometimes be found wielding a rake or shovel to help out, said the new track and field “promises a great future for our community.”

Public access to the track and field through controlled turnstiles will be permitted once the project is completed, Foist said.

Behlow paused to survey the work Thursday, then pointed at other projects he has personally been involved with during his 30 years with the district, from the construction of baseball fields, to new landscaping at the entrance to the school.

He gave credit to many others who worked on the project, including Foist, the MUHSD Governing Board, contractors and volunteers.

“I want to make sure all the people who donated money and time and all the people who worked on this get a thanks from me,” he said. “This is for the kids.”

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