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The Mingus Union High School boys tennis team continued to roll Tuesday, April 12, defeating rival Flagstaff High School on its own home court, 7-2.

The victory over the Eagles gives Mingus a perfect 8-0 record in match play this spring, with only three matches to go before state at the end of April.

“This was a big win for us,” Mingus Head Coach Jeff Knight said Tuesday after his team’s victory. “It’s surprising how well we’re doing. We just keep getting better and better. We are playing well right now.”

Mingus Union High School tennis player Austin Strobel returns hits from a Flagstaff High School player during a home match Tuesday, April 12.The “surprising” comment is an understatement by Knight, who lost one of the state’s best players in Alexander Lineberry to graduation last season.

Mingus wasn’t expected to be great this season, but the Marauders might actually be better than last year from top to bottom.

Tuesday’s match revealed a potential problem for the Marauders, however, as No. 1 player Andrew Hickey had to forfeit his singles match against Flagstaff.

Knight admitted Hickey has a slight wrist injury, and the coaching staff decided not to push him as he continues to heal.

“We think he just needs a few days and he’ll be back out there,” Knight said.

As for the No. 2 player, Jonathon Witt managed to get a victory over his opponent,6-3, 6-2, while teammate Austin Strobel won his match, 6-2, 6-1.

Surprising freshman standout Talon Walz was impressive Tuesday as well, defeating his opponent, 6-3, 6-0.

At No. 5, Logan Kitchen had the other loss for Mingus, dropping his singles match, 7-6, 6-4.

Scott King at No. 6 won his match, however, defeating his opponent, 6-2, 7-6 [7-5], to give the Marauders a 4-2 lead.

In doubles play, Hickey did manage to play with Witt as the pair earned a win, 8-3.

Kitchen and Walz paired up to get an 8-6 win, something Knight called “a huge win for them.”

Finally, Strobel and King teamed up to defeat the No. 3 doubles team from Flagstaff, 8-2.

“I think we surprised Flagstaff a little as to how good we played. I don’t think they expected us to beat them,” Knight said.

In continuing the conversation about Hickey’s wrist, Knight did say Canaan Doering would step in and play singles for the Marauders if Hickey was unable to go over the next few matches.

Mingus has three matches remaining on the regular season schedule, the first of which comes Thursday, April 14, against Shadow Mountain High School at home. The first match is scheduled to begin at3:30 p.m.

Mingus will host Bradshaw Mountain High School on Tuesday, April 19, in its last home match of the season. The Marauders will travel south and play Sunnyslope High School on Wednesday, April 20, in their season finale.

The 4A-II conference team state championships are scheduled to begin Monday, April 25.

Mingus will also play singles and doubles individually in the Division III State Championships, which are set to begin Friday, April 29.

The Camp Verde High School baseball team needed only the first inning to prove which squad was the better team Friday, April 8, scoring 10 runs on Tonopah Valley High School to go on and win, 12-4.

Pitcher Gavin Collins checks the Tonopah Valley runner at first base before delivering to home plate Friday. Collins threw his first no-hitter of the season Friday.“We had some good hitting,” second-year Camp Verde Head Coach Steve Hicks said. “It was a good win. It wasn’t real pretty, but we did some things well.”

In one of the weirdest outings from a starting pitcher Cowboys fans will ever see, Gavin Collins twirled his first no-hitter of the season Friday against Tonopah Valley High School.

Collins pitched seven innings, allowed four runs, three earned, on six walks while striking out eight and allowing no hits.

“It wasn’t a clean game. He pitched a good game, though. Technically, it’s a no-hitter,” Hicks said.

The defense behind Collins committed five errors in seven innings. Combine that with six walks and one can see why the Phoenix scored four runs.

Tonopah Valley came out and scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead but the Cowboys answered with 10 runs to take a 10-3 lead.

Camp Verde added two more runs in the fourth inning and surrendered one in the top of the sixth to win, 12-4.

At the plate, junior center fielder Cody Rayburn was 4-5 with three runs scored, three stolen bases and an RBI.

“Cody [Rayburn] has been solid all season for us,” Hicks said.

Second baseman Jesse Fullbright was 2-4 with three stolen bases, two runs scored and two RBIs while designated hitter Andrew Teague was 2-3 with an RBI. As a team, Camp Verde had 14 hits in the 12-4 victory.

With the win, the Cowboys improve to 12-8 overall this season and are 7-3 in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point games. The 7-3 record puts the Cowboys at No. 16 in the 2A conference standings.

Camp Verde was in action again Tuesday, April 12, when it played host to Chino Valley High School. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, the Cowboys will welcome cross-valley rival Mingus Union High School on Friday, April 15. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Having won three of its last four, the Camp Verde High School baseball team was given a reality check Saturday, April 2, losing to Northwest Christian High School, 13-1.

Gavin Collins toed the mound Saturday looking to shut down the high-powered Northwest Christian lineup, and did so through the first four innings, but the Cowboys fell apart late in the tough defeat.

Junior catcher Andy Minner swings at a pitch March 17. Minner hit a three-run home run against Northland Preparatory Academy on Thursday, March 31, in a 14-3 victory. Minner and the Cowboys struggled Saturday, April 2, in a 13-1 loss.“We made little mistakes like throwing away pick-off plays. We couldn’t make a play. We did hit it hard offensively, but we hit it right at them,” second-year Camp Verde Head Coach Steve Hicks said.

Collins had seven strikeouts and gave up one hit through the first four innings as his team trailed 2-0. The Crusaders made it 4-0 after the bottom of the fifth and from then on, it got ugly for Camp Verde.

“Northwest fielded the ball well. They made some great plays,” Hicks said.

With the loss, the Cowboys drop their regular season record to 10-8 overall this season.

On Thursday, March 31, Camp Verde was coming off another tough defeat at the hands of rival Sedona Red Rock High School [5-1] just two days earlier, but pulled things together to beat Northland Preparatory Academy, 14-3.

In the top of the first inning in Flagstaff, center fielder Cody Rayburn got a base hit to lead things off, then was moved to second on a walk by Jesse Fullbright. One pitch later, it was 3-0 Cowboys as junior catcher Andy Minner hit a three-run bomb to put his teammates up for good.

With an early 3-0 lead, the Cowboys didn’t pack it in, as Austin Bower walked and Tanner Rezzonico stepped to the plate and made it 5-0 Camp Verde with another towering home run with two strikes.

“It was 5-0 before you knew it. Our first five batters scored five runs for us,” Hicks said with a big smile.

From then on, it was smooth sailing for the Cowboys who were led by Fullbright on the mound, going four innings while allowing only one earned run on two hits and two walks.

Lobaugh came in to pitch the bottom of the fifth, closing the deal on Northland Preparatory for a Cowboys victory.

Minner was 2-2 with a home run and three RBIs while Rezzonico was 2-3 with the home run as well. Bower was 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Camp Verde was in action again Tuesday, April 5, when the Cowboys traveled north to Williams High School. Results were unavailable at press time.Camp Verde beat Williams in an early season matchup March 8.

Next up, the Cowboys will play host to Tonopah Valley High School on Friday, April 8. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

If team points were totaled, the Mingus Union High School track and field team might have taken gold March 23 at the Sedona Invitational.

Girls

The Marauders had six first-place finishes last week at Sedona Red Rock High School, the most of any team in the field.

Junior Stephanie Gilboy shows her excitement at the Sedona Invitational on March 23 after setting a personal best in the pole vault at 9 feet, 6 inches.“They did well,” Mingus Head Coach Jared Stone said. “We’ve got some sprinters that are ranked high, and our 4x100 team is ranked No. 1 in the state.”

Torey Braly, Juliette Friedland, Annie Ngon and Delaney Scanlan make up the 4x100-meter relay team for the Marauders, and finished first overall in Sedona with a 50.63 time.

Braly was outstanding in other events as well, winning first place in the 100-meter dash with a 13.20 time while also claiming first in the 100-meter hurdles with a 16.70 time. Braly was second in the 300-meter hurdles with a 49.32 time, coming in on the heels of Sedona’s Hope Goimarac, who finished with a 49.01.

Scanlan wasn’t bad herself, finishing first in the 200-meter dash with a 27.94 time while Ngon took first in the 400-meter run with a 1:05.92.

In the pole vault, Stephanie Gilboy set a personal record with a 9-foot, 6-inch try, good enough for first overall.

Mingus freshman standout Heather Calandra took second in both the discus and the shot put. Calandra threw the discus 82 feet, 10 inches while tossing the shot put 31 feet, 10 inches.

“Heather [Calandra] is only a freshman and she’s already competing with some of the best throwers out there. It’s good to see,” Stone said.

Although the Sedona Invitational didn’t hand out team totals, it was a state qualifier, with most of the first-place finishers and beyond qualifying for the Marauders.

Boys

Although the Mingus boys team was overshadowed by the performance of the girls last week, the male Marauders had a few good finishes of their own.

Juan Wells had an excellent day in Sedona, taking first overall in the 800-meter run with a 2:08.14 time. Wells took first in the 3,200-meter run as well, finishing with a 10:51.73 time.

Wells was part of the 4x800-meter relay team that took first with a 8:38.92 time. Austin Covey, Colin Gartmeir and Lane Gehl ran the other legs of the race.

In the long jump, Kevin Dennis took first overall with a 20-foot, 3-inch leap.

“Juan [Wells] looked good, and Kevin [Dennis] works so hard so he deserves his success,” Stone said.

Next Up

Mingus will return to Sedona this Saturday, April 2, to participate in the Red Rock Invitational.

According to a press release, Sedona is planning on having 20 teams in attendance Saturday, making it one of the bigger meets of the year.

The first event is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m.

Playing .500 baseball so far in 2011, the Camp Verde High School baseball team took a big step in the right direction Friday, March 25, sweeping a doubleheader against visiting Mayer High School.

“We’re getting better,” second-year Camp Verde Head Coach Steve Hicks said. “We’ve got some holes to plug but there are good signs of improvement.”

The Cowboys were a notch over .500 before Friday’s doubleheader sitting at 7-6 in the standings, but two 10-run rule victories put Camp Verde at 9-6 this season.

Gavin Collins, a junior on the Camp Verde High School baseball team, pitches to a Mayer High School batter during the second game of a home doubleheader Friday, March 25.At the same time last year, Camp Verde was coming along with its record as well, but went on a tear to end the season and wound up playing for the 2A conference state title game.

“It’s baseball. You never know what can happen,” Hicks said.

In the first game Friday, senior Austin Bower toed the mound and gave the Cowboys three strong innings, giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out five.

Bower didn’t allow a run as relief pitcher Tanner Rezzonico threw the final two innings, striking out five and walking two in a 11-0 victory.

Catcher Andy Minner was 2-3 at the plate with two RBIs while shortstop Jesse Fullbright was 1-2. Third baseman Kyle Lobaugh chipped in as well, collecting two hits and three RBIs in the rout.

In game two, junior Gavin Collins would take the ball from Hicks and turned in a masterful performance, pitching the complete game while allowing only one run and striking out 10.

Camp Verde led 2-1 in the third inning but a Cody Rayburn squeeze play to score sophomore Doug Ashley gave the Cowboys all the momentum they needed to win, 11-1.

“Mayer actually played a decent game. We hit the ball well against them but we hit it right at them. We started playing small ball with that squeeze and from then on, it seemed to click for us,” Hicks said.

Minner had a big double to score a couple of runs to break the game open and Andrew Teague had two RBIs as well in the victory.

The Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, March 29, when they traveled to play cross-valley rival Sedona Red Rock High School. Both teams have met already this season with the Scorpions getting the better of Camp Verde on March 17, 9-2. Sedona is currently 8-1-1 overall this season.

Next up, Camp Verde will hit the road again Thursday, March 31, and play Northland Preparatory Academy.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

The Camp Verde High School track and field team is looking to pick up from where it left off in 2010, and should have the talent to do so this spring.

Sophomore Jenny Lawson jumps across the field during practice March 4. Lawson is a part of the girls track and field team for the Cowboys that could perform well this spring. The Cowboys finished fourth overall at the 1A-2A conference state meet last season.“Our girls will be competitive this year,” said Camp Verde Head Coach Lori Showers, who is entering her ninth season at the helm of the Cowboys track and field program. “Our boys are young and have some talent so we will see what happens.”

In 2010, the girls team made all the noise, finishing fourth overall at the 1A-2A Conference Track and Field State Championships in May.

Camp Verde was the only public school in the top five, giving everyone a reason to believe the Cowboys are for real.

The girls lost only one senior to graduation in Jessica Reay, making it an interesting 2011 season for the Cowboys, to say the least.

Camp Verde will have to contend with a new group of schools, however, this spring, as the Arizona Interscholastic Association realigned the schools over the summer.

The Cowboys currently sit in Division III. As an example to the changes made, rival schools Mingus Union [4A-II conference] and Sedona Red Rock [3A conference] high schools were in different conferences last season, but now all three reside in Division III.

“The changes to the regions, or divisions as it is now, will affect everyone. We are one of the smallest schools in our division. We will contend with teams that have as many as 1,400 kids in their schools,” Showers said.

Top Returners

Top returners for the Camp Verde girls include juniors Deborah Truncali and Emily Showers while senior Libby Roulette returns to compete in the triple jump.

Truncali is a distance runner and should run the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races this spring while Showers is a 4x400- and 4x800-meter specialist.

Sophomore standouts Donnie Buss and Amanda Showers return as well. Buss will be a top star in the 100-meter hurdles this spring while Showers competes in the 300-meter hurdles, the high jump and the long jump.

For the boys, four juniors will carry the load for the Cowboys this season beginning with Chris Zellner who returns to throw the shot put.

Zeke O’Callaghan returns to run the 800-meter and Cameron Stewart should join Zellner in the throwing events.

Junior Trent Fogelson returns as well but the three events he will participate in are undecided at this time, according to

Lori Showers.

Sophomore Justin Reay also returns to run the 400-meter, and both the 4x400- and 4x100-meter relay events.

Outlook

The Cowboys began the 2011 season March 2, when they traveled south to the Wrangler Invitational at Wickenburg High School.

The boys and girls both took second overall, with seven teams participating. The girls scored 123 points, only four behind first-place winner Estrella Foothills High School which had 127 while the boys had

106 points, far behind Wickenburg’s 236.

“Our girls might have won if we didn’t drop the baton in one of our relay events,” Showers said smiling.

With the new alignment this spring, the Cowboys talent may get lost in the mix with bigger schools looking to dominate the state event come May in Mesa.

In a sense, the Camp Verde High School baseball team is starting over in 2011.

This spring, the Cowboys will have a completely different look to them than a year ago at this time, having lost five seniors to graduation — all of them starters.

Two of those startersm pitcher Curtis Hawk and shortstop and team captain Mike Boler, will be sorely missed in 2011.

Both were All-Region nominees, while Boler received an All-State vote or two. But the two were so much more than that.

The five starting seniors led the Cowboys to a 21-8 season in 2010, eventually finding themselves in the 2A conference state championship game against Bourgade Catholic High School.

At the Peoria Sports Complex, the Cowboys fought hard, but the 2010 season came to an end with Bourgade Catholic celebrating a state championship.

At the time, first-year Camp Verde Head Coach Steve Hicks said no one expected the Cowboys to be in this position in the first place. And he would be right.

Turning the page on the 2010 season and looking at 2011, Hicks again thinks nobody believes in his boys.

“We hope to surprise a few people. There’s no doubt in my mind we can get there,” Hicks said in an interview Saturday, Feb. 26. “We could challenge for a title. We have a few questions on our team, just like we did last year. The boys made it a goal to get better every day last year, and this year’s group has the same attitude.”

Top Returners

Although many positions are unclear for the Cowboys in the early going, a few kids have solidified their spots from last year’s state championship run.

Senior Tanner Rezzonico should see most of his time at first base, or on the mound this season while junior Cody Rayburn should be the everyday guy in center field.

Junior Andy Minner will be behind the plate once again in 2011 and junior Gavin Collins will be one of the top pitchers for the Cowboys this spring.

Tanner Rezzonico hits one to the outfield during a preseason scrimmage against Mingus Union High School on Feb. 22. Rezzonico is one of the few returning starters from last year’s state  championship run.Collins only pitched in 2010, but should see time in the outfield this year as well.

Senior Austin Bower returns as part of the starting rotation, and should be at shortstop when not pitching.

Top Newcomers

Sophomore Jesse Fullbright will add to Hicks’ starting rotation this year, giving the Cowboys four solid pitchers entering the 2011 season.

Sophomore Kyle Lobaugh could be at third base this season while sophomore Austin Stutzman will be in the outfield somewhere, and share time at first base.

Junior Andrew Teague didn’t play much in 2010 and should be a utility man this season while senior Jake Williams will be in the infield after missing 2010.

Outlook

Hicks believes his team can compete but he’s concerned about the pitching.

“One of our questions is can our pitching hold up. If not, we’ll struggle. We hope the four pitchers we have will carry us through, and I think they can,” Hicks said.

Although the Cowboys may not reach the state championship game this season, it will be a fun team to watch. If all comes together, however,

it could be the Cowboys standing alone atop the podium in May.

Under the new direction of first-year Head Coach Kent Winslow, the 2011 Mingus Union High School baseball season is sure to be exciting.

Despite losing seven seniors to graduation including All-Region and All-State nominees Hunter Zwart and Shaun McCarty, the Marauders are looking for good things to happen this spring.

Carlos Abrigo, a pitcher for the Mingus Union High School  baseball team, throws to a Camp Verde High School hitter during a home scrimmage Tuesday, Feb. 22. The Marauders were 22-8 in 2010 and will look to improve on that in 2011.“We’re not going to do anything different than years past; the goals are the same. When I was at Prescott High School I was always impressed with how these guys went about their business. I think we’ll continue that,” Winslow said.

Mingus finished the 2010 regular season ranked No. 3 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls and was 22-8 overall.

The Marauders made it past No. 14 Seton Catholic High School in the first round of the 4A-II conference state playoffs but ran into No. 6 Liberty High School in round two, losing a close one, 7-6. Liberty eventually went on to win the state title.

Top Returners

Mingus has plenty left over in the talent pool to make a case for another 4A-II Grand Canyon Region Championship this season, and even a run in the state playoffs.

Top returners include seniors Ronald Morones, Cruz Chavez, Carson Sandoval and Mike Newhall.

Morones should start at second base this season while Chavez splits time in the outfield and at short stop. Sandoval is still recovering from his arm injury, which he suffered during football season, and should be in the outfield.

As for Newhall, he could find himself in the starting rotation and playing third base.

Junior Carlos Abrigo returns looking to pitch and play shortstop this season while junior Evan McFarland finds himself behind home plate calling pitches.

Senior Matt Chavez returns and should see time in left field and out of the bull pen while senior banger Todd Scalf should be at first base.

“These guys are learning what I’m about, and I’m learning what they’re about. It’s been a great first few weeks and the returning coaching staff has really helped me out,” Winslow said.

Top Newcomers

A few years back the Verde Valley Little League All-Stars sent a Majors team to the Arizona State Championship game, only to fall short.

The two standout performers from Ron Bright’s squad are now wearing Mingus uniforms in freshman Marshal Shill and sophomore Ulysses Islava.

“I like what I see out of these young boys; they really know how to play the game,” Winslow said.

Shill, despite being a freshman, looks like a grown-up and could challenge for a starting spot on the mound this season.

As for Islava, he could see plenty of time at the hot corner this season for the Marauders according to Winslow.

Winslow also hired Bright to coach the freshman team this season and retained previous Head Coach Bob Young. Young will be the pitching coach this season.

Outlook

If the Marauders can find their groove at the plate and keep teams from scoring runs defensively, there’s no reason Mingus fans won’t see their boys in white and red making a deep run into the state playoffs.

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