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Thu, Apr

With a good crowd on hand the No. 3 Mingus Union High School baseball team was able to escape an upset bid by the visiting No. 14 Seton Catholic Preparatory Sentinels in eight innings, 3-2.

When asked if he expected this kind of effort out of Seton Catholic on Saturday, May 8, in first-round action of the 4A-II conference state playoffs, second-year Mingus Head Coach Bob Young responded with certainty.

“I really was; Seton is a good team. Generally, with power points, the lower seeds are still tough, they played a good schedule and lost some close games. The last three years we’ve had tough first-round games.”

Saturday’s contest made it three years in a row now in which Mingus’ opponent took them to extra innings in a first-round state playoff game.

So far, Mingus is 3-0 in those games and the Marauders are, of course, the two-time defending state champions, leading to the question, is this Mingus team capable of winning an unprecedented third straight title?

After watching senior hurler Shaun McCarty pour his guts out Saturday, that answer would be “yes.”

“Shaun [McCarty] was gutsy. We expected that from him. We knew if we were going to do something this year he had to come up big for us, and he did,” Young said.

Young said he and the coaching staff kept asking McCarty, “Are you OK?” and he always responded with, “I’m fine.”

“If we went to the ninth inning, he would have gone out there for us,” Young said.

McCarty went all eight innings for the Marauders, throwing nearly 120 pitches while keeping the Sentinel bats at bay to give his Mingus offense a chance to win it in the end.

In eight innings, McCarty faced 31 batters and allowed only two earned runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven.

This is the first game this season McCarty was able to pitch longer than five innings, but don’t read into it too much, as most of those games Mingus 10-run ruled their opponent.

In the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday, Mingus trailed 2-1 to a Seton Catholic team drooling over the possibility of a first-round upset.

Senior catcher Logan Stewart had other ideas however, leading off the inning with a triple to put the tieing run on third with no outs.

After senior Shawn Rojas struck out, junior middle infielder Cruz Chavez came up big with a double to left center field, scoring Stewart to tie it, 2-2.

McCarty went out in the eighth inning and with his defense behind him, retired the side to give the Mingus bats another chance at winning it.

To start the bottom of the eighth, senior Hunter Zwart doubled down the left field line to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with no outs.

Junior Ronald Morones stepped to the plate next, knowing full well what he had to do.

“Everyone in the world knew he was bunting right there. With their bunt defense they put on with the first baseman charging, we teach to push the bunt past the pitcher and he did exactly that,” Young said.

MUHS_baseballMorones squared to bunt early, and while the Seton Catholic first baseman charged, their second baseman covered first.

Morones couldn’t have rolled it out there any better, pushing it past the pitcher and as the first baseman slipped, the ball skipped right past them both, allowing Zwart to scamper home to win it, 3-2.

The RBI bunt single sent Mingus fans into a frenzy and the Marauders players charged the field with excitement.

Second Round

The 23-6 Marauders will now look forward to playing Liberty High School in the second round of the 4A-II state playoffs Wednesday, May 12.

Mingus will send Zwart to the mound against the No. 6 Lions with a first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Liberty defeated No. 11 Cactus High School in its first-round game, 5-2, and is 22-6 overall this season.

Despite all speculation and the naysayers out there telling everyone the Camp Verde High School baseball team doesn’t deserve a No. 4 seed, isn’t really that good, and shouldn’t have gotten a first-round bye in the 2A conference state playoffs, the Cowboys didn’t listen and have now silenced the critics.

RezzonicoThe No. 4 Cowboys easily defeated Williams High School on Friday,

May 7, 19-6, then dismantled Northwest Christian Academy in the quarterfinals by the final score of 11-1.

These two wins are two of the biggest in Cowboys baseball history and the offensive attack has punched Camp Verde’s ticket to the 2A final four, which is scheduled to begin Friday, May 14, at the Peoria Sports Complex.

They won’t be playing on one of the side fields though, as these Cowboys have earned the right to make it to the show, one might say, playing in the big stadium at 7 p.m., May 14.

“We played two great games and our pitching was good, too. We’re all excited to play down there this weekend,” first-year Camp Verde Head Coach Steve Hicks said.

In the Northwest Christian game, Curtis Hawk took the ball for the Cowboys and was fantastic, pitching six innings of one-run baseball while allowing six hits and striking out two.

The offense came alive in the first two innings to take a 5-1 lead but in the bottom of the fourth scored five more runs to make it a 10-1 affair.

Camp Verde tallied one more run in the bottom of the sixth to 10-run rule Northwest Christian and send themselves to the final four.

Mike Boler was 2-3 with an RBI and three runs scored while Taylor Matthews was the big hitter on the day, going 3-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored.

The Cowboy offense had 16 hits against Northwest Christian, keeping the bases busy all morning long.

Randy Justice was 2-3 with an RBI while Hawk was 2-4 with an RBI. Tanner Rezzonico also pitched in, going 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The 20-8 Cowboys will now turn their attentions to No. 8 Valley Christian Academy, a baseball powerhouse the last few years in the 2A conference.

Camp Verde will face off against the Trojans on Friday at the Peoria Sports Complex with a first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.

In the other semifinal game, defending state champion Pusch Ridge High School will take on  

No. 6 Bourgade Catholic at 3:30 p.m. at the stadium.

If the Cowboys can get past the Trojans, Camp Verde will play for a 2A state title on Saturday, May 15, in the stadium.

First pitch for the championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

In preparation for the 2A Central regional meet which is scheduled to kick off this weekend, the Camp Verde High School track and field team paid a visit to the Scottsdale Christian Invitational, which was held at Salt River High School on Saturday, May 1.

cvhs_track_and_field“This is probably the best team I’ve ever had here at Camp Verde. Our upperclassmen are doing well and we have real talent in the freshman and sophomore class, which means we should do well in the future,” said Camp Verde Head Coach Lori Showers, who is entering her eighth year at the helm.

For the girls, the Cowboys finished second overall with 113 points, only 20 points behind invitational champion, 3A conference foe Estrella Foothills High School.

In the boys department, the Cowboys finished second overall behind Estrella Foothills with 71 points.

Standouts for the girls included freshman Donnie Buss, who finished first in the high jump with a 5-foot, 1-inch try, her personal best on the season.

Buss was a part of the 100-meter hurdles event as well, finishing fifth overall with a 17.25 time while helping the 4x100-meter relay team take third overall to qualify for state with a 54.93 time.

Her teammates for the relay included Taylor Phillips, Libby Roulette and Bianca Melendez.

Also in the high jump, Marissa Simmons took third overall with a 5-foot try while Debra Truncali finished second overall in the 1,600-meter run with a 5:46.40 time.

Jessica Reay finished seventh overall in the same event with a 6:19 time.

Truncali was also a part of the 4x800-meter relay team that took first overall with a 10:52 time, running with teammates Cassie Alvarez, Emily Showers and Reay.

In the 300-meter hurdles, freshman Amanda Showers took third overall with a 50.24 time while taking fourth in the high jump with a 4-foot, 10-inch try while Roulette was fourth in the triple jump with a 31-foot, 2-inch try.

Showers was also third in the long jump with a 14-foot, 7-inch try, and was sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a 17.40 time.

In the discus, Katie Wilson was first overall with a personal best 89-foot, 9-inch throw.

The Cowboys also performed well in the 800-meter run, with Alvarez taking third with a 2:39, Emily Showers taking fourth with a 2:40 and Melendez taking fifth with a 2:41.

“That was a great race. Those girls competed well,” Lori Showers said.

On the boys side of the track, student body favorite Donovan Kilby took third overall in the 800-meter run with a personal best 2:07 time.

In the 1,600-meter run, Damien Watkins was sixth overall with a 5:11 time and was a part of the 4x400-meter relay team that took third overall with a 3:39 time. Ben Bassous, Justin Reay and Trent Fogelson were a part of the relay team as well.

Speaking of Fogelson and Bassous, the pair did a nice job in other events with Fogelson taking second overall in the 400-meter dash with a 51.84 time and Bassous taking seventh in the 100-meter dash with a 11.47 time.

Fogelson and Bassous also teamed with Michael Toth and Reay to take third in the 4x100-meter relay with a 46.71 time.

Region and State

The Cowboys will now turn their attentions to the 2A Central region meet, which is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 8, at Valley Christian Academy.

Once complete, those who qualified for state will participate in the 1A-2A conference state meet, which is scheduled to begin Friday, May 14, and run through Saturday, May 15.

On a wind-whipped Mohave Valley afternoon, the Camp Verde High School golf team struggled to get anything going last week, finishing seventh out of eight teams at the 36-hole River Valley Invitational on April 5 and 6.

“We have a lot of young kids on this team. I’m seeing plenty of improvement within our team,” Camp Verde Head Couch Steve Stone said.

JNL-CV-golf-4-7At Los Lagos Golf Club, the Cowboys shot an 838 [+118]. Blue Ridge High School played well enough to win the event, finishing first overall with a 696 [-24] while Antelope High School took second with a 724 [+4] and Chino Valley High School wrapped up the top three with a 730 [+10].

River Valley High School took fourth in its own tournament with a 737 [+17], Sedona Red Rock High School was fifth with a 793 [+73] and Williams High School was seventh with a 994 [+274].

Wilfred Tewawina, a sophomore this season, was the top performer for the Cowboys at Mohave Valley with a two-day score of 190 [+46].

Tewawina was 11th overall in a field of nearly 40 players.

Senior Kameron Zale took second within the Cowboy ranks, shooting a 204 [+60] while sophomore Jake Aiuto was third with a 211 [+67].

Sophomore Jacob Phelps was fourth overall with a 237 [+93] and freshman Josh Collins was fifth overall with a 249 [+105].

Camp Verde as a team might have finished in sixth with an 838, but they shot a 432 [+72] on day one, then turned around to play another 18-holes and shot a 406 [+46], a steady improvement.

The Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, April 13, playing a 9-hole match with Williams High School at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course in Cornville.

Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, the Cowboys will travel to Parker to play a 9-hole match with the Parker High School Broncs.

Tee time is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The Camp Verde High School track and field team had several decent finishes at the Sedona Invitational on Saturday,

April 10, making it another step forward for the Cowboys in their preparation for state.

In the Sedona Invitational, freshmen and sophomores run in the junior varsity meet and the juniors and seniors run in the varsity meet.

This, however, doesn’t tell the whole story for a team like the Cowboys, where many of their best track stars are freshmen and sophomores and don’t get the chance to compete with the varsity teams.

Head Coach Lori Showers was optimistic, however, with several good times from her varsity kids against varsity kids.

“We had several kids do well in Sedona and they ran some good times,” Showers said.

In the girls 4x100-meter relay, Camp Verde finished third overall with a 55.75 time.

Jenny Lawson, Donnie Buss, Bianca Melendez and Libby Roulette made up the team.

The girls 4x800-meter relay team consisting of Melendez, Jessica Reay, Emily Showers and Deborah Truncali finished third as well with a 11:14.89 time.

In the boys 400-meter dash, Damien Watkins finished third overall with a 56.04 time while Reece Watkins finished third in the 800-meter run with a 2:12.56 time.

In the 1,600-meter run, senior Donovan Kilby was fantastic, finishing third overall with a 5:04 time while Nick Simons was seventh in the same event with a 5:31.94 time.

Camp Verde also took third in the boys 4x100-meter relay with a 46.54 time, qualifying for state competition by 0.3 seconds which included Michael Toth, Chris Zellner, Justin Reay and Ben Bassous.

The boys 4x400-meter relay was third as well, made up of Bassous, Damien Watkins, Roman Bux and Noah Bullard, running a 3:47.89 time, good enough for third overall, just missing the state qualifier by five seconds.

Reece and Damien Watkins paired with Zeke O’Callaghan and Daniel Dodge to finish third overall in the 4x800-meter run with a 9:06.58, just missing the state qualifying time by six seconds.

In the boys long jump, Bassous took third with a 19-foot, 3-inch leap while Tucker Rezzonico was fourth in the shot put with a 38-foot, 7-inch throw.

Nathan Geyer was fifth in the shot put behind Rezzonico with a 38-foot, 2-inch toss.

In the discus, Toth took fourth overall with a 107-foot, 4.5-inch throw while Geyer was seventh with a 105-foot toss.

Next on the agenda for Camp Verde is the Wickenburg Invitational which is scheduled to take place Friday, April 16.

Camp Verde will return home Wednesday, April 21, for the Camp Verde Multiple meet in preparation for the big Yavapai County Invitational, which takes place Saturday, April 24.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The boys tennis team at Mingus Union High School defeated visiting Sinagua High School 9-0 on Friday, April 9, setting up a big match today for the 4A-II Grand Canyon region championship.

“All the matches were great. We’ve had quite a season and I think they are all excited for what is to come,” Mingus Head Coach Jeff Knight said.

On Wednesday, April 14, the Marauders will attempt to win their first outright region title when rival Flagstaff High School comes to town.

In 2009, the Marauders shared the title with Bradshaw Mountain High School, but in 2010, Mingus is hoping for their first outright title in school history.

The Marauders defeated Bradshaw Mountain in the first match of the season

Feb. 26, but the rivals are no longer region members since Bradshaw Mountain moved to the 4A-I conference at the

beginning of the school year.

Mingus is currently 5-0 in region play, having beaten Page High School twice, Sinagua twice and Flagstaff on April 1.

As of Tuesday, April 13, the Marauders are ranked No. 1 in the state at the 4A-II level.

Today’s match against the rival Eagles is set to begin at 3 p.m. with singles getting action first, then doubles afterwards.

“Come show your support and help us win the title,” Knight said to any fans interested in coming out to cheer on the Marauders.

The Marauders are scheduled to play Shadow Mountain High School on Thursday, April 15, in their last regular season match of the season.

The Grand Canyon regional tournament is scheduled to begin Thursday, April 22, and the 4A-II state tournament is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 27.

 

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Mingus Union High School track and field team traveled east April 6, competing in the Payson Relays which took place at Payson High School.

“I thought this meet went well. We continue to work hard and improve,” Mingus Head Coach Jared Stone said.

Top performances for the girls included Annie Ngon who took first in the 200-meter dash with a 29.17 time.

Ngon also took fifth in the long jump with a 14-foot,

11-inch leap.

Stephanie Gilboy finished first in the triple jump, bounding 36 feet, 5.75 inches, while teammate Jill Peterson was second in the long jump with a 16-foot, 0.25-inch leap.

Peterson also took third in the triple jump with a 31-foot, 6.25-inch try and was fifth in the discus with a 77-foot,

6-inch throw.

In the 400-meter dash, Taylor Jochim was fourth overall with a 1:11.75 time and Staci Hewitson was fourth overall with a 2:52.09 time in the 800-meter run.

Molly Wescott tied for fourth in the high jump with a 4-foot, 6-inch leap while Courtney Hageman tied for first in the pole vault with a 9-foot try.

Hageman was also fourth in the long jump with a 14-foot, 11.25-inch try.

Of course, we wouldn’t want to forget to mention the 4x100-meter relay team who took first overall with a 55.95 time.

They weren’t alone as the 4x400-meter relay team took second with a 4:51.97 time.

For the boys, Colin Gartmeier won the 1,600-meter run with a 4:57.78 time, defeating the next closest person by more than 12 seconds.

In the long jump, a pair of Mingus leapers took the top two spots as Kevin Dennis-Webb took first overall with a 19-foot leap while do-it-all Juan Gonzalez was second with a 18-foot, 11-inch try.

Gonzalez also took fifth in the triple jump with a 38-foot, 1-inch leap.

Dennis-Webb also took second in the triple jump with a 38-foot, 7.5-inch try.

Chris Ortiz in the 400-meter dash was fifth overall with a 1:00.06 time while teammate C.J. Banks was right behind him in sixth with a 1:00.39 time.

In the 800-meter run, Hunter Rauch took second overall with a 2:21.57 time while Logan Couch tied for second overall in the high jump with a 5-foot, 10-inch try.

In the relay events, Mingus took first overall in the 4x100-meter relay with a 47.82 time while taking fourth in the 4x200-meter relay with a 1:46.70 time.

With Payson out of the way, Mingus will travel south to Phoenix on Wednesday, April 14, to participate in the Greenway Multiple meet.

After the trip, the Marauders will have 10 days to prepare for the Yavapai County Championships which will take place Saturday, April 24, at Bradshaw Mountain High School.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The improbable run of the Camp Verde High girls basketball team finally reached its peak this past weekend. Unfortunately, it was one game short of playing for a title, as Wilcox High ended all hopes of a Cowboy championship at Shadow Mountain High on Saturday, Feb. 21, beating them 62-43.

“We had them pretty well scouted out. Again, we made some dumb mistakes and it cost us,” 12th-year Camp Verde head coach Mark Showers said.

Winning 20-plus games and placing the Cowboy name in the championship hat of fate every season seems to be the norm in Camp Verde, and despite being denied a title in the past four years, Showers says any coach would love to contend every year like his group has.

“I wasn’t sure to start the year we could make it this far, because some of the girls weren’t getting along and we were having trouble adjusting, but our young kids performed well for us, the seniors did their part and it all came together in the end,” Showers said.

Having defeated the East No. 4 seed in Tombstone High on Feb. 17, 62-22, and the East No. 2 seed Thatcher High on Friday, Feb. 20, 42-41, Camp Verde was ready for another wild one in the 2A state semifinals.

The girls came out firing on all cylinders on Saturday, hitting a few early baskets to take a 16-4 lead with just under three minutes to go in the first quarter.

Wilcox, however, was not going to lie down in front of another Camp Verde bus and just die; they were here to play basketball and went on a 7-0 run to end the quarter, trailing the Cowboys 16-11 at the end.

Wilcox managed to keep the momentum going in the second quarter after senior captain Cassie Spleiss recorded her third foul of the game and had to sit the bench.

“Once Cassie [Spleiss] had to sit because of fouls it was like a shot of adrenaline for Wilcox,” Showers said.

Wilcox managed to outscore Camp Verde 12-7 in the quarter, and it was all tied up at 23-23 at halftime.

Showers continued to say Spleiss’ third foul changed the course of the game. No longer were many of the girls playing the aggressive style of basketball which got them to this point, and Showers knew it right away.

“I thought if we didn’t get it going, we were going to be in trouble,” Showers said.

Despite Spleiss’s 20-point, five-rebound, three-steal and two-assist effort, the Cowboys were in trouble and found themselves trailing 38-34 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final period, the wheels fell off the bus for the Camp Verde girls as nothing went their way.

With just over two minutes to go, Camp Verde found itself down by 12, but to its credit still fought to get back in the game.

In the next possession, Camp Verde turned the ball over, then came right back and fouled a Wilcox player who put in two free throws to go up 14.
“At that point I knew it was over,” Showers said.

Emptying his bench, Showers shook the hands and gave hugs to his seniors who led the team this far, making sure each one of them knew it was a job well done.

In the final period, Wilcox outscored the Cowboys 24-9 as they went on to win, 62-43.

Senior Jamie Cupp had nine points while senior Cherreia Reeves had six points, five steals and six assists.

Senior post player Liz Hicks added six points as well, joining her senior teammates in a final game of basketball while wearing a Cowboy uniform.
As sophomores, this senior group played for a state title during the 2006-2007 season and lost to Pusch Ridge High, 46-36.

Last year, Pusch Ridge ended its season early in the second round, and this year, this special group of players made it to the state semifinals.
“We’ve had a heck of a run,” Showers said.

Showers acknowledged next season would be a rebuilding year, which will begin in June during summer basketball, but for now, he and his team will enjoy the success they had this season knowing full well they did all they could.

The Cowboys wrap up the season with a 25-8 [9-3, 2A-Central] overall record.

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