Thu, Jul

The Camp Verde Minors All-Stars [ages 9 to 10] managed to get only one win during the District 10 Little League Tournament this past week, defeating the Williams All-Stars, 12-2.

Connor Collins delivers a pitch to a Prescott Valley All-Star on  June 28 during the District 10 Little League All-Star Tournament at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood. Collins helped his team go 1-2 during the tournament, getting an exciting win against the Williams All-Stars, 12-2.The sweet taste of victory over Williams at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood on June 29 lasted only one day, as Camp Verde came up short June 30, losing to the Prescott Valley All-Stars, 8-7.

Against Williams, Rafael Zapata toed the mound and was fantastic, pitching a complete game, going four innings while allowing only two runs on one hit while walking two and striking out five.

The offense was just as good for Camp Verde, collecting 13 hits including a 3-3 day with two walks and two RBIs for Ernesto Casillas while Connor Collins was 3-3 with a triple and two RBIs.

“I thought we hit the ball well against Williams. The kids had a lot of fun that game,” skipper Steve Mahan said.

Other standouts included Zachary Wester who was 1-2 with a triple and two walks with two runs scored while Dominic Bruno was 2-3 with a run scored.

Against Prescott Valley on Wednesday, Bruno was handed the ball and was average on the mound, allowing five runs in four innings pitched as Prescott Valley collected five hits and worked one walk.

Collins and Casillas were each 2-3 at the plate on the day but Prescott Valley’s defense sniffed out every late rally by Camp Verde and found a way to stomp it out quickly.

Camp Verde managed to get out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Prescott Valley and was ahead 7-5 going into the bottom of the sixth inning but Prescott Valley collected a few base hits and scored three runs to win it, 8-7.

“That was a tough game for us to lose; we were ahead for most of the game and they came back right at the end,” Mahan said.

Having lost six seniors to graduation a few weeks ago, the Camp Verde High School boys basketball team will have no trouble moving into the 2010-2011 season, with the core group returning to play a little basketball this summer.

Freshman Mitch Latham looks to shoot during the Sedona Summer League on June 8.“Summer is important to see what guys you have for next season and to get a look at a few freshmen coming in as eighth-graders,” Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon said.

Junior Brian Hudson looks to drive past his defender on the way to the basket June 8 at the Sedona Summer LeagueThis summer the Cowboys will miss point guard Mike Boler, who graduated in May, but Camp Verde has more than enough to make up for his absence on the court this summer.

Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon talks strategy with his team during a summer league game at Sedona Red Rock High SchoolSeniors Shaquille Watahomigie and Trey Cooper should be outstanding players for the Cowboys this summer and on into the winter when the season begins in November.

The two standout players will be the center of attention for any opposing coach this summer and the dynamic duo could be one of the best to come through the Cowboys’ system in years.

Watahomigie and Cooper could average in the high teens in points per game this summer, and maybe even more next season.

Junior Jake Spleiss is the third wheel in the “big three” for the Cowboys, bringing a decent defensive body, which has the ability to guard multiple opponents, big and small.

Spleiss has worked hard on his jumper in the offseason according to a recent interview and will look to improve his all-around game as he enters his junior year.

Also add to the mix juniors Johnny and Brian Hudson to go along with senior Kyle Niederer and the Cowboys are looking like a strong team.

With the pure scoring ability of Watahomigie and Cooper and pure hustle, effort and rebounds from Spleiss, the 2010-2011 season is sure to be a good one for the Cowboys and fans can get a sneak peek of their favorite team during the month of June.

The junior varsity boys will get a chance to play on Wednesday nights during June against local teams like Mingus Union High School and Chino Valley High School, but the real fun will be at Sedona Red Rock High School on Tuesdays

where the Cowboys play in the Sedona Summer League.

To wrap up the summer, the Cowboys are scheduled to play in the Northern Arizona University team camp Friday, June 18, through Sunday,  June 20.

Eighteen-year-old Mingus Union High School graduate Hunter Zwart has made the best of his summer free time the last few weeks, playing in a few of the most prestigious baseball tournaments a player could ever be a part of.

Hunter Zwart, a recent Mingus Union High School graduate, will travel to Australia to play on the United States baseball team for the Goodwill Games in December. Zwart’s consistent .467 batting average and nine home runs in the 2010 season earned him a full scholarship to study and play at Arizona Western College in Yuma.Born in Cottonwood and a product of the Verde Valley Little League, Zwart had one heck of a senior season for the Marauders, hitting .467 with a teamleading nine home runs and 41 RBIs while recording 11 doubles and three triples along the way.

In 40? innings pitched, Zwart was 5-1 while boasting a 2.58 ERA, allowing only 32 hits and striking out 38 batters.

Those numbers on the baseball diamond earned Zwart a first team All-Region selection and he was unanimously voted MVP.

“I was actually surprised when they said I was MVP. There were a few guys from Sinagua that I thought were going to win it,” Zwart said.

A three-year varsity letter- winner, Zwart was selected to play in the 4A-II North-South All-Star game on June 5 which his team won, 18-9.

An avid moviegoer, hunter and outdoorsman, Zwart finds time in between playing baseball for various teams to hang out with his friends, something he loves to do.

Help Hunter

Hunter Zwart was selected to play for a USA Select team that is traveling to Australia in December this year. To help Zwart get to Australia, contact Allan Zwart at 821-3888.

Coming this weekend, Zwart is scheduled to travel to Oklahoma to play in the Heartland Classic with the Arizona All-Stars.

He currently plays in a Connie Mack Baseball League and in two weeks, Zwart is scheduled to travel to Georgia to play in the World Wood Bat Tournament.

Of course when December rolls around, the biggest baseball tournament of Zwart’s life will come about, as he was chosen to play for a USA Select team in the Goodwill Games in Australia.

In the meantime, Zwart is planning to go to Arizona Western College in the fall where he will patrol center field for the Matadors come springtime.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in all the tournaments coming up. Things have been great and I love baseball. It’s something I want to do and will hopefully get to do for a long time,” Zwart said.

Going with young players for the most part is not easy but when the Camp Verde High School girls basketball team finished 18-10 during the 2009-2010 season while starting three freshmen and a sophomore, it certainly seemed easy.

Camp Verde girls basketball Head Coach Mark Showers gives instruction to Mayra Perez, left, and other Camp Verde High School girls basketball players regarding what it’s going to be like with a defensive player in their face this summer. The Cowboys are looking to build off an 18-10 season in 2009-2010.Cowboys Head Coach Mark Showers enters June with a great building block for success from last season despite

losing to St. Johns High School in the first round of the 2A conference state tournament in February.

Having lost only two seniors to graduation a few weeks ago, Showers is excited to see what his young cagers can do this offseason.

Taylor Phillips, Viv Lucero and Shayna Sterrett are the only three seniors that will be taking the court this offseason but the real focus is on a young core group that played beyond their years for the Cowboys last season.

Junior Lila Hickey is certainly the centerpiece in Showers’ program at the moment, but sophomore guards Amanda Showers and Donnie Buss aren’t half bad either.

“We’ve got the makings of a really good team and this summer is going to help us out tremendously,” Showers said.

Juniors Tori Mathews and Marissa Simons are part of the group that have big expectations for the 2010-2011 season.

On Mondays this summer, Camp Verde plays in a rotating league with Coconino High School, Mingus Union High School, Sedona Red Rock High School and Bradshaw Mountain High School.

Sophomore Amanda Showers catches and shoots during practice June 2 at Camp Verde High  School. Showers is expected to be one of two starting sophomore guards  this coming winter for the Cowboys.Last week, Camp Verde hosted the league while Monday, June 7, all the teams were in Flagstaff.

On Monday, June 14, all the aforementioned high schools will be in Sedona.

“I think everyone really likes this rotating league. It gives everyone a chance to be at home; the home teams are responsible for paying referees and scoreboard operators,” Showers said.

To go along with the Monday league night, Camp Verde is scheduled to play in the Valley Christian Tournament on Friday, June 18, and Saturday, June 19.

The Cowboys will wrap up the summer with a trip to the Point Loma Tournament on Friday, June 25, which runs through Sunday, June 27.

“We spent the whole first year showing them the basics and now that we’re entering their second year, we can refine our system. The girls are far ahead of where they were last year at this point,” Showers said.

Having failed to make the 4A-II conference state playoffs last season, the Mingus Union High School girls basketball team has become more focused and this summer will be more important than ever.

Kaytee Blount  goes strong to the hole June 2 in a  Mingus Union High School girls  basketball practice. The Marauders are  looking to play nearly 30 games  in June which will hop efully get them  ready for the 2010-2011 season  beginning in November.“We didn’t lose a lot from last season; the core group has returned. I look forward to this month’s games,” Mingus Head Coach Micah Swenson said.

By the core group, Swenson means senior point guard Kayla Storie and guard Shallene Martinez to go along with junior guards Taylor Jochim and Desi Ortiz.

Junior Kaytee Blount is in the mix as well while sophomore Skyler Storie is another young guard showing promise.

In the front court is a pair of sophomore forwards in Sierra Roberts and Torrey Gillies, both of whom should provide leadership during the month of June.

Swenson, entering his second season as head coach of the Marauders, will look to do much better than his rookie campaign where the Marauders finished 6-13 overall last season.

The summer schedule is packed with games during June, giving the Marauders every chance to gel on their way to a good 2010-2011 season, which begins in November.

Over the next few Mondays, Mingus will play a rotating league night with Camp Verde High School, Sedona Red Rock High School, Coconino High School and Bradshaw Mountain High School.

This Monday, June 14, Mingus travels to Sedona to play the Scorpions at 5 p.m., then turn around and play Coconino at 6 p.m.

Coming Friday, June 11, and Saturday, June 12, is the High Desert Shootout at Bradshaw Mountain, then Wednesday, June 16, through Sunday,

June 20, is the Southwest Showdown at Raymond Kellis High School.

The Marauders will end their summer schedule with a trip to Raymond Kellis once again for the Desert Hoops Shootout which runs Wednesday, June 23, through Sunday, June 27.

“We’ll play some good teams this summer. It will be a measuring stick for us to see what we need to improve on for the coming season,” Swenson said.

Anyone involved in one way or another with Mingus Union High School, whether it’s a player, teacher, coach, alumnus or just a casual fan, can usually point out 49-year-old Bob Young in a crowd, or has at least heard his name before.

Originally from Phoenix, Young came to Cottonwood in 1986 and for the most part, has stayed to not only raise a family of his own, but a family of athletes that have spread across the country.

Head Coach Bob Young is responsible for many successful sports programs at Mingus Union High School. Young has coached football, basketball, softball and baseball during his 25-plus years with the Marauders. In that time, he’s won nearly 20 region championships and two state titles.Since graduating from Camelback High School in the late ’70s when Phoenix was still somewhat a one-road city, Young has had quite a life in sports as an athlete himself, and as a coach.

Young knew in high school he wanted to become a coach, and knew he had to become a teacher to do so.

Before getting into coaching, however, Young attended Arizona State University and was a three-year varsity letter winner for the Sun Devils baseball team from 1980-82.

This was the same team Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball’s home run king and most famous ASU alum, played for a few years later.

After a few years of coaching football, basketball and baseball in the Dysart School District at the junior varsity level, Young decided to try the college game.

“I went to South Mountain Community College for one year. After that, I decided high school was for me,” Young said laughing.

Young made it to Cottonwood, taking an opportunity from a little known 4A school named Mingus and the rest, as they say, is history.

Softball was the first head coaching job Young took at Mingus, but he transferred to baseball after one season and stuck with it for eight years.

In 1995, Young was named head football coach, but he doesn’t give credit to himself for the program’s turnaround.

“Bill Rudolph was the one responsible. Mingus football was a joke then, winning one or two games a year. They just didn’t compete at all. Bill convinced the players then to work hard in the offseason in the weight room and after a few years, the Marauders started to become a respectable team,” Young said.

In the 25-plus years Young has coached at Mingus, whether it was football, baseball, basketball or softball, he still believes the best team he’s ever been around was the 1997 4A state championship football team that finished the season 10-0-1.

“That team just clicked, they came together at the right time. The freshmen worked their butts off for four years, and when they were seniors, they were rewarded,” Young said.

Young isn’t the only family member with success in sports. His oldest son Spencer Young was an All-Arizona baseball star and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays and played with them for a few years in the late 1990s.

Head Coach Bob Young is responsible for many successful  sports programs at Mingus Union High School. Young has coached football,   basketball, softball and baseball during his 25-plus years with the  Marauders. In that time, he’s won nearly 20 region championships and two  state titles.Young is currently on his third stint as the head baseball coach at Mingus, having left twice for various reasons, and his second stint with the football team.

In that time, Young has won 11 regional championships with football and more with baseball while earning one state championship in each sport, football in 1997, and baseball in 2009.

In 1997, Young won his 150th game as a head coach in football, and he brought his win total into the 180s after this season.

What’s the reason for all this success? Young has the answer.

“Having high expectations is one thing, but having kids willing to pay the price is the biggest tool to success. If they buy in to our system, things will work just fine,” Young said.

For now, Young is happy where he is and isn’t planning on leaving any time soon. He says the Cottonwood community and Mingus is where he wants to be, and he believes it will stay that way for a long time.

“This is my home, it’s my family’s home and we like it here,” Young said.

When the day finally came that Camp Verde High School senior Mike Boler was able to walk across the stage, shake hands with his teachers and accept his diploma, instead of thinking about the future, Boler reminisced about the past.

Senior Mike Boler poses for a shot during graduation. Boler made the honor roll this year with a 3.2 GPA and is looking to continue his education in the fall. “It was a great feeling to finally get something I’ve worked hard for, but all I could do was think about the past and how much fun high school was,” Boler said.

Camp Verde football Head Coach Luke Steege shared a fun story about his first memory of Boler when he recalled the first time they went to Blue Ridge High School to play a football game.

“We stayed Thursday night in a hotel because we played Friday and the boys started a Madden tournament, so of course, I had to play in the Madden tournament,” Steege said.

Steege went on to say Boler picked the Dallas Cowboys as his team in the tournament, his favorite team in the NFL, and of course, Steege picked the Arizona Cardinals.

“I hate the Cowboys,” Steege said laughing. “He ended up beating me, and to this day he’s never let me forget it.”

Boler grew up in Camp Verde and found himself admiring Brett Favre, a gunslinger quarterback who played for the Green Bay Packers over 1,800 miles away from his hometown.

Favre, along with Zach Houser, Camp Verde’s senior quarterback when Boler was a freshman, are the biggest reasons why Boler wore No. 4 throughout his high school career in football and baseball.

Boler was a four-year varsity letterman in baseball, starting at shortstop all four seasons and lettering three years in football.

Boler also played varsity basketball his freshman season, then returned to the court this past season to play out his senior year.

“At the time I was looking at shoring up my baseball skills so basketball went on hold I guess,” Boler said.

The move worked for baseball as he was the unanimous choice to be the 2A Metro 1 MVP this past season and was a first team All-State selection this spring.

Despite his many athletic accomplishments at Camp Verde, including being responsible for 1,000 total yards of offense and 10 touchdowns the first five games of the football season in the fall before breaking his arm, Boler is even more proud of something else.

During his senior year academically, Boler recorded a 3.2 GPA and made the honor roll, something he won’t soon forget.

The 19-year-old high school graduate is planning on pursuing a college degree, hopefully a two-year associate’s degree at Southwestern College, a small private school in Phoenix where he might get a chance to play baseball.

He has other options, but according to Boler, the new coach at Southwestern is interested in him playing for them.

In the meantime, Boler will be a part of the Wildland Fireman group this summer, which is something he wouldn’t mind doing when he gets older.

“I knew a few guys on the engine, I took a few classes and I’m ready to go to work this summer. It’s something I would like doing as a career,” Boler said.

Knowing Boler, Steege said if there was ever something you needed done, Boler is the guy you go to, and he spoke of trust.

“If you needed something done, he would get it done, and you don’t have to worry about him ever. That says a lot about him,” Steege said.

Boler has done well for himself so far and with his parents Mike Sr. and Colleen behind him and his older sister Morgan and his younger sister Shelby by his side, there isn’t anything this young man can’t accomplish.

With graduation just around the corner, spring athletics at Mingus Union High School have come to a close but there were a few individuals nominated for All-State and All-Region awards that need recognition.

In baseball, Hunter Zwart earned first team All-State honors for his performance on the diamond this season.

senior shaun mccarty was named a first-team All-Region performer and will play in the 4A-II North-South All-Star game Saturday, June 5, at Surprise Stadium on 7 p.m. Zwart will join Shaun McCarty and play in the 4A-II North-South All-Star game which takes place Saturday, June 5, at Surprise Stadium at 7 p.m.

Zwart also earned 4A-II Grand Canyon region MVP for his .467 average and a team-leading nine home runs and 41 RBIs.

McCarty was nominated to the All-Region first team along with Logan Stewart.

Austin Rogers received second-team All-Region honors and Todd Scalf got honorable mention.

For the Marauders track and field team, the girls were outstanding this season, earning a 4A-II Grand Canyon region championship.

Torey Braly was nominated for the second-team All-State award for finishing second in the 100-meter hurdles at Mesa Community College two weekends ago.

Leslie Kincaid received a first-team All-State award for taking first in the pole vault and Courtney Hageman received second-team All-State votes for her performance in the pole vault as well.

In boys tennis for the Marauders, senior Alexander Lineberry was named the Grand Canyon region MVP, making him a first-team All-Region selection.

Teammates Bobby Lee and Andrew Hickey were nominated to the All-Region first team after taking first in doubles a few weeks ago in the Grand Canyon regional meet.

Jonathon Witt and Austin Strobel received honorable mentions.

freshman torey gillies pitched well enough this season for her Mingus Union High School softball team to be recognized as a second-team All-Region performer.The Mingus softball team had plenty of awards to go around at their banquet.

Senior catcher Tessa Fanning was named the Grand Canyon region MVP for her .611 batting average, nine home runs and 52 RBIs during the season with 42 runs scored. Fanning led the Marauders in all four categories this season.

McKenzie Ricca was nominated as a first-team All-Region performer, her second in as many seasons, while Sabrina Ortiz, Cassie Norman and Leshea Taylor were also first-team All-Region award winners.

Torey Gillies was named a second-team All-Region performer and Angelina Saucedo received honorable mention.

New this year to the Grand Canyon region, Bailey Mabery received the sportsmanship of the year award while Ortiz was named All-Academic player of the year with a 4.1 GPA, good enough for top five in her class.

More Articles ...

Online Poll

How important is in-town residency for municipal staff?

Verde Valley Weather

Cottonwood United States Partly Cloudy (day), 71 °F
Current Conditions
Sunrise: 5:29 am   |   Sunset: 7:39 pm
81%     0.0 mph     29.732 bar
Thu Low: 67 °F High: 84 °F
Fri Low: 66 °F High: 84 °F
Sat Low: 67 °F High: 88 °F
Sun Low: 67 °F High: 87 °F
Mon Low: 67 °F High: 83 °F
Tue Low: 67 °F High: 84 °F
Wed Low: 67 °F High: 89 °F
Thu Low: 68 °F High: 90 °F
Fri Low: 71 °F High: 91 °F
Sat Low: 71 °F High: 94 °F