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Entering the 2011-2012 season, Head Coach Mark Showers may start the same four players he has the last two seasons, a luxury in high school basketball these days.

Donnie Buss, foreground, tries to get around the guarding skills of Amanda Showers on June 1 during practice for the Camp Verde High School summer basketball program.This summer, the Camp Verde High School girls basketball team began its schedule Monday, June 6, at home playing host to cross-valley rivals Mingus Union and Sedona Red Rock high schools. Results were unavailable at press time.

At practice last week, the same old group, including juniors Amanda Showers, Donnie Buss and Katie Wilson, were in the gymnasium along with senior center Lila Hickey.

The four Cowboy standouts have had quite a run the last few years, most recently finishing 25-4 overall in 2010-2011.

Camp Verde qualified for the 2A conference state playoffs in February and defeated Benson High School in round one, 50-36.

In round two, the Cowboys had a tough time stopping Pima High School, which ended Camp Verde’s season, 41-40.

“We had a good year last season. I’m excited to get the kids back in the gymnasium,” Showers said. “The kids had a few practices last week, and now it’s time to play some games.”

The Cowboys return almost everyone this summer from last year except two seniors, Taylor Phillips and Viv Lucero, who graduated in May.

The senior class for this coming season includes Hickey, guard Mayra Perez and guard Tori Mathews. As for the juniors, Amanda Showers, Buss, Wilson and guard Shelby Mulcaire lead the way.

After making the varsity squad her freshman year, Marissa Flores is back this summer to get things going for her sophomore campaign.

Sophomore Maddy Showers also joins the Cowboys this June looking to improve her skills on the court.

The Cowboys have four Monday night leagues, which began Monday, June 6, in Camp Verde. The Cowboys will travel to Flagstaff and play at Coconino High School on Monday, June 13, and will be at Sedona on Monday, June 20. Monday, June 27, the Cowboys will play at Mingus.

“The Monday night league is subject to change. But it sounds like it’s a go,” Mark Showers said.

Friday, June 10, the Cowboys will play two games at Prescott High School against Kingman and Bradshaw Mountain high schools.

To end the summer, Showers and his bunch will travel to San Diego to participate in the Point Loma Invitational at Point Loma Nazarene University. The tournament runs Friday through Sunday, June 24 to 26.

Mingus Union High School junior Torey Braly did some amazing things on the athletic field this past school year, and she hopes her senior season will be even better.

Torey Braly won the 300-meter hurdles event at the Division III State Championships in Mesa this past May. Braly was a first-team All-State selection in the 300-meter hurdles.Once a three-sport athlete, the 17-year-old Braly decided to leave cross country behind her and concentrate on soccer and the track and field program.

It couldn’t have worked out better for Braly, who has become one of the best soccer players in the state in any classification, and one of the top hurdlers in Division III.

As for the three-sport girl, Braly said she doesn’t miss cross country too much, but does think it’s easier participating in only two sports.

“Two sports is nothing,” Braly said May 25 near the football field during an interview at Mingus. “I had to crack down and focus on two sports. I wanted to be great in two sports.”

During the winter, Braly absolutely shattered the school scoring record, netting 39 goals and leading her Marauders to a second straight 4A-II Grand Canyon region title.

“I told coach not to tell me. I didn’t want to know how many goals I was scoring because I didn’t want it to become about me,” Braly said.

Mingus qualified for the state tournament as a No. 3 seed, but lost to rival Flagstaff High School, the team it beat for the region title, in the state semifinals in overtime, 1-0.

Torey Braly scored 39 goals for the Mingus Union High School girls soccer team this past season.As a sophomore, Braly led the Marauders to a 1-0 win over Flagstaff in the state title match in 2009-2010.

“It was a blessing to win a state championship in high school. I mean, that’s what high school athletes strive for, to win a state title,” Braly said.

At the end of this season, Braly was awarded the Grand Canyon region most valuable player award. Along with receiving a first-team All-State selection, Braly was named player of the year in the 4A-II.

Of course, soccer isn’t the only sport Braly’s mastered so early in her athletic life. Competing in the hurdles events for the track and field program at Mingus has become a focus of hers as well.

“To be a good hurdler is a blessing,” Braly said.

This spring, Braly finished first overall in the 300-meter hurdles in Mesa with a 46.14 time, claiming an individual state championship for the Marauders and a first-team All-State selection.

“I love the 300 hurdles. Being in my own head for 46 seconds or so is a challenge,” Braly said with a big smile.

Junior Torey Braly was the 4A-II conference player of the year in soccer this past winter, and was a state champion in the 300-meter hurdles this spring. Braly is already getting looked at to play soccer at Northern Arizona University come 2012-2013.Braly was second in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.83 time, and ran a leg in the 4x400-meter relay event with her teammates. The two performances earned her second-team All-State honors in the respective events.

The young superstar in the making attributes her success to her older sister, Deserta Braly, who wasn’t a bad soccer player herself and was a kicker on the Mingus football team.

“She’s helped me a lot over the years. It’s hard that she’s not here now because I’m so used to her helping me. She showed me how to do the hurdles when I started in fifth grade,” Braly said.

During her spare time, Braly works at the Cottonwood Recreation Center as a lifeguard at the community pool, and she attends plenty of soccer camps in the summer.

She also likes to hang with friends and do lots of swimming when she’s not working as a lifeguard.

For her immediate future, Braly said she’ll continue to work hard at her two sports while keeping her grade point average at 4.0. As for the distant future, Braly has a good idea what’s in store for her.

The Northern Arizona University women’s soccer program is recruiting her heavily to attend NAU after she graduates in May 2012.

“It’s not official, of course, but I like it up there, and it’s something I want to do, which is play soccer in college,” Braly said.

It’s hard enough to play one sport in high school with all the extra time spent at practice, on the road, and in the classroom to make up assignments.

How about three sports?

Katie Wilson, left, and Amanda Showers will enter the  upperclassman stage of their high school careers in the fall when they become juniors, which is bad news for anyone playing against them in volleyball, basketball or in track and field. The girls have already earned multiple All-Region and All-State awards and the sky is the limit for them in the next two years.There are usually a few athletes in any high school setting who can play three sports, but there are next to none who can play three sports at a higher level and be great at them all.

At Camp Verde High School, the Cowboys have two young ladies who fit the bill, and dominate their chosen sports each season throughout the school year.

Sophomores Amanda Showers and Katie Wilson, who will be juniors come August, burst onto the scene their freshman year and won’t be giving up the spotlight anytime soon.

“It’s hard to play three sports,” Wilson said May 25 in an interview, with school out and summer in full swing. “You get used to it.”

Wilson went on to share she almost didn’t participate in the track and field program her freshman year, but made it only a week without having anything to do after basketball and she couldn’t stand it.

“I spend my time doing sports. Yes, it’s hard with the homework and all, but I have to play. It’s who I am,” Wilson said.

Wilson finished eighth in the discus at Mesa Community College on May 13 and 14 in the Division III State Championships this spring.

In basketball, Wilson was an All-Region first-team selection, and was honorable mention on the All-State team. In the fall, Wilson was a letter winner in volleyball for the second straight season, and earned second-team All-Region honors.

Head Girls Basketball Coach Mark Showers once said, “Katie [Wilson] is a beast on the boards; she gets everything.” Wilson seems to be a “beast” in anything she does, and her best years are still in front of her in high school.

Wilson said a benefit of playing three sports is the possible scholarships she could earn in college, which is a personal goal of hers.

As for Amanda Showers, her story is similar to Wilson’s, which is why the two are good friends off the court.

Showers is a two-year varsity letter winner in volleyball, basketball, and track and field.

The 16-year-old Showers earned high point awards in track and field her last two seasons and was a first-team All-Region performer in basketball. Showers was on the honorable mention All-State team as well for hoops.

In volleyball this past school year, Showers earned honorable mention All-Region. In track and field this past spring, Showers took fifth in the 100-meter hurdles and was third in the 300-meter hurdles.

In talking with Showers, she said out of the three sports, basketball would be her favorite. Wilson agreed. Showers is in agreement with Wilson in the scholarship department, but also had this to say about playing three sports in high school:

“It really looks good on applications for jobs and colleges. The character qualities you get while playing sports is helpful too; my dad is big on character qualities,” Showers said.

The two girls plan to continue their triple sports involvement in their junior and senior year before graduating in May 2013.

“I like playing three sports; it keeps me busy. I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I didn’t have a practice or a game to go to,” Showers said.

The athletic department at Mingus Union High School officially announced its spring sports awards Tuesday,

Courtney Hageman, seen here talking with Mingus fans at Mesa Community College on May 13 in the Division III State Championships, earned first-team All-State honors for her performance in the pole vault event. Hageman finished first overall with a 10-foot, 6-inch vault.May 24, handing out several honors to Marauders players for a job well done this season.

In track and field, the Marauders had two athletes finish high enough in their respective events to earn first-team All-State honors in junior Torey Braly and Courtney Hageman.

Braly finished first overall in the 300-meter hurdles event at Mesa Community College on May 14 with her 46.14 time, while Hageman won the pole vault event with a 10-foot,

6-inch vault.

Braly earned second-team All-State honors with teammates Annie Ngon, Delaney Scanlan and Juliette Friedland for their performance in the 4x400-meter relay event.

Braly was also a second-team All-State performer in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing second overall with a 15.83 time.

Erick Quesada was the top lead-off man for the Marauders this season and earned first-team All-Region honors. Quesada led the Mingus baseball team with 46 hits and 18 stolen bases.In softball, Mingus had an outstanding season thanks to Kayla Storie, Cassie Norman and Torey Gillies, who were voted first-team All-Region performers in the 4A-II Grand Canyon this season.

Norman hit .393 with four home runs and 32 RBIs while Storie and Gillies each tied for the team lead in hits with 38. Gillies led the team in doubles with 10 and had two home runs and 26 RBIs. Storie hit .396 on the season and scored 23 runs.

Lashea Taylor, Angelina Saucedo and Kalina Boysen each earned second-team All-Region awards, Mingus Head Coach Heather Wacker announced, while Ari Jaraczewski was honorable mention.

Joni Olson received the Grand Canyon sportsmanship award, while Taylor Brott was the region’s top academic player.

As for the baseball team, first-year Mingus Head Coach Kent Winslow was proud to add a few players from his team for region selections.

Senior Erick Quesada and Carlos Abrigo were selected first-team All-Region players for their performance this season.

Quesada led the Marauders in 2011 with 46 hits, hitting .446 on the season to go along with his three home runs and 21 RBIs. Quesada also led the team in runs scored with 33 and stolen bases with 18.

Torey Gillie was selected as a first-team All-Region performer this season in the 4A-II Grand Canyon.Abrigo wasn’t bad himself, hitting .365 this season and finishing second on the team in hits with 38. Abrigo led the Marauders in home runs with six, and was second on the team in RBIs with 27.

Receiving second-team All-Region awards for the Mingus baseball team were Todd Scalf, Ronald Morones, Evan McFarland, Cruz Chavez and Matt Chavez. Mike Newhall received an honorable mention award.

Trent Fogelson finished fourth in the 400-meter dash in the Division III State Championships, earning an All-State nomination.The Camp Verde High School coaches and their programs officially released their All-Region and All-State selections for the spring sports season Monday, May 23.

In baseball, second-year Cowboys Head Coach Steve Hicks announced three players received All-Region awards for their stellar performances on the field this season.

Tanner Rezzonico, Austin Bower and Jesse Fullbright were all nominated first-team All-Metro I region players by coaches in the 2A Metro.

Katie Wilson finished eighth at state in the discus this  spring, making her an All-State honorable mention nomineeRezzonico hit .365 this season with 23 RBIs and 17 stolen bases while recording a 4.35 earned run average on the mound.

Bower hit .360 this spring with 11 doubles and 23 RBIs and was outstanding on the bump, sporting a 2.31 ERA.

As for Fullbright, he was tops on the team with a .639 slugging percentage and hit for a .433 average with 11 stolen bases.

In the track and field program for Camp Verde, longtime Head Coach Lori Showers said she was proud of her kids for their accomplishments this season.

Trent Fogelson received All-State honors for his performance in the 400-meter dash, finishing fourth overall with a 50.94 time at the Division III State Championships in Mesa on May 14.

Austin Bower was selected by 2A Metro coaches this spring as a first-team All-Metro I performer after his solid spring season for the Cowboys.Sophomore Amanda Showers was named to the All-State team with her 300-meter hurdles time of 49.53, which gave her a sixth-place finish in Mesa.

Also included in the All-State selections for the Cowboys was sophomore Katie Wilson who finished eighth overall in the discus with a 93-foot, 6-inch throw.

Camp Verde softball had a few All-Region selections of their own, Head Coach Debbie Miller announced Monday, with senior pitcher Roque Parker leading the way.

Parker received a first-team All-Metro I selection for her work in the circle this season while Cowboys teammates Amy Allen and Jesse Fulbright were honored with first-team All-Metro I selections as well.

Page Kenney received All-Metro I honorable mention.

In golf for Camp Verde, junior Wilfred Tewawina finished 69th overall at the Division III State Championships in Prescott on May 13 and 14.

Jasmine Fullbright slides into home plate in a game earlier this season. Fullbright was named a first team All-Metro I region performer for her work on the softball field this spring. The Camp Verde High School spring sports teams announced awards Monday, May 23.Although Tewawina didn’t meet the top 15 finish requirements to earn a first-, second- or honorable-mention All-State award, he did qualify to make the state tournament which is an outstanding accomplishment.

Tewawina was one of 81 players to qualify in Division III this spring, and with over 50 schools and nearly 500 golfers eligible to qualify, he deserves recognition

The Camp Verde High School softball team’s season came to an end Saturday, May 7, as No. 3 Bourgade Catholic High School defeated the Cowboys, 14-5.

“We had a good run,” longtime Camp Verde Head Coach Debbie Miller said. “I’m proud of our girls and what they accomplished this season.”

At No. 14, the Cowboys were paired with No. 19 Tombstone High School in round one of the 2A conference state tournament Friday, May 6.

Camp Verde easily disposed of Tombstone to move on to the round of 16, 8-0.

On Saturday, things seemed to be going in Camp Verde’s favor from the get-go. The Cowboys tallied a first inning run against the Golden Eagles to take a 1-0 lead, but surrendered the lead in the bottom half of the first as Bourgade Catholic tied it, 1-1.

Senior Roque Parker pitched six innings against No. 3 Bourgade Catholic High School on Saturday, May 7, but allowed 14 runs, 10 earned, on 15 hits in a 14-5 loss in the 2A conference state tournament.It was the top of the second, however, that gave the Cowboys the advantage, as they scored four runs to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

Senior Roque Parker had the big blow in the inning, lacing a 1-1 pitch for a double to score Jasmine Fullbright and Megan Teague to make it 5-1.

“We came out strong early but they started chipping away at us inning by inning,” Miller said.

Trailing 5-1, the Golden Eagles brought in ace pitcher Jacqueline Aguilar who shut down the Camp Verde attack almost immediately.

Aguilar was obviously being saved by the Bourgade Catholic coaching staff for the next round. Aguilar faced 17 Camp Verde total batters Saturday, striking out 13.

With the Camp Verde offense held in check by Aguilar, the Golden Eagles were able to tally two runs in the third, four in the fourth, and three in each of the fifth and sixth innings to take a 15-4 lead, which was the final.

Parker did what she could to keep her Cowboys in it, but in the end, it just wasn’t enough for the senior.

“Roque [Parker] battled all night long for us. That’s all I ask of her,” Miller said.

Parker went six innings, allowed 14 runs, 10 earned, on 15 hits while walking one and striking out two.

At the plate, Parker was 1-3 with the two-RBI double, while Fullbright was 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Danielle Hunt was 1-3 with an RBI while Amy Allen was 1-2 with an RBI as well.

With the loss, Camp Verde wraps up the 2011 season with a 16-13 overall record and a top 15 finish [42 teams] in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls.

Camp Verde graduates only five seniors this May with Parker easily being the biggest loss for the Cowboys heading into 2011-2012.

“We’ve got a few girls graduating, but we’ve got a few girls coming up that will fill in nicely. It will be fun to see how things go next season,” Miller said.

Both Marissa Simmons and Madison Garcia are candidates to replace Parker in the circle next spring for the Cowboys, with the remainder of the team still intact.

Camp Verde will be in a whole new ball game next spring, as the AIA transitions its schools to the new alignment plan for team sports, which begins in August for the 2011-2012 school year.

The Cowboys will be in Division III [Section III] next season.

The Mingus Union High School softball team lost in its season finale Tuesday, May 3, as top-ranked Shadow Mountain High School steamrolled the Marauders, 14-3.

Shadow Mountain was a perfect 17-0 coming into Tuesday’s affair.

“They’re 17-0 for a reason,” Mingus Head Coach Heather Wacker said. “We stuck with them for a while but came apart in the end.”

Mingus Union High School softball players welcome teammate Cassie Norman, fourth from right, to home plate after she hit one over the fence during a home game against Shadow Mountain High School on Tuesday, May 3.After four innings of play, Mingus trailed 5-3 thanks to a big two-run home run by sophomore catcher Cassie Norman in the bottom half of the fourth.

Sophomore starting pitcher Angelina Saucedo didn’t get out of the third inning for the Marauders, pitching only 2? innings while allowing six runs.

Wacker had to throw freshman Ari Jaraczewski to the wolves Tuesday; Jaraczewski allowed eight more runs to cross the plate in the loss.

“She’s just not ready for that level of ball yet,” Wacker said.

With the loss, Mingus wraps up its regular season with a 13-14 [4-4, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall record.

Although the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point scheme isn’t an exact science, the Marauders should sit at No. 10 when it’s all said and done.

If Mingus, which was 11-6 in AIA power point games this season, is the No. 10 seed heading into the 4A-II conference state playoffs, they would face No. 7 Douglas High School in round one.

The first round of the state playoffs is scheduled for Friday, May 6. The Marauders will have to travel to Douglas [15-3] since first- and second-round games are hosted by the higher seed. The second round is set for Tuesday, May 10.

First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

State semifinal action begins Thursday, May 12, at Rose Mofford Softball Complex in Phoenix, where the rest of the state tournament will remain. The title game will be Saturday, May 14.

If the Marauders are lucky and good enough to get past Douglas this Friday, Mingus will more than likely have to travel to No. 2 Notre Dame Preparatory Academy on Tuesday.

First pitch would be at 4 p.m.

Notre Dame is currently 17-1 overall this season and should have no problem with possible No. 15 seed Shadow Ridge High School on Friday.

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.

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