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It’s been an interesting summer so far for Mingus Union High School Athletic Director Mike Boysen. He’s had a few head coach positions open up at the end of spring and has worked tirelessly to fill them.

Brian Herman was officially announced by Mingus Union High School Athletic Director Mike Boysen on July 13 as the new head volleyball coach for the Marauders. Herman played  volleyball in high school in Pennsylvania and was a Mingus assistant volleyball coach under Audrey Islas since 2008 before receiving the promotion.On July 13, Boysen officially ended the search for a new volleyball coach. He didn’t have to look far, naming three-year assistant coach Brian Herman the Marauders’ next head volleyball coach.

“I think he’ll do a good job for us. He’ll be just fine,” Boysen said Tuesday.

Herman took over for longtime Mingus Head Coach Audrey Islas on an interim basis halfway through the 2010 season, but the title was not official until this week.

Islas took a leave of absence from the school and decided to make it a permanent decision at the end of spring, leaving the Marauders without a volleyball coach.

At first, Herman wasn’t interested in the job, stating that he thought it was better for the school to find a teacher to replace Islas’ class load first, preferably a teacher who would want to coach volleyball as well.

Midway through July, it didn’t look like Boysen was going to find a suitable replacement, thus coming to Herman to help him out.

“They had trouble filling the slot. Ideally the school needs to find a teacher that can coach volleyball too. But, I’m glad to be the new head coach. I look forward to working with the girls,” Herman said Tuesday.

Not far from Philadelphia sits a little town called Lancaster, Penn., where Herman grew up.

Living in the Verde Valley is a little different than growing up on the East Coast. The long, cold, 12-foot snowdrift winters are no longer present, and neither are bodies of water for that matter.

Trading oak trees and miles of green for desert and a few cacti couldn’t have been easy, but so far, Herman is making do.

Herman graduated from Penn Manor High School in 1997 before moving on to Pennsylvania State University.

Herman lasted only a semester at PSU before deciding to follow his dream to become a pilot and an aerospace engineer. He moved to Prescott Valley in 1999 to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

“I wanted to do it right and get into the flight program so I decided to move out here,” Herman said.

Herman lasted only two years in the program before dropping out due to financial reasons in 2001. He also met the love of his life in Kristy, who he married the same year.

“The student loans began to run out and I had huge bills so I had to stop. It was a tough decision,” Herman said.

Herman began work in a concrete masonry business his wife’s father owned, and has been doing it ever since. He is currently a concrete foreman. Herman and his wife Kristy have three children — Alek, 6, Anrika, 4, and Kalee, 3.

In high school, Herman played soccer and volleyball and was a second team All-Conference selection for volleyball his junior season.

Herman became interested in coaching volleyball at Mingus when he first moved to the Verde Valley 10 years ago, but never had the time to do so.

“I never had the time at first. But now, with the downturn in the economy, I have some time to work with the kids,” Herman said.

He joined the Mingus coaching staff in 2008 and has worked as the head assistant coach for three years until being named  head coach this week.

“I’d like to maintain the level of play Audrey [Islas] did here and I think I can do that. We expect to make state, we expect to compete and we want to continue to build a strong program here at Mingus,” Herman said.

In his spare time, Herman likes to still play volleyball, participating in local recreation leagues, and he hunts and fishes.

Herman is a big Nittany Lions fan and likes to follow the Arizona Cardinals football team.

“I’m happy to be here and I look forward to this opportunity,” Herman said.

Tommy McCarty throws a pitch against the Williams All-Stars batter during a game July 13. McCarty was 4-5 with four runs scored in the championship against the Chino Valley All-Stars on Friday, July 15. The Camp Verde All-Stars went 6-1 overall in the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament at Camp Verde High School to win the title.There’s nothing more disappointing in baseball than a balked-in run to end a game, especially when it’s for a championship.

Standing at third base as the winning run in the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament, Camp Verde Juniors All-Stars player Orlando Machado faked a steal to home plate, causing the Chino Valley All-Stars pitcher to flinch, leading to the balk call.

The flinch cost Chino Valley the game and the tournament title in what was one of the more disappointing endings to a game one could see.

Nevertheless, it made Camp Verde’s comeback complete as the boys in blue celebrated a District 10 title.

Needing every minute of time before curfew, Machado crossed home plate at 12:30 a.m. Saturday, July 16.

The two teams began play at 5 p.m. Friday, July 15, in game one of the championship. Coming from the losers bracket, Camp Verde needed to defeat Chino Valley twice to earn the title.

Camp Verde won game one, 14-12, forcing game two which Camp Verde eventually won, 12-11.

In the beginning of the District 10 tournament, Camp Verde lost to Chino Valley in round one, 3-2. The loss sent Camp Verde to the losers bracket, making them have to win four games just to get back to the championship.

“It was a difficult process,” Camp Verde coach Tom McCarty said.

In game two of the championship, starting pitcher Coy Dugan toed the mound and went 5? innings pitched while giving up seven runs on nine hits while striking out six.

“I was so impressed with Coy [Dugan]. He doesn’t pitch much at all for us. But because of having to play all those games in the losers bracket, we didn’t have any pitching left. So for him to go that long, and for us to win, that was impressive,” McCarty said.

In the fifth, Chino Valley tied it 7-7 after Dugan was removed. McCarty brought in relief pitcher Zach Collins who held serve — barely.

Tied 7-7, Camp Verde scored four runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning to take an 11-7 lead, but Chino Valley came right back against Collins to score four runs in the seventh, tieing it once again at 11-11.

Machado, who was 4-5 with three runs scored, recorded a base hit and made it to third base before scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 12-11, which was the final.

“He really put pressure on their pitcher and he faked him out big time. Orlando [Machado] did a great job in this series,” McCarty said.

Another standout at the plate offensively for Camp Verde was shortstop Tommy McCarty who was 4-5 with four runs scored, hitting an inside the park home run during the four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth. McCarty added a triple as well to his stellar night at the dish.

In the end, Camp Verde was able to raise the banner after an impressive 6-1 record in the District 10 tournament at Camp Verde High School.

Camp Verde was scheduled to begin the Arizona Little League State Tournament on Monday, July 18, at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. Results were unavailable at press time.

Tyler Kelly pitched his tail off Monday, July 11, in an 8-4 loss to the Camp Verde All-Stars. Kelly and his Verde Valley Majors All-Stars baseball team [ages 11 to 12] finished the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament with a 2-2 record.Despite having one of its best pitchers on the mound Monday, July 11, the Verde Valley Majors All-Stars baseball team [ages 11 to 12] was eliminated, 8-4.

“I’m happy with the kids, even though I don’t think they performed up to their ability,” Verde Valley Head Coach Creighton Kim said. “I am a little disappointed that things didn’t line up for us the way we hoped.”

At the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament in Prescott Valley on Monday, Verde Valley sent 11-year-old Tyler Kelly to the mound to face its crosstown rival, the Camp Verde All-Stars.

After throwing a zero up on the board in the first inning, Kelly went on to allow Camp Verde to score two runs in the second, and three runs each in the third and fourth innings and was chased from the game after 85 pitches.

Down 2-0, Verde Valley scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning to tie it, 2-2, but then gave up the three runs in the third and the fourth on several miscues, and trailed 8-4 which was the final.

Kelly went four innings, allowing eight runs, four of which were earned, on four hits and one walk while striking out six Camp Verde hitters.

Kim brought in 12-year-old relief pitcher Jordan Estrada who shut down Camp Verde in his one inning of work in the fifth.

In the sixth, 12-year-old Josh Cole did the same, keeping Verde Valley close, but in the end, the boys in red couldn’t get it done with the bats.

Standouts at the plate for Verde Valley included Kelly who was 3-4 on the game while 12-year-old third baseman Bailey Pelletier was 2-3 with two runs scored. Right fielder Tim Loper, 12, was 2-3 as well with two runs scored.

Verde Valley began its tournament with an impressive 7-0 win July 5 over the Chino Valley All-Stars, but lost July 6 to the Prescott Valley All-Stars, 10-5.

After beating the Wickenburg All-Stars on Saturday, July 9, 14-0, Verde Valley earned the right to play Camp Verde.

With the 8-4 loss to Camp Verde, Verde Valley finishes the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament with a 2-2 record.

Camp Verde went on to defeat the Prescott South All-Stars on Tuesday, July 12, 4-0, putting them in the District 10 championship game Wednesday, July 13, against Prescott Valley.

First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. Camp Verde will need to defeat Prescott Valley twice if it expects to win the title.

Ezekial Casillas looks to throw a Sedona All-Stars runner out at first base Saturday, July 9, in Prescott Valley. Casillas and the Camp Verde All-Stars are 3-1 in the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament.After losing its first game July 6 in the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament, the Camp Verde Majors All-Stars baseball team [ages 11 to 12] has won three straight to inch closer to its hopes of a title.

Camp Verde struggled against the Prescott Valley All-Stars on July 6 in round one of the district tournament, losing 17-4.

Since then, however, Camp Verde made quick work of the Dewey-Humboldt All-Stars on Thursday, July 7, defeating them 10-0.

Camp Verde beat rival Sedona All-Stars in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday, July 10, 10-0, then turned around and beat the Prescott North All-Stars in game two, 8-5.

The boys in blue had to wait a few days for the weather to cooperate at Mountain Valley Park in Prescott Valley, which is why they played two Sunday.

“There’s no doubt we played well,” Camp Verde Head Coach Craig Reddell said Sunday after the doubleheader when asked how his team played. “In today’s last game, we had one bad inning, but we did fine after that.”

Against Prescott North, Camp Verde starting pitcher Ezekial Casillas toed the mound, going four innings while allowing five runs.

Casillas struck out six and walked a pair in his four innings, throwing 84 pitches before being removed by Reddell.

Camp Verde scored two runs in each of the first and second innings to lead it 4-0 but the five-run bottom of the fourth for Prescott North chased Casillas from the game.

Beau Bullard took over and threw 19 pitches as the Camp Verde coaching staff looked to save him for their next game, going 1? innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.

Down 5-4, Camp Verde tallied one run in the top of the sixth to tie it 5-5, and the teams needed extra innings to decide things Sunday.

According to Reddell, relief pitcher Patrick Hood could receive player of the game honors, going the final 3? innings on the mound while allowing four hits and no walks while throwing only 26 pitches.

“Patrick [Hood] put a stop to it all and kept us in it. He did a great job,” Reddell said.

Hood’s efforts on the mound allowed Camp Verde to scored three runs in the top of the ninth to take an 8-5 lead, which would be the final.

With the win, Camp Verde improves to 3-1 in the District 10 tournament. Camp Verde continued tournament play Monday, July 11, but results were unavailable at press time.

Taya Smith demonstrates the power of her fastball during a Camp Verde-Verde Valley game at Riverfront Park on June 28. The two teams would meet in the championship, with Camp Verde winning the title.The Camp Verde Majors All-Stars softball team [ages 11 and 12] needed only four innings Thursday, June 30, to prove it was the better team, defeating the Verde Valley All-Stars in the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament championship, 22-2.

Camp Verde beat Verde Valley in the tournament semifinals June 28, 13-1, but made sure to hold the banner Thursday in a one-sided affair.

Kayla Hackett, left, tangles with Verde Valley All-stars pitcher Krista Earl at home plate during a game at Riverfront Park on June 28. The rest of the Camp Verde Majors All-Stars went on to win the District 10 title against Verde Valley, 22-2, on Thursday, June 30. “These girls played like they should. It’s a championship game and they played like it was the championship,” Camp Verde Head Coach Henry Smith said in the dugout Thursday after the game. Smith has coached this group since T-Ball, making it his sixth year coaching in Little League.

With the victory, Camp Verde finished the District 10 tournament with a perfect 4-0 record, having beaten the Prescott Valley All-Stars in round one [2-1], and the Williams All-Stars in the quarterfinals, 13-0.

In the four tournament games, Camp Verde outscored its opponents 50-4.

On Thursday, 12-year-old Dusty Dowdle toed the mound looking to shut down Verde Valley’s high-powered attack.

Verde Valley came into Thursday’s championship with a 2-1 record, having beaten Prescott Valley on June 29, 19-12.

Dowdle showed no fear against the Verde Valley lineup, pitching two strong innings while not allowing a run on no hits while striking out three batters.

In the top of the first, Camp Verde tallied four runs to take a 4-0 lead, then scored nine in the top of the second to give itself a commanding 13-0 advantage.

After her two innings, Dowdle gave way to 12-year-old relief pitcher Taya Smith, who went the remaining two innings.

The first two batters Smith faced recorded base hits in the bottom of the third inning, and both scored, but Smith settled down to allow only two runs on three hits while striking out three on the night.

Leading 14-2, Camp Verde scored eight more runs in the top half of the fourth, making it a 22-2 blowout.

In the fourth, Dowdle singled to left field to bring in two runs, which made it 17-2 at the time to put things out of reach for Verde Valley. Dowdle was 3-4 with a double, a triple, three runs scored and three RBIs in the winning effort.

Smith wasn’t half bad herself, going 2-4 with a double and three runs scored.

“If we play at this level, we can be good,” Henry Smith said.

Next up for Camp Verde is the Arizona Little League State Championships, scheduled to take place in Peoria. A date, time and location for Camp Verde’s first-round game in the state tournament was not released by press time.

The Verde Valley All-Stars baseball team [ages 10 to 11] claimed the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament championship Thursday, June 30, defeating the Camp Verde All-Stars, 10-6. It is coach Pete Kelly’s second District 10 title in as many years, after he coached the Verde Valley Minors All-Stars [ages 9 to 10] to a title in 2010.The Verde Valley All-Stars baseball team [ages 10 to 11] claimed the District 10 Arizona Little League All-Stars Tournament championship Thursday, June 30.

Verde Valley would get its rival in the Camp Verde All-Stars on Friday in the title game, a rematch from the first-round game June 27 which Verde Valley won, 11-1.

Verde Valley defeated the Prescott Valley All-Stars in the tournament semifinals June 28, 16-6, which earned the team a spot in the finals. Verde Valley outscored its opponents 37-13 in three tournament games.

Up 6-5 heading into the top of the sixth inning, Verde Valley tallied four runs on five base hits to put things out of reach for Camp Verde.

“I actually said to the boys, ‘I want at least three runs in this inning. We need to get a big lead.’ For whatever reason, it worked, and we were able to win the championship,” Verde Valley skipper Pete Kelly said.

It is the second District 10 title for Kelly, who coached the Verde Valley Minors All-Stars baseball team [ages 9 to 10] to a district title in 2010.

Starting pitcher Jose Pacheco, 11, toed the mound for Verde Valley on Thursday looking to shut down the cross-valley rival at Butler Park in Camp Verde.

Pacheco was brilliant against Camp Verde in game one, and wasn’t far off in the title game against the same lineup.

Pacheco pitched a complete game, going six innings while allowing six runs, four of which were unearned in the 10-6 victory.

“He started against Camp Verde in our first game, so I figured he’d do a good job against them again this time around,” Kelly said.

Pacheco held Camp Verde at bay for several innings, but it was the Verde Valley offensive attack in the sixth which put it away for the boys in red.

Center fielder Matt Bachler, 11, had a big hit to get things going for Verde Valley in the sixth, abd 11-year-old Gus Henley had a clutch three-run double in the inning to put Verde Valley up 10-5.

“I thought the kids performed well. I was a bit disappointed in the errors in that last game, but it was a good team effort,” said Kelly, whose team went 3-0 in the district tournament.

When asked if he expected to win the tournament, Kelly was as modest as possible in saying there were some good teams in the tournament, but he was confident the Verde Valley boys would get it done.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the 11’s tournament. Some leagues pull up all the 11-year-old kids to the 12’s team, and some keep them down,” Kelly said.

Verde Valley will take some time off before hitting the practice field once again in preparation for the Arizona Little League State Championships, scheduled to begin in Yuma on Monday, July 18.

Bob YoungHaving tendered his resignation in May, giving up all that he had known for 20-plus years at Mingus Union High School, Bob Young is back.

Confirmed by Mingus Athletic Director Mike Boysen on Friday, July 1, Young is returning to coach the Marauders football program for the fall 2011 season, and possibly beyond.

“I was told this morning by our superintendent and our principal that he was, in fact, coming back,” Boysen said Friday.

Mingus players and coaching staff were alerted Thursday, June 30, of Young coming back, with Boysen and company confirming early Friday morning.

Young resigned May 27 after being lured by Prescott High School Athletic Director Bill White to coach the Badger football program.

On June 1, Young released a statement in the Cottonwood Journal Extra, stating, “At this part of my life, I was getting stagnant. I felt I wasn’t getting better as a coach, and that I was coasting.”

Welcome back to coasting.

Whether he coasts, or gets better as a coach this coming season, the Marauders and their coaching staff are just happy to have him back.

“I was happy to do it, but I’m glad he’s back. I’d rather be an assistant. This is what I’m good at,” longtime Mingus assistant coach Neil Dixon said.

Dixon was the interim head coach for Mingus for about two weeks before being named the man in charge June 22. Less than 10 days later, Young reclaimed his title as head coach.

“I’m coming back. Yeah, I know it’s kind of goofy, but things worked out for me to come back. I’ve decided to come back because of my family,” Young said in a voicemail message Friday.

Young is 68-21 since 2004 at Mingus and has led the Marauders to the state playoffs six straight seasons.

Young brought home a state championship in 1997 and came close in 2007 when the Marauders started 13-0 before losing to Notre Dame Preparatory Academy in the title game at Cardinals Stadium.

Mingus was 9-3 in 2010, defeating No. 11 Greenway High School in the first round of the 4A-II conference state playoffs in November, 28-21. The Marauders lost to No. 3 Notre Dame the following week in the quarterfinals, 42-14.

Young led the Mingus baseball team to a state title in 2009, and stepped down as head coach to take the pitching coach job under first-year Head Coach Kent Winslow this past spring.

No official word was released regarding whether Young will retain his position as pitching coach for the Marauders.

Luke Simmons looks to throw to an open receiver downfield Saturday, June 25, at a seven-on-seven tournament in Sedona. The Mingus Union High School football team traveled to Sedona this past weekend to participate in a seven-on-seven football tournament, going 3-3.

A few days before the tournament, Mingus players were told longtime assistant coach and current interim Head Coach Neil Dixon would take the job and be the full-time head man in charge for the 2011 season.

On June 22, Mingus Athletic Director Mike Boysen officially announced the hire, stating he was pleased with Dixon and the job he’s done over the last 25-plus years as an assistant.

The seven-on-seven tournament Saturday, June 25, provided the first games for Dixon as the permanent head coach and he said the Marauders responded well.

Neil Dixon was named the next football head coach at Mingus Union High School on June 22. Dixon was named interim head coach after Bob Young resigned in May.“I’ve been doing all the summer stuff anyway, since I was the interim coach, and my response as an interim coach is probably the same as a head coach. I thought the boys played well and worked hard,” Dixon said after being asked how the team looked Saturday.

In the morning pool play games at Sedona Red Rock High School, Mingus defeated Chino Valley High School to start things off, 26-14. The Marauders turned around to defeat rival Camp Verde High School in game two, 31-21, to start 2-0 on the day.

The Marauders are scheduled to play Camp Verde in the last game of the season this fall, making for an interesting contest between the two football programs.

Mingus and Camp Verde haven’t locked horns against one another since 1988, when the Marauders won 41-7. Mingus is 7-0 against the Cowboys, with the first meeting coming in 1970 when the Marauders won, 20-8.

In game three Saturday, Mingus faced off against Snowflake High School, losing 26-25. Snowflake went 7-0 on the day, winning the tournament championship over Prescott High School, 39-14.

In game four, the Marauders lost to Prescott, 12-7. Former longtime Mingus Head Coach Bob Young stood on the Prescott sidelines against Mingus on Saturday, having tendered his resignation in May and taking the Badgers job.

After finishing the morning pool play games with a 2-2 record, Mingus earned the No. 4 seed after tieing Sedona and Camp Verde, which were each 2-2 as well. Mingus received the No. 4 seed in a tiebreaker, beating out Sedona [88] by a point in total points scored with 89.

Mingus went on to defeat Coconino High School in the first round of tournament play, 33-7, but ran into a buzz saw in Snowflake in the semifinals, 46-26.

“I told the kids before that today was a great opportunity for them to show us what they had,” Dixon said. “We had a few key guys missing so a lot of younger players got playing time which was good for them.”

Dixon said he was most impressed with senior Evan McFarland, who until this summer was known mostly for his catching ability behind the plate for the Marauders.

As for junior quarterback Luke Simmons, he started off strong, struggled in the middle, then finished strong, according to Dixon.

“Luke’s [Simmons] a young guy, and he struggled a bit in the middle of the day but toward the end he picked it up. We’ve got some young quarterbacks, but this will help them grow,” Dixon said.

Mingus still has a few seven-on-seven tournaments remaining this summer and will continue to hit the weight room before starting training camp Monday, Aug. 1.

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