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Sat, Oct

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.

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 the spring sports season over, parents and athletes are getting a chance to attend banquets and get a round of applause for their efforts on the field this season.

There were 23 student-athletes at Camp Verde High School this spring who received All-Region and All-State awards.

In baseball, the 2A Metro champion Cowboys made it all the way to the 2A conference finals this season but it wasn’t without the help of a few players who had great seasons.

senior mike boler celebrates after his team beat Valley Christian Academy in the 2A conference state semifinals May 14. Boler was selected as a first-team All-Region performer as well as an All-State selectee.Mike Boler, Curtis Hawk, Taylor Mathews, Aaron Stutzman and Andy Minner were selected to receive a first team All-Region award for the 2A Metro 1.

Randy Justus was handed an honorable mention award.

Boler and Hawk were also nominated for the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association All-State team and Boler will play in the North-South 1A-2A All-Star game Saturday, May 29.

In softball, Roque Parker, Cami Ligon, Shelby Mulcaire, Alexis Kinney and Amy Allen were selected first team All-Region performers while Shayna Sterrett and Megan Teague were awarded honorable mention.

The Cowboys were 2A Metro region champs this season.

In track and field, Deborah Truncali, Emily Showers, Cassie Alvarez and Jessica Reay are first team All-Region award winners for their 4x800-meter performance at the 2A Metro region invitational, taking first overall.

Making second team All-Region are Trent Fogelson, Marissa Simons, Katie Wilson and Jessica Melendez.

Receiving honorable mention All-State awards are Amanda Showers and Fogelson.

The 4x800 team getting the region award was also named to the second team All-State for finishing second in the event at Arizona State University two weekends ago.

In golf, there is no first, second nor honorable mention awards but the top 10 in the region meet get a medal, qualifying sophomore Wilfred Tewawina, who took ninth overall.

After beating Valley Christian Academy [3-1] in a thrilling 2A conference state semifinal game Friday, May 14, the Camp Verde High School baseball team was unable to keep the Cinderella slipper on and lost to Bourgade Catholic High School, 6-5.

CV_baseball_5-19_Hawk_10The state championship game Saturday, May 15, at Peoria Sports Complex was filled with drama but Bourgade Catholic’s Eric Martinez, a big left-handed hurler who pitched the last three innings to earn a win, took all the fun out of if for the Cowboys, striking out five of the final nine outs to get his team a title.

“We didn’t have a dominating player. That big kid they had, he was pretty good; he hit and he pitched. He was a force. We have a bunch of good kids but not a dominating player and it made the difference,” first-year Camp Verde Head Coach Steve Hicks said.

Martinez certainly made the difference in the state championship game as the Cowboys couldn’t seem to catch up to his fastball.

To start the game, Bourgade Catholic was able to put up three runs on the board in the top of the second inning, chasing Cowboys starting pitcher Tanner Rezzonico from the game after only 1? innings pitched.

Hicks brought in senior Mike Boler who started three double plays in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings of the 3-1 win over Valley Christian the day before from shortstop.

Boler pitched the seventh to earn the save against Valley Christian after Curtis Hawk was outstanding, going six innings and allowing only one run.

In Saturday’s game, however, Boler was being asked to go more than just one inning and wound up doing a decent job.

“We were hoping Tanner [Rezzonico] was going to give us a little more but Mike [Boler] did a great job. We knew this was a good hitting team. I didn’t want to bring in Mike this early,” Hicks said.

At the plate, Camp Verde managed 10 hits on Bourgade Catholic pitching, but only one against the lefty Martinez in the last three innings.

“We had to fight through it. We did our best. That’s pretty much it,” sophomore catcher Andy Minner said after the game.

In the bottom of the second inning before Martinez entered the game on the mound, Hawk hit a towering home run into the left field bullpen to make it a 3-1 game, proving to everyone in the other dugout Camp Verde wasn’t going away.

Bourgade Catholic made it 5-2 in the top of the third but the Cowboys rallied for three more in the bottom of the third to tie it, 5-5.

CV_baseball_5-19_Minner_2Taylor Matthews and Aaron Stutzman singled, putting runners on for Minner who singled to bring in Matthews. A few errors later, it was tied 5-5.

Matthews and Stutzman were a combined 5-8 on the day at the plate while the rest of the team was 5-22.

In the top of the fifth, sophomore center fielder Cody Rayburn had a bead on a line drive to the gap, caught the ball at first, but then dropped it to allow Bourgade Catholic to put a runner on third with no outs.

The next batter for the Golden Eagles grounded out to second, scoring the run to take a 6-5 lead, which wound up being the final.

“We did everything possible to win, but we came up short. We had high expectations but we never thought we would be here. It was a privilege,” Boler said.

CV_baseball_5-19_Hawk_1Over the next few days, the 21-9 Cowboys will look back at this season and be disappointed in the outcome but over time, they will be proud of what they accomplished.

When asked if his team actually thought they would get to the 2A state title game when they started practice three-plus months ago, Hicks had an interesting answer.

“Well, I think it’s always the goal; there are always variables to get here. You always come up against good teams. We beat good teams all year long, we’ve grown, we’ve become better players, better people, more mature and we’re growing ... that’s why we’re here,” Hicks said.

“We knew we could beat any team, but there’s a lot of good teams. When you get to the playoffs any team can win it,” he continued.

“Any team” almost did.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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