Mon, May

One of the biggest questions entering the 2010 season for the Mingus Union High School football team was how effective its offensive line would be.

Kevin Webb had nine carries for 37 yards to lead the Marauders in rushing against Apache Junction High School on Friday, Sept. 24. The Mingus Union High School football team lost to the Prospectors, 34-7.Looking at the ground game statistics over the last two weeks where Mingus opponents have held the Marauders to under 100 yards rushing in each game, one might think the answer has been provided.

Held to only 78 yards in the previous week in a 12-7 victory over Bradshaw Mountain High School, the Marauders managed only 51 total yards on the ground Friday, Sept. 24, in a 34-7 loss to Apache Junction High School.

The offensive line, however, cannot be the only scapegoat.

Without dynamic starting quarterback Nick Alred, who was lost for the season two weeks ago due to a serious leg injury, teams can now focus solely on the run game of Mingus and so far, the strategy has worked.

Mingus’ defense did not perform well Friday night either, giving up the most points [34] since September 2008 in a 42-35 loss to Washington High School.

Either way, it’s just one loss and there’s no need for Marauders fans or the team to worry, according to Mingus Head Coach Bob Young.

“We’ll continue to improve and get better. Apache Junction is a good football team and they played well.

We’ve got to make some adjustments and get ready for our next game this Friday night,” Young said.

Offensively, the Marauders ran 22 times, while passing the ball 21 times, a balance not frequently attained since the Mingus football team has primarily been a run-first, run-second and run-third type of program.

Quarterback Ronald Morones completed 14 of 21 passes for 196 yards Friday in the loss to Apache Junction.

Senior Kevin Webb led the Marauders with nine carries for 37 yards.

Apache Junction’s offense looked more like the Marauders of the past, running 47 times for 357 yards and four touchdowns against Mingus.

The Prospectors, who are 4-1 overall this season, are currently ranked No. 4 in the 4A-I conference according to the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Monday, Sept. 27.

With the loss, Mingus drops to 3-1 [0-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall on the season. The Marauders are ranked No. 7 in the AIA power point polls in the 4A-II.

Mingus will return home to Cottonwood and welcome Paradise Valley High School on Friday, Oct. 1.

Paradise Valley comes to town with a 1-3 overall record. The Trojans started the season 0-3 before getting a 34-30 victory Friday over Cactus Shadows High School.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Utter dominance is probably the only phrase needed to describe the Cottonwood Middle School cross country team’s efforts at the Lobos Invitational meet at Riverfront Park on Sept. 15.

The seventh- and eighth-grade girls team for the Lobos took first overall, scoring six points to beat out Rim Country Middle School, who scored 31 points in a distant second.

Penny Fenn set a new course record Sept. 15 in the Lobos Invitational meet at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood (above). Fenn finished first overall with an 11:47 time and her seventh- and eighth-grade team took first overall with six points.Cottonwood runners took the first six places in last Wednesday’s race, with Penny Fenn setting a new course record with an 11:47 time, good enough for first overall.

Jasmine Banks took second with a 12:22 time while Karen Arellano was third with a 12:57 time. Megan Goettl took fourth with a 13:05 time and Anissa Urueta wrapped up the top five with a 13:11 time.

In sixth place was Mary Earl who finished only two seconds behind Urueta with a 13:13.

“I’m shocked this race turned out like it did,” Mingus Head Coach Micah Swenson said laughing. “I mean, I’ve been around a long time, and have coached cross country for a lot of years, and I’ve never seen a team take the first six places in a race.”

Heritage Middle School took third with 33 points while Prescott Middle School was fourth with 65 and West Sedona School wrapped up the top five with 96.

In the boys seventh- and eighth-grade race, the Lobos finished second overall with 22 points, only seven behind eventual champion Rim Country’s 15 points.

Jordan Bramblett took third overall for Cottonwood with an 11:28 time while Keenan DeVore was seventh with a 11:57 time.

Other notables for Cottonwood included Jordan Prouty, who took 12th overall with a 12:27 time, while Traygon Ullery took 21st with a 13:51 time.

“Overall, I think our team did quite well. We will continue to improve but this race was a good marker for us as to how well we can do,” Swenson said.

Next up, the Lobos will participate in the Prescott Invitational at Pioneer Park on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

The scheduled start time for today’s race is set for 4 p.m.

In its third meet of the season Thursday, Sept. 9, the Mingus Union High School swim team took on some of the best competition it will see this year at the Cottonwood Community Pool.

For the girls, the Marauders took second overall with 89 points, far behind rival Flagstaff High School, who took first with 168 points.

Sedona Red Rock High School wound up in third with 51 points and Bradshaw Mountain High School wrapped up the top four with 16 points.

Devon Edwards finished fourth overall in the boys 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:17.10 time. The Mingus Union High School boys swim team took third overall Thursday, Sept. 9, with 73 points.The Mingus boys finished third overall Thursday with 73 total points scored. The Sedona Scorpions showed why they’re 3A conference defending state champions, taking first overall with 114 points.

Coming in second was Flagstaff with 105 points while Bradshaw Mountain was fourth with 32 points and Dysart High School wrapped up the top five with five points.

“We wanted to host this meet as a state-qualifying meet in an effort to give some of the northern Arizona teams an idea, or benchmark, of where they need to be come state time in November,” first-year Mingus Head Coach Erin Estes said.

Hosting an early state qualifying meet gives teams a chance to look at what they need to improve on, according to Estes, and Mingus is no different.

The Marauders managed only one first-place finish Thursday in Cottonwood with Farrah Etcheverry taking first overall in 1-meter diving with a 141.25 score.

“For only having one month of practice, the diving program is beginning to take off for us,” Estes said.

Mingus recorded six second-place finishes, however, including the girls 200-yard medley relay event where the Marauders took second overall with a 2:07.69 time. Kyla Furey, Aly Dorris, Katheryn Knowles and Lacy O’Connell were the four to swim the event.

The four also teamed up to take second overall in the 400-yard freestyle relay event with a 4:20.32 time.

“Our relay events are going to be top-notch this season. The girls were outstanding Thursday and we put this group together to see what they could do, and good things are happening,” Estes said.

Speaking of Furey, she took second overall in the 200-yard individual medley race with a 2:31.57 time and was second in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:11.25 time.

Danielle Castillio finished fourth overall Thursday, Sept. 9, in the 500-yard freestyle event with a 6:43.92 time.The individual medley race time for Furey earns her a provisional cut for state in November; she was the only Marauder to achieve this Thursday.

In the boys 50-yard freestyle event, Cody Heflin took first overall with a 25.73 time while Logan Kitchen took second in the 1-meter diving event with a 154.80 score.

Heflin was third in the 100-yard freestyle event as well with a 57.66 time.

Other standouts for the Marauders on Thursday include Jamie Adams who took third overall in the 50-yard freestyle event with a 30.34 time while Knowles took third in the 100-yard butterfly event with a 1:18.81 time.

Adams also finished third in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:20.99 time.

O’Connell took fourth in the girls 100-yard freestyle event with a 1:05.73 time and Adam Sandoval was third in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:16.08 time.

The Marauders are back in action Thursday, Sept. 16, when they travel to Desert Edge High School for a dual meet at the YMCA pool in Litchfield.

Mingus will return home Thursday, Sept. 23, when it is scheduled to face Youngker High School in a Skyline region dual meet. The Youngker meet is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Two crews were working around the clock to prepare Mingus Union High School’s new track and field for the Marauders’ first home football game against Payson High School Friday, Sept. 10, starting at 7 p.m.

Under the direction of Mingus Union High School District special projects manager John Behlow, the day crew was clipping stencils into the hot synthetic turf Thursday, Sept. 2, marking areas where numbers indicating yard lines were to be stitched.

Laborer Rogelio Morales shaves the field marker numbers out of the artificial turf of the new football field currently being installed at Mingus Union High School on Friday, Sept. 3. The new field cost the school district $1.2 million.Behlow’s biggest concern Thursday was an enormous red M which still had to be cut and then sewn into the center of the field.
“It will be tight, but I believe we’re going to make it,” Behlow said.

Rain delayed paving of the new, nationally certified track until this week, but Behlow again expressed confidence the project would be completed on time and under budget.

The new design, with its 100 meter curves and 400 meter total length, will allow MUHS to host official track meets for the first time in years, Superintendent Tim Foist said.

The $1.2-million project was financed through a lease-purchase arrangement with contractors that allows the district to spread payments over five years.

A project of this scope would normally take three months to complete but contractors are expected to finish in less than seven weeks, due in large part to Behlow’s efforts, Foist said.

“John [Behlow] has saved the district literally thousands of dollars on this project,” Foist said.

Behlow, who regularly works 18-hour days at the field, slept on a cot at the sports complex many nights to supervise crews in their work. He has poured and finished concrete and completed many other tasks, relieving the contractor of duties that would otherwise require diversion of resources to finish.

The savings made it possible for contractors to perform additional paving and concrete work beyond what was originally contemplated for the project, Behlow said.

A coach for the Marauders’ kickers and receivers, Behlow has a vested interest in seeing the field is ready in time for Friday’s game against Payson.

Behlow initiated the 24-hour work schedule starting Aug. 31, about one month into the project, which first broke ground June 28.

He displayed a notebook jammed full of detailed notes Thursday showing what tasks were completed each day. The notebook gives an indication of the scope of the project.

According to Behlow’s notes, contractors have hauled more than 220 large truckloads of specially mixed sand and other materials to the work site since June. Hundreds of white plastic bags filled with sand and tiny rubber pellets hauled to the scene waited to be spread on top of the turf Thursday.

A crew of nine workers labored overnights under the stadium lights in recent weeks, stretching and pulling sheets of five-yard swatches of synthetic turf into place. The sections are stitched together and pressed into position with a road roller.

Foist, who regularly delivers breakfast to the night crew and can sometimes be found wielding a rake or shovel to help out, said the new track and field “promises a great future for our community.”

Public access to the track and field through controlled turnstiles will be permitted once the project is completed, Foist said.

Behlow paused to survey the work Thursday, then pointed at other projects he has personally been involved with during his 30 years with the district, from the construction of baseball fields, to new landscaping at the entrance to the school.

He gave credit to many others who worked on the project, including Foist, the MUHSD Governing Board, contractors and volunteers.

“I want to make sure all the people who donated money and time and all the people who worked on this get a thanks from me,” he said. “This is for the kids.”

Despite allowing a first-quarter touchdown, the Marauders defense held strong Friday, Sept. 17, defeating visiting Bradshaw Mountain High School, 12-7.

junior carlos abrigo looks to find a seam against Bradshaw Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 17. The Marauders played good defense and had just enough offense to get a 12-7 victory.“We were concerned if it turned into a shoot-out we might be in trouble, but our defense stepped up and did a good job,” Mingus Union High School Head Coach Bob Young said.

Bradshaw Mountain, rated No. 4 in the state in the 4A-I conference, took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter but two field goals by Mingus kicker Andrew Hickey brought the Marauders within one going into halftime, 7-6.

“I’m not a field goal kind of’ guy but they helped us out in this game,” Young said laughing.

Hickey missed two others in the game but the 30-yard field goal in the first quarter to make it 7-3, and later 7-6, was better than getting no points at all according to Young.

The defensive struggle continued into the second half until newly anointed Mingus starting quarterback Ronald Morones found senior wide receiver Eric Quessada streaking down the middle of the field for a 48-yard touchdown pass.

The touchdown throw gave Mingus a slim 12-7 lead which stayed the same after extra-point specialist Bri Nevitt missed the try.

Knowing full well Bradshaw Mountain quarterback Tyler Audsley could strike at any time, Mingus held Bradshaw Mountain to 179 yards of total offense in the game, including a final stand with less than a minute to go to seal the game.

With senior quarterback Nick Alred lost for the season due to a serious leg injury, Morones did an admirable job completing 12 of 14 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown.

The inexperience showed during a few plays Friday night with a few players running one direction, and Morones running another, causing him to have five carries for negative-25 yards on the night and one sack.

Senior Eric Quesada, left, celebrates with teammate Logan Couch in the end zone Friday, Sept. 17, after Quesada caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter. The Mingus Union High School football team went on to defeat visiting Bradshaw Mountain High School, 12-7.“I thought Ronald [Morones] handled the game well. Nick [Alred] gave us that balance with the run and the pass and with Ronald being the new guy, Bradshaw Mountain could key in on a few players,” Young said.

Bradshaw Mountain did exactly that, doing an especially good job stopping the run by allowing Mingus to get only 78 yards of offense out of the run game.

Generally, the Marauders are in the 200-plus range with yards gained by the run but not against the Bears.

In the end, the Marauders earned the victory and improved to 3-0 [0-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall on the season.

With the win, Mingus is currently ranked No. 3 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Tuesday, Sept. 21.

Next up, the Marauders will hit the road Friday, Sept. 24, and face Apache Junction High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The next Mingus home game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 1, against Paradise Valley High School with a start time of 7 p.m.

The grim reality of how tough the game of football is sank in quickly Friday, Sept, 10, despite all the glitz and glamour of a new turf field and a big Marauders victory over Payson High School.

Mingus Union High School Senior Quarterback Nick Alred, who suffered a severe injury to his leg during the second play of the third quarter Friday, Sept. 10, had season-ending surgery the morning of Saturday, Sept. 11, to repair a dislocated ankle, fractured fibula and two torn ligaments.Senior quarterback Nick Alred, who suffered a severe injury to his leg during the second play of the third quarter Friday, had season-ending surgery the morning of Saturday, Sept. 11, to repair a dislocated ankle, fractured fibula and two torn ligaments.

“He’s in a lot of pain right now. Anytime something happens like this you just hold your breath [hoping] it isn’t serious but this time, it was,” longtime Mingus Head Coach Bob Young said.

The Mingus Union High School football team had taken a 19-6 lead going into halftime but the shock of its senior leader getting hurt only a few minutes into the second half had an effect on the players’ concentration.
Mingus failed to score in the third quarter and led 19-12 going into the fourth but two touchdowns by the Marauders in the final period put the game away, 33-12.

With the victory, Mingus improves its record to 2-0 [0-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall on the season.

Taking the place of Alred in the second half of the Payson game, senior Ronald Morones worked on his handoff game most of the second half as he passed the ball only two times, going 0-2.

The Mingus ground game wasn’t half bad against the 3A conference powerhouse Longhorns, rushing 55 times for 312 yards and four touchdowns.

Senior Nick Alred runs for a touchdown against Payson High School in the Marauders home opener Friday, Sept. 10. Mingus won the game, 33-12, but lost Alred for the season after he was seriously injured on the second play of the second half. Alred dislocated his ankle, fractured his fibula and tore two main ligaments.Senior Juan Gonzalez led all Mingus running backs with 15 carries for 123 yards and one touchdown while Kevin Webb had 14 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown.

“We ran the ball real well. Juan [Gonzalez] ran off tackle most of the game and we were successful with it,” Young said.

Defensively for Mingus, the Marauders held the high-powered Payson offense to only 12 points while recording three sacks and two interceptions.

Gonzalez and Nate Westcott each had a sack while Carson Sandoval and Cruz Chavez each had an interception. Westcott also led the team in tackles with 10.

As for the quarterback situation, Young announced Morones would get the start this week when the Marauders play host to Bradshaw Mountain High School on Friday, Sept. 17.

“Ronald [Morones] has been Alred’s back up for four years now. He’s going to have to step up and make plays. It’s his time,” Young said.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The defending 4A-II conference state champions in the Mingus Union High School boys cross country team are primed and ready to make another run for a title in 2010.

Runners on the Mingus Union High School cross country team jog down trails next to the Verde River behind Riverfront Park on Tuesday, Aug. 31 followed by the girls’ team coach, Lisa Rauch, on her bicycle. Boys’ team coach Jim Bostwick rides behind the faster runners.Having lost only one runner in Wilson Cutbirth to graduation in 2009, the 2010 version of Marauders cross country is sure to be fantastic.

“We’ve got a good group of boys back this season. We’re excited to get the year going,” Mingus Head Coach Jim Bostwick said.

The Marauders will depend on a core group of runners this season that should earn them the top spot come November.

Returning in 2010 for Mingus are seniors Hunter Rauch and Austin Covey while juniors Colin Garttmeier, Chris Ortiz and Juan Wells return as well. Junior Lane Gehl is also included in the mix.

Wells finished sixth overall as a sophomore with a 16:40.71 time at state last season while Covey was 12th overall with a 17:16.52 time.

Rauch and Ortiz also finished in the top 20 while Garttmeier was 25th and Gehl was 36th.

Top newcomers in senior Tanner Johnson and junior Pal Scott should push for a top five spot at Mingus this season, making the Marauders cross country team even more dangerous.

On the girls’ side of the hill, Mingus lost three seniors after their sixth-place finish last November at the state championships.

Leading the group of returners is senior Erin Freriks, who took 46th overall at state last season.

If Freriks is anything like her older brother, watch out for a top finish in her senior season.

Other top returners for the Mingus girls team include juniors Emma Schraner and Alex Henley while sophomore Skyler Storie returns as well.

The only newcomer that should make an impact for Mingus this season on the girls team will be freshman Sienna Gehl.

Mingus is scheduled to begin its season on the road where they travel to the Payson Invitational on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The Marauders will against host the famed Mingus Mountain Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 2, in Clarkdale.

The Division III Sectional Meet is scheduled to take place Saturday, Oct. 30, while the Division III State Championships are the following weekend beginning Saturday, Nov. 6.

The state championships are held at the Cave Creek Golf Course in Phoenix.

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