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When Mingus Union High School Athletic Director Mike Boysen came to town in 1993 he was hired to be the school’s athletic trainer and was required to teach a few classes.

Who knew 17 years later Boysen would be one of the more recognizable athletic directors in the state?

Athletic Director Mike Boysen was hired in 1993 to teach and be the athletic trainer at Mingus Union High School. During the 1999-2000 school year, Boysen was hired to be athletic director, a position he has held ever since.Last year, Boysen received the 4A conference athletic director of the year award, which is handed out once a year by the Arizona Interscholastic Athletics Administrators Association.

At the moment, Boysen leads the way for a Mingus athletics program that is successful at almost every turn, from football to cross country to tennis to baseball.

Boysen is also the head athletic trainer and runs the program with a classroom of kids eager to learn the trade.
Originally from Austin, Minn., Boysen graduated from Canon City High School in Canon City, Colo., in 1983.

From there Boysen attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a degree in athletic training in 1989.

Immediately after college, Boysen was hired by the NFL’s Denver Broncos to an internship position which he held for one year before spending three years at a physical therapy clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.

During his time at the clinic, Boysen spent his afternoons working at Sierra High School with their athletes and soon after was hired at Mingus.

Boysen didn’t become an athletic director until the 1999-2000 school year, and has held the position ever since.

“My favorite thing about being an athletic director is the little things that most people don’t see from the outside. Sometimes the success of a certain team can depend on it and that’s what makes the job worth it,” Boysen said.

The 45-year-old Minnesota native believes his relationships with other athletic directors around the Verde Valley have helped his cause as well.

Boysen confessed one of his biggest role models in the profession lives only 15 miles away, Camp Verde High School Athletic Director Mark Showers.

“I don’t think he knows this but I’ve always admired and respected Mark [Showers]. I use him as a role model for myself and how to run a good athletics program. We have a very good relationship. He’s a great person as well, which is the most important thing of all,” Boysen said.

During his 17-year tenure at Mingus, Boysen has seen a lot of athletes come through the halls for the Marauders, but nothing has been more exciting to him than when his own two kids have made it onto the field.

Josh, Boysen’s 20-year-old son, was a Mingus football and tennis player who currently serves in the U.S. Air Force.

Boysen’s 15-year-old daughter Kalina is currently enrolled at Mingus, and plays volleyball and softball for the Marauders.

“It’s been neat to see my own kids come through the program and getting to watch them has been a thrill,” Boysen said.

Despite recent troubles with the athletic program at Mingus, Boysen continues to show excellence in his work on and off the field and one day, there may be more than one AIAAA awards sitting on his mantel.

The hot, windy and humid climate in Yuma made things worse for the Verde Valley Minors All-Stars [ages 9 to 10] last week as they managed to win only one game and were eliminated from the Arizona Little League All-Stars State Tournament.

First baseman Josh Scalf reaches for a throw to get an out in a game July 6. Scalf recorded a base hit in the top of the fifth inning Thursday, July 22, in a 5-2 loss to the Lake Havasu All-Stars.Pete Kelly, the head coach of the District 10 Verde Valley champions, said this tournament was a great experience for the boys.

“We were so proud of the boys after we finished; it was a good experience. Each of the games we played were close, so it was great,” Kelly said.

Verde Valley went 1-2 in three games last week, with opposing teams only outscoring the boys from Cottonwood, 18-15.

On July 20, Verde Valley played its first game at Yuma Catholic High School and lost a close one to the Rio Vista All-Stars, 7-6.

Verde Valley led 6-0 going into the fourth inning, making it a hard loss to swallow, according to Kelly.

The next day, Verde Valley played the Ahwatukee All-Stars on July 21, but this time, the boys in black and red wouldn’t go down without a fight and scratched a late victory, 7-6.

Tied 6-6 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Tyre Kim walked before Chris Mathe singled to put runners on first and second, with two outs.

jose pacheco rounds third after hitting a two-run homer in a game July 6. Pacheco and his Verde Valley Minors All-Stars [ages 9 to 10] team managed to get only one win at the Arizona Little League All-Stars State Championships in Yuma last week, defeating Ahwatukee.Up next to the plate was young stud Tyler Kelly who worked the count before promptly doubling to the gap, sending Kim sprinting home with everything he had to cross the plate and give Verde Valley the victory, 7-6.
“It’s pretty cool to watch that happen; it was a great hit and gave us the win,” Kelly said.

With two games down and one to go, Verde Valley needed just one more win to advance to the final four and give itself a chance to win a state championship.

Unfortunately for Verde Valley, the Lake Havasu All-Stars stood in the way.

Starting pitcher Bryce Cramer toed the mound for Verde Valley but wound up throwing only 20 pitches in one-third of an inning and walking three batters before being pulled by Kelly.

“We had some pitching practice earlier in the day and I thought Bryce [Cramer] was ready to go, but he was a bit wild and I decided to pull him right away for a more experienced pitcher. In the end, I figured if we could win this game Bryce would pitch the next day but it just didn’t happen that way,” Kelly said.

Relief pitcher Chaz Taylor was called upon and wound up doing a bang-up job, pitching 4? innings, allowing four runs on five hits while walking five and striking out four.

Taylor kept Verde Valley in the game for most of the night Thursday, July 22, but the offense couldn’t figure out Lake Havasu’s pitcher and managed only three hits.

“They had a really good pitcher. Even the hits we did have were little bloops or choppers. He kept us off the solid part of the bat all night,” Kelly said.

Down 1-0 in the top of the second inning, Verde Valley tied the score 1-1 after Cramer reached after being hit by a pitch.

Cramer stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball, then eventually scored on another passed ball.
In the top of the fifth inning down 5-1, Verde Valley scored its second run of the night after Tyler Kelly tripled and Josh Scalf singled to record the only RBI of the night.

“I thought we played three pretty good games. Each of the teams we played are basically club teams who play year-round so to play with them like we did is pretty amazing,” Kelly said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Verde Valley Minors All-Stars [ages 9 to 10] stayed alive in their hopes of claiming a District 10 title Tuesday,
July 6, defeating the Prescott All-Stars 11-7 to force game two tonight.

Starting pitcher Tyler Kelly delivers a pitch against the Prescott All-Stars on Tuesday, July 6. Kelly almost went the distance, giving his team 5 1/3 good innings.“I was getting worried there for a while but we pulled through and now it’s just one game for it all,” Verde Valley skipper Pete Kelly said on the field after the game Tuesday.

On June 30, Prescott beat Verde Valley 9-5 and laid in wait for the boys in black and red to defeat the Prescott Valley All-Stars on Friday, July 2, which they did by the final score of 14-6.

Since the District 10 Little League All-Star Tournament is double elimination, Verde Valley had to beat Prescott on Tuesday, and would have to beat them again tonight to be named champion.

At Jimmy Herridge Memorial Field in the Riverfront Park complex in Cottonwood, Verde Valley jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on a big two-run home run by catcher Jose Pacheco in the top of the first inning.

Pacheco was 3-4 on the day with the home run, a double, three runs scored and three RBIs.

Not bad for a kid who doesn’t stand 5 feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds soaking wet.

After Verde Valley made it 5-1 in the top of the third inning, Prescott wasn’t going to go away easily and gave Verde Valley starting pitcher Tyler Kelly a difficult inning, scoring four runs to tie it, 5-5.

First baseman Josh Scalf slides in at home plate to give his Verde Valley All-Stars a run.Kelly managed to work his way through the damage and go 5? innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one.

“I thought he did a great job. He threw strikes and almost gave us a complete game,” Pete Kelly said.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Prescott scratched across two more runs to take a 7-6 lead, putting a little fear into the 100 or so Verde Valley fans in attendance Tuesday night.

In the top of the fifth inning, however, Pacheco doubled and Jake Schwisow doubled to score him and tie the game, 7-7, then Bryce Cramer grounded out to the pitcher, scoring Schwisow to give Verde Valley the lead, 8-7.

From that point on, Verde Valley would hold the lead and add three more in the top of the sixth including a gutsy squeeze play by Schwisow, scoring Josh Scalf and Pacheco to give Verde Valley an 11-7 lead.

Catcher Jose Pacheco gets mugged by his teammates at home plate after he hit a towering two-run home run in the top of the first inning against the Prescott All-Stars at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood on Tuesday, July 6. The Verde Valley All-Stars won the game, 11-7, forcing a game two championship Wednesday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m.In the bottom of the sixth, Kelly got one out before reaching his 85 pitch count limit and was removed to a standing ovation.

Schwisow took the ball from Kelly and pitched the final ? of an inning while striking out one batter to secure the victory for Verde Valley.

Standouts at the plate for Verde Valley included Chaz Taylor who was 2-3 with a run scored while Schwisow was
1-2 with a walk and two RBIs.

The final game of the District 10 Little League All-Star Tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, July 7, at Riverfront Park.

Verde Valley will send Pacheco to the mound, their No. 2 starter, in an effort to earn itself a championship.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jonathon Witt and Austin Strobel received honorable mentions.

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

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

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

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

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

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