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The Mingus Union High School wrestling team traveled south to Tucson on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14, to participate in the Flowing Wells Invitational Tournament.

Mingus Union High School wrestler Hank Goettl, right, works toward his win during a home wrestling meet against Prescott High School on Jan. 11.Mingus finished 23rd overall out of 38 schools with 62.50 points. Ironwood Ridge High School took the top prize, taking first overall with 175.50 points. Cibola High School was second with 165.50 points while Sunnyside High School wrapped up the top three with 148 points.

“It was a really big tournament, but I think we wrestled better in Peoria the weekend before. I was hoping for better results, but the next two weeks we’ll need to get healthy for our sectional and state competitions,” Mingus Head Coach Klint McKean said.

Top performances for the Marauders at Flowing Wells High School this past weekend included junior Hank Goettl, who took fifth overall with a 5-2 record and one pin in the 132-pound weight division.

Senior Dillon Lightfoot, who was wrestling at 152 pounds, took sixth overall with a 4-3 record and no pins.

Finishing one win from placement was 160-pound senior Justin Zaske, who was 4-2, while senior Brandon Morales was 4-2 as well at 170 pounds. Senior Pal Scott finished 3-2 in the 106-pound weight division.

“Justin [Zaske] was actually seeded first, but had some back issues and wasn’t able to finish at the top in his weight class,” McKean said.

McKean added his team needs to get healthy over the next two weeks if the Marauders are to have a chance at state in February.

Mingus lost to Prescott High School on Jan. 11 due to giving up 18 points before even beginning because the Marauders didn’t have a wrestler for three different weight classes.

Mingus is scheduled to participate in two more regular season events, the first coming Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Sunnyslope.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Marauders will go to Bradshaw Mountain High School for a dual meet, which is the regular season finale.

The Section I [Division III] Championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, at Winslow High School. The Division III State Championships are set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10 and 11, at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

The Marauders got their sixth straight win this past weekend in soccer, turning away Page High School in a 4-0 victory at home Saturday, Jan. 7.

Mingus Union High School, which improved to 6-1 overall this season after the 4-nil win Saturday, bumped up its state ranking to No. 7 overall in Division III.

No. 19 Austin Strobel’s deft footwork adds to the Marauders’ mission of shutting down the Sand Devils during a home match Saturday, Jan. 7. Mingus Union High School won the game against Page High School, 4-0.“Our coach said at the beginning of the year that we have to win the games we are supposed to, and so far we have done that,” Marauders team co-captain Austin Strobel said. “It’s been a good season and we hope to keep it that way. Winning feels good and we hope to continue to make it a habit.”

The Marauders took a 1-0 lead near the 20-minute mark when sophomore midfielder Cristian Escobar netted a score off an assist from senior Williams Dominguez.

It was the first of three goals for Escobar against Page, recording his first hat trick of the 2011-2012 campaign.

Escobar scored twice more in the second half against the Sand Devils, each of which was assisted by Dominguez. The three assists by Dominguez were a season high for the senior midfielder.

Scoring the fourth goal of the afternoon against Page for the Marauders was freshman midfielder Elias Pondeca off an assist from junior Braeden Wills, making it 4-0, which was the final.

The Marauders have been on quite a roll recently, winning six straight, but more importantly, dominating offensively.

In the three matches against Joy Christian Academy, Coconino and Page high schools, the Marauders outshot their opponents 75-11, outscoring them 14-1.

“We’ve really pounded the goal these last few matches, and Coconino was our first true test since the beginning of the season,” Mingus Head Coach Cade Densmore said.

Mingus and Coconino were tied 1-1 on Friday, Jan. 6, before the Marauders claimed a victory in penalty kicks after 100 minutes of soccer.

Mingus senior and co-captain Alex Contreras believes the Marauders are only going to get better.

“We’re on a great streak these last few games, and we are doing the right thing and we’re getting better every day. If we continue to put the ball in the back of the net, we can finish the season on a long winning streak,” Contreras said.

Next up for Mingus, the Marauders are scheduled to host Prescott High School on Thursday, Jan. 12. It is the first of two meetings against the Badgers for Mingus.

Prescott is currently a perfect 3-0 to begin the 2011-2012 season in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point play. Official start time is set for 5 p.m.

The Mingus Union High School boys soccer team won its third straight contest Thursday, Dec. 22, throttling the visiting Wranglers, 8-1.

Sophomore Omar Carrillo works his way towards the goal Thursday, Dec. 22, against Wickenburg High School. The Marauders dominated, winning 8-1.“We scored a few goals in the first half, which allowed me to play a bunch of different guys in the second half to get some playing time,” Mingus Head Coach Cade Densmore said.

Mingus led 4-0 after the first 40 minutes of play, and it was easy to see the Marauders were a better team than Wickenburg High School.

Freshman midfielder Ruben Contreras began Mingus’ scoring in the 10th minute with a goal off an assist from sophomore Brennan Kitchen, making it 1-0 Marauders.

From then on, it was all Mingus. Sophomore Cristian Escobar made it 2-0 in the 21st minute after he kicked a rebound in to the back of the net.

Senior Williams Dominguez took a shot from about 20 yards out, it bounced off the gloves of the Wickenburg goalkeeper and Escobar kicked it through for the score.

Senior Austin Strobel scored Mingus’ third goal of the evening Thursday with a shot outside the box, making it 3-0. In the 36th minute, sophomore Talon Walz made it 4-0.

“Talon [Walz] was in the right place at the right time. He seems to have a knack for finding the net. I didn’t expect that from him this season,” Densmore said.

In the second half, Densmore substituted several bench players, who continued the barrage of shots against Wickenburg. Mingus had 33 total shots Thursday, 27 of which were on frame in the 8-1 victory.

Other goals scored for Mingus included senior Jorge Padilla, who scored two goals in the second half, while Escobar and Dominguez scored in the 79th minute to put the Wranglers away for good.

“We’ve got some good things happening. We just need to keep working hard,” Densmore said.

The Marauders will play the bulk of their schedule in January with 10 matches on the docket during the seasons’ final four weeks before state playoffs.

Mingus is 3-1 overall and ranked No. 29 in the Division III Arizona Interscholastic Association power point poll, which was released Tuesday, Dec. 27.

After the boys in red come back from Christmas break, the Marauders will open the second half of the season with four straight home matches. Mingus plays three of those home contests in three straight days.

The first home match is against Joy Christian Academy on Thursday, Jan. 5. Mingus makes up the Dec. 13 snow-out against Coconino High School on Friday, Jan. 6, and then hosts Page High School on Saturday, Jan. 7.

Joy Christian and Coconino are scheduled for a 5 p.m. start time while the match against Page is set for 2 p.m.

The match Thursday, Jan. 12, against Prescott High School is the last of the home matches for awhile. The Marauders will hit the road in five of the final six game dates.

The Mingus Union High School girls basketball team came out slow of foot Tuesday, Dec. 13, losing to visiting Cactus Shadows High School, 48-42.

Skyler Storie, right, weaves back and forth down the court looking for a way through the Cactus Shadows High School defense during a Mingus Union High School home game Tuesday, Dec. 13“We didn’t do a good job executing our game plan in the first half at all,” third-year Mingus Head Coach Micah Swenson said. “We never got to the free-throw line in the first half and did a poor job of rebounding.”

Mingus grabbed only 11 rebounds of the 29 missed shots on offense, and was down 33-19 at halftime.

The Marauders picked it up in the second half, outscoring the Falcons 9-8 in the third quarter and 14-7 in the fourth but it wasn’t enough in the 48-42 loss.

Swenson switched up the defense, which caused confusion on the part of the Falcons, and Mingus got to the line more often in the second half, but only went 10 of 17 from the charity stripe.

“We played hard but we just had too many little errors at the beginning,” senior Joni Olson said. “We came out hard in the second half but we still had too many mistakes. Over break we will work our hardest on minimizing those tiny mistakes.”

The Marauders were without the services of sophomore guard Angel Chavez, who broke her finger in practice Monday, Dec. 12. Chavez is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Junior guard Skyler Storie led all Mingus scorers with 10 points while junior forward Torey Gillies had nine points and six rebounds. Sophomore Monica Soliz had nine points and junior Seairah Ebert had eight rebounds.

“It was one of those games we should have won but had too many mistakes in the first half. We played tough in the second half but couldn’t break the gap,” Storie said.

With the loss, Mingus drops to 4-4 this season and is currently ranked No. 43 overall in the Division II Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Next up, Mingus will play host to Coconino High School on Friday, Dec. 16. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Mingus Union High School boys basketball team lost a tough one at Prescott High School on Tuesday, Jan. 3, losing to the Badgers, 59-48.

Junior Rashonn Montgomery, No. 3, goes to the hole in a game Dec. 20. Montgomery scored 20 points to lead the Mingus Union High School boys basketball team Tuesday, Jan. 3, against Prescott High School. “Our kids have come a long ways,” first-year Mingus Head Coach Mark Owens said. “We’ve already exceeded last year’s wins total and when you take a step back, it’s borderline inspirational.”

Owens, who was quite positive after an 11-point loss, was proud of his Marauders for playing as well as they did Tuesday.

Junior Rashonn Montgomery scored 20 points to lead the Marauders while junior Alex Brewer had 10 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Coming off the bench, senior Luke Sanders contributed, scoring four points and recording four blocks as a reserve post player for Mingus.

Prescott jumped out to a 18-6 lead after the first quarter, and at one point, Mingus was down 11-0 to begin the game.

The two teams tied in the second quarter at 14-14, giving the Badgers a 32-20 lead at the half. Mingus trailed 44-28 after three quarters but outscored Prescott 21-15 in the fourth to bring the score just a bit closer.

“We played well after being down 11-0 to start. After that, we traded baskets with them the rest of the game. The kids played hard and competed. They executed our game plan. Sure, we weren’t able to get a win, but the kids are coming along,” Owens said.

With the loss, Mingus drops its overall record to 4-12 this season and is 1-5 in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point play.

Next up, Mingus is scheduled to host Bradshaw Mountain High School on Friday, Jan. 6. Bradshaw Mountain is coming off an 81-53 victory over Sedona Red Rock High School on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Sophomore Cristian Escobar’s hat trick pushed the Marauders to victory over newly found rival Sedona Red Rock High School at home Thursday, Dec. 15, 5-1.

Senior and team captain Alex Contreras, senior, steals control of the ball from a Sedona Red Rock High School pass during a Marauders home match Thursday, Dec. 15. The Marauders eventually won, 5-1, and improved to 2-1 overall this season.“We did some good things against Sedona [on Thursday], but there are a lot of things we still need work on,” Mingus Union High School boys soccer Head Coach Cade Densmore said. “So far, this team is a work in progress and we are not where we need to be just yet.”

Thursday’s match was all Marauders from the beginning as Escobar, a forward, gave Mingus a 2-0 lead through the first 40 minutes of play.

The first goal by Escobar came midway through the first half off a corner kick from senior midfielder Alex Contreras. Contreras lofted the ball just right, allowing Escobar to do a diving header, netting the ball for the score and a 1-0 lead.

No assist was needed in Escobar’s second goal as Sedona senior goalkeeper Kyle DeTar bobbled the ball in the box after a shot by Mingus and Escobar took full advantage to make it 2-0.

In the second half, Escobar made it 3-0 in the 49th minute while freshman Elias Pondeca made it 4-0 just minutes later on his first goal of the season. In the 75th minute, sophomore midfielder Talon Walz scored, putting the Scorpions away for good with a 5-1 win.

“The match went well. Even when we went up a few goals, we still played hard and didn’t let up,” senior captain Austin Strobel said. “We are starting to jell as a team and the season has just started. I’m excited to see what’s next.”

Although it’s only the third meeting between the two clubs, the first of which came in 2009, Mingus is a perfect 3-0 all-time against the Scorpions.

Sedona made the switch from the fall to the winter soccer season in 2008 but did not play Mingus that year.

In 2009, the two Verde Valley rivals met for the first time, with the Marauders coming out on top, 5-2. Last season, the two locked horns again, with Mingus winning, 2-0.

With the victory over the Scorpions on Thursday, the Marauders improved to 2-1 overall this season.

Mingus lost to Bradshaw Mountain High School to begin the season Nov. 29, 1-0, but turned around and beat the Bears the following week on Dec. 6, 2-1. The Coconino High School match that was originally scheduled for Dec. 13 has yet to be rescheduled.

According to Densmore, Mingus may play Coconino on Friday, Jan. 6, but that has yet to be officially announced by Athletic Director Mike Boysen.

Next up, Mingus welcomes the Wranglers of Wickenburg High School on Thursday, Dec. 22. It is the last match of 2011 for Mingus, which will begin the new year Thursday, Jan. 5, with a match against Joy Christian Academy.

Both the Wickenburg and Joy Christian games are scheduled for 5 p.m.

The Southwest Regional Title Fight Fiesta is sure to be exhilarating for all in attendance, including those in the ring.

Cottonwood fighter Jesse Duran will face off against Nemo Vier, of Fairfield, Calif., in the Southwest Regional Title Fight Fiesta in Camp Verde on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event also features live music, inflatables for kids and a tae kwon do demonstration. Duran is 3-1 in his young career and hopes to win the belt Dec. 10.Scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10, at Steve Coury Automotive between Camp Verde and Cottonwood on State Route 260, the Verde Valley will have one of its own fighting in the main event.

Jesse Duran, a 17-year-old Cottonwood resident, is set to go toe-to-toe with Nemo Vier from Fairfield, Calif.

Duran admitted he doesn’t know anything about his opponent, but he did say Vier is coming out of California to win the belt, and that’s not something he wants to let happen.

“He wants to win the belt, but so do I. I’m hoping to win; I want to beat him. I’ll do what I have to do,” Duran said.

On Sunday, Jan. 1, Duran will have four years of experience in the fight world, starting with boxing when he was 14, then graduating to kickboxing.

Duran is 3-1 overall in his young career, and at 5 feet 8 inches tall, and tipping the scales at about 140 pounds, Duran said he’s worked hard to get to where he is.

“When I first started, my dad [Robert Duran] got me into it [boxing]. I’ve worked hard to get here and I want to win this belt.”

Duran said he was overweight for his age when he began to box at 14, losing nearly 40 pounds in his first three months of training.

“My dad found Richard [Williams] in a small basement at a gym while he was training kids, and he came back to me and said, ‘You are trying boxing.’ So far it’s worked out,” Duran said with a smile.

Duran, who is a junior at Mingus Union High School, doesn’t play sports for the Marauders; he just trains hard for his next fight, his next chance to show what he’s got.

“Every now and then I’ll go play basketball with friends or something, but mostly, I just train,” Duran said.

In his spare time, the right-handed fighter likes to go fishing or shooting with his dad.

The Dec. 10 event is hosted by the Golden Cobra Center of Fitness, and the man in charge is Williams. He believes the Southwest Regional Title Fight Fiesta event will be his biggest yet.

“Our last fight night at Steve Coury was a major success, and now we get to go back. It’s going to be bigger than ever,” Williams said.

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