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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.

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.

With a good crowd on hand the No. 3 Mingus Union High School baseball team was able to escape an upset bid by the visiting No. 14 Seton Catholic Preparatory Sentinels in eight innings, 3-2.

When asked if he expected this kind of effort out of Seton Catholic on Saturday, May 8, in first-round action of the 4A-II conference state playoffs, second-year Mingus Head Coach Bob Young responded with certainty.

“I really was; Seton is a good team. Generally, with power points, the lower seeds are still tough, they played a good schedule and lost some close games. The last three years we’ve had tough first-round games.”

Saturday’s contest made it three years in a row now in which Mingus’ opponent took them to extra innings in a first-round state playoff game.

So far, Mingus is 3-0 in those games and the Marauders are, of course, the two-time defending state champions, leading to the question, is this Mingus team capable of winning an unprecedented third straight title?

After watching senior hurler Shaun McCarty pour his guts out Saturday, that answer would be “yes.”

“Shaun [McCarty] was gutsy. We expected that from him. We knew if we were going to do something this year he had to come up big for us, and he did,” Young said.

Young said he and the coaching staff kept asking McCarty, “Are you OK?” and he always responded with, “I’m fine.”

“If we went to the ninth inning, he would have gone out there for us,” Young said.

McCarty went all eight innings for the Marauders, throwing nearly 120 pitches while keeping the Sentinel bats at bay to give his Mingus offense a chance to win it in the end.

In eight innings, McCarty faced 31 batters and allowed only two earned runs on six hits while walking two and striking out seven.

This is the first game this season McCarty was able to pitch longer than five innings, but don’t read into it too much, as most of those games Mingus 10-run ruled their opponent.

In the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday, Mingus trailed 2-1 to a Seton Catholic team drooling over the possibility of a first-round upset.

Senior catcher Logan Stewart had other ideas however, leading off the inning with a triple to put the tieing run on third with no outs.

After senior Shawn Rojas struck out, junior middle infielder Cruz Chavez came up big with a double to left center field, scoring Stewart to tie it, 2-2.

McCarty went out in the eighth inning and with his defense behind him, retired the side to give the Mingus bats another chance at winning it.

To start the bottom of the eighth, senior Hunter Zwart doubled down the left field line to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with no outs.

Junior Ronald Morones stepped to the plate next, knowing full well what he had to do.

“Everyone in the world knew he was bunting right there. With their bunt defense they put on with the first baseman charging, we teach to push the bunt past the pitcher and he did exactly that,” Young said.

MUHS_baseballMorones squared to bunt early, and while the Seton Catholic first baseman charged, their second baseman covered first.

Morones couldn’t have rolled it out there any better, pushing it past the pitcher and as the first baseman slipped, the ball skipped right past them both, allowing Zwart to scamper home to win it, 3-2.

The RBI bunt single sent Mingus fans into a frenzy and the Marauders players charged the field with excitement.

Second Round

The 23-6 Marauders will now look forward to playing Liberty High School in the second round of the 4A-II state playoffs Wednesday, May 12.

Mingus will send Zwart to the mound against the No. 6 Lions with a first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Liberty defeated No. 11 Cactus High School in its first-round game, 5-2, and is 22-6 overall this season.

The Mingus Union High School track and field team traveled east April 6, competing in the Payson Relays which took place at Payson High School.

“I thought this meet went well. We continue to work hard and improve,” Mingus Head Coach Jared Stone said.

Top performances for the girls included Annie Ngon who took first in the 200-meter dash with a 29.17 time.

Ngon also took fifth in the long jump with a 14-foot,

11-inch leap.

Stephanie Gilboy finished first in the triple jump, bounding 36 feet, 5.75 inches, while teammate Jill Peterson was second in the long jump with a 16-foot, 0.25-inch leap.

Peterson also took third in the triple jump with a 31-foot, 6.25-inch try and was fifth in the discus with a 77-foot,

6-inch throw.

In the 400-meter dash, Taylor Jochim was fourth overall with a 1:11.75 time and Staci Hewitson was fourth overall with a 2:52.09 time in the 800-meter run.

Molly Wescott tied for fourth in the high jump with a 4-foot, 6-inch leap while Courtney Hageman tied for first in the pole vault with a 9-foot try.

Hageman was also fourth in the long jump with a 14-foot, 11.25-inch try.

Of course, we wouldn’t want to forget to mention the 4x100-meter relay team who took first overall with a 55.95 time.

They weren’t alone as the 4x400-meter relay team took second with a 4:51.97 time.

For the boys, Colin Gartmeier won the 1,600-meter run with a 4:57.78 time, defeating the next closest person by more than 12 seconds.

In the long jump, a pair of Mingus leapers took the top two spots as Kevin Dennis-Webb took first overall with a 19-foot leap while do-it-all Juan Gonzalez was second with a 18-foot, 11-inch try.

Gonzalez also took fifth in the triple jump with a 38-foot, 1-inch leap.

Dennis-Webb also took second in the triple jump with a 38-foot, 7.5-inch try.

Chris Ortiz in the 400-meter dash was fifth overall with a 1:00.06 time while teammate C.J. Banks was right behind him in sixth with a 1:00.39 time.

In the 800-meter run, Hunter Rauch took second overall with a 2:21.57 time while Logan Couch tied for second overall in the high jump with a 5-foot, 10-inch try.

In the relay events, Mingus took first overall in the 4x100-meter relay with a 47.82 time while taking fourth in the 4x200-meter relay with a 1:46.70 time.

With Payson out of the way, Mingus will travel south to Phoenix on Wednesday, April 14, to participate in the Greenway Multiple meet.

After the trip, the Marauders will have 10 days to prepare for the Yavapai County Championships which will take place Saturday, April 24, at Bradshaw Mountain High School.

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.

With their first region championship in nearly 30 years under their belts, the Mingus Union High School girls used that momentum to take third overall at the 4A-II track and field state championships.

At Mesa Community College, the Marauders tied for third place with 56 points. Notre Dame Preparatory took first with 81 points while Desert Edge High School came in second with 71 points.

Mingus_Girls_Track_Region_Champs_5-19_2Mingus tied with Cactus High School who also had 56 points while Greenway High School wrapped up the top five with 37 points.

“I’m happy with the finish to the season this year. Our girls did great and it’s one of the better teams to come through here,” Mingus Head Coach Jared Stone said.

For a team that practices every day on dirt, third place isn’t half bad. The Marauders don’t have a regulation track at their school, just a dirt circle around the football field. This also means Mingus never has a home match. Ever.

The girls weren’t the only ones at MCC on Saturday, May 15, as the boys took 26th overall with six points.

Liberty High School claimed the title while Thunderbird High School took second and Rio Rico High School wrapped up the top three.

Perhaps the best performance of the day came from sophomore Torey Braly who finished second overall in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.31 time.

“To see that kid run as hard as she did was great. It would have been something else for a sophomore to get first in that race,” Stone said.

Braly was a part of the 4x100-meter relay team that set a new school record that stood for nearly 30 years, running a 50.37 time which was good enough for fourth overall.

There was one state champion in the group for Mingus in Leslie Kincaid who took first overall Saturday in the pole vault with a 10-foot, 6-inch try.

Courtney Hageman came in second with a 9-foot, 9-inch try.

The best finish for the boys came in the 3,200-meter run where Juan Wells ran a 9:56.84 time, good enough for sixth overall.

The boys tennis team at Mingus Union High School defeated visiting Sinagua High School 9-0 on Friday, April 9, setting up a big match today for the 4A-II Grand Canyon region championship.

“All the matches were great. We’ve had quite a season and I think they are all excited for what is to come,” Mingus Head Coach Jeff Knight said.

On Wednesday, April 14, the Marauders will attempt to win their first outright region title when rival Flagstaff High School comes to town.

In 2009, the Marauders shared the title with Bradshaw Mountain High School, but in 2010, Mingus is hoping for their first outright title in school history.

The Marauders defeated Bradshaw Mountain in the first match of the season

Feb. 26, but the rivals are no longer region members since Bradshaw Mountain moved to the 4A-I conference at the

beginning of the school year.

Mingus is currently 5-0 in region play, having beaten Page High School twice, Sinagua twice and Flagstaff on April 1.

As of Tuesday, April 13, the Marauders are ranked No. 1 in the state at the 4A-II level.

Today’s match against the rival Eagles is set to begin at 3 p.m. with singles getting action first, then doubles afterwards.

“Come show your support and help us win the title,” Knight said to any fans interested in coming out to cheer on the Marauders.

The Marauders are scheduled to play Shadow Mountain High School on Thursday, April 15, in their last regular season match of the season.

The Grand Canyon regional tournament is scheduled to begin Thursday, April 22, and the 4A-II state tournament is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 27.

 

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.

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