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Second-year Mingus Union High School girls basketball Head Coach Micah Swenson says his girls don’t have a lot of size this season, but that will benefit his style of play over the next four months.

“We want to get up and down. An up-tempo game is the way we want to play. We’re not very big so our guards will have to step up,” Swenson said.

Sophomore post player Seairah Ebert goes strong to the hole. Ebert should be solid for the Mingus Union High School girls basketball team in 2010-2011.The Marauders lost seven players to graduation in 2009-2010. The team finished 6-13 overall after making the 4A-II conference final four in 2008-2009.

Familiar faces won’t be the theme of the year when Mingus opens its season Wednesday, Dec. 1, against Coronado High School.

Mingus returns only two players from last season in seniors Kayla Storie and Shaylene Martinez. Both were elected captains this season and should be starters when the season gets under way tonight at 5:30 p.m.

Storie is a solid point guard and has been for quite some time and could get All-Region votes for the 4A-II Grand Canyon when the season comes to an end in February.

Storie and Martinez are also the only seniors to make the team this season, making for a young squad in Swenson’s second year.

Top newcomers include sophomore post player Seairah Ebert and junior Desi Ortiz while junior Taylor Jochim looks to play some point guard behind Storie.

Juniors Jonie Olson and Lindsey Koeppe have made the squad while sophomore Skyler Storie looks to follow in her older sister’s footsteps.
“We’re pretty guard-heavy so we’ll have to play well against the bigger teams,” Swenson said.

This season’s Grand Canyon region is stacked once again. Both Flagstaff and Page high schools should be atop the standings again, and both could make the final four like they did in 2009-2010.

Page beat Flagstaff in the final four in the 4A-II conference state tournament in February, 49-47, but lost to
No. 1 Seton Catholic High School in the championship, 57-34.

Both teams return their core players in 2010-2011, making everyone else in the Grand Canyon region, including Mingus, fight for third place.

Entering his seventh year as head coach for the boys soccer team at Mingus Union High School, Cade Densmore believes this year’s squad will be one of the strongest he’s coached for the Marauders.

“The core of the team is back,” Densmore said after practice Monday, Nov. 22. “We have several starters back and some new kids that are solid.”

Sweeper Jonathan Witt pops the ball back downfield against North Canyon High School on Nov. 17.Despite Mingus’ 11-8 overall record in 2009-2010, the Marauders finished a perfect 5-0 in 4A-II Grand Canyon region play, claiming a title.

Within the region, Mingus recorded three shut-out victories and gave up only two goals.

The Marauders lost in the first round of the 4A-II conference state playoffs in February to Palo Verde High School, a team that made it to the state finals before losing in penalty kicks to eventual state champion Cortez High School.

With 13 seniors having graduated last season, Densmore said many teams might underestimate the Marauders’ ability.

“I think we will be solid, and probably surprise a lot of teams. If we can stay healthy with the 15 or 16 kids we have on varsity, I think we can win the region again,” Densmore said.

Top returners for the Marauders include seniors Todd Runyan, Mike Rebstein and Austin Richardson along with juniors Jonathon Witt, Austin Strobel and Williams Dominguez.

Runyan and Witt are two of the better defenders in the region while Strobel is a solid midfielder and Rebstein should be one of the best at the forward position.

As for the newcomers, juniors Alex Contreres and Charlie Ramirez are both back after missing their sophomore campaigns for various reasons and sophomore Alan Mendoza has impressed the Mingus coaching staff, according to Densmore.

At the goalkeeper position, 5-foot, 6-inch sophomore Gilbert Quidera should be between the posts when Mingus begins play next week.

According to Densmore, two of the top goalkeepers slated to play for Mingus were ineligible, and are unable to play this year.
“If there’s an aspect of our team I’m a little concerned about it’s the goalkeeper position, but I still think Gilbert [Quidera] is going to do a great job for us,” Densmore said.

Mingus opens its regular season schedule at Independence High School on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Scheduled start time is set for 6 p.m.

The first home match for the Marauders will be Tuesday, Dec. 7, when Notre Dame Preparatory Academy comes to Cottonwood.

The Mingus Union High School football team got all it could  handle and more from No. 11 Greenway High School in the first round of the 4A-II conference state playoffs Friday, Nov. 12.

Senior Eric Quesada comes down with a catch Friday, Nov. 12 (above). Senior Logan Couch goes for a tackle in the first round of the 4A-II conference state playoffs against Greenway High School (right). The Mingus Union High School football team won, 28-21. Mingus is scheduled to play Notre Dame Preparatory in round two Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m.Although the Demons almost pulled the upset card on Marauders fans in Cottonwood, No. 6 Mingus was able to keep its composure and come away with a close 28-21 victory, advancing to the second round.

The victory improves Mingus’ record to 9-2 overall this season. The Marauders will face an old rival in No. 3 Notre Dame Preparatory Academy in the quarterfinals Friday, Nov. 19.

Notre Dame easily defeated No. 14 Douglas in its first round game Friday, 51-6.

Longtime Mingus Head Coach Bob Young was pleased with the victory and how well his boys played.

“The guys fought their tails off tonight,” Young said after taking a picture with all his seniors at midfield after the game Friday. “Greenway is a great team and we knew they were going to be tough so I’m glad we were able to put some things together.”

With the game tied 21-21 with 22 seconds to go and Mingus on Greenway’s 2-yard line, Young called a timeout and a special play for senior Kevin Webb.

Quarterback Ronald Morones optioned to the outside and pitched the ball into the waiting hands of Webb, who carried it the remaining two yards for a touchdown.

When asked if he thought about sneaking it across the goal line, Young nodded his head.

“We thought about setting that play up with Kevin [Webb’s] sweep to the outside. We thought it would give us two good chances to score. If he didn’t get it, we were probably going to sneak it in ... or at least try to,” Young said.

Greenway stacked every big player they had on the nose of the football on the play, however, causing Young to call the outside sweep for his playmaker Webb.

The play worked, of course, and the rest is history.

Standouts offensively included Morones, who completed 10 of 15 passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns, hooking up with fellow senior teammate Carson Sandoval both times.

Webb had 12 carries for 38 yards and the last-second touchdown while recording five catches for 28 yards.

Mingus had only 110 yards on the ground Friday, and less than 200 yards all together, but according to Young, he couldn’t care less.

“Sometimes you have to win a game like this. Even though it was 28-21, both teams played decent defense and good special teams,” Young said.

Mingus punter Logan Couch was just as important as the defense or offense Friday with five punts averaging 42 yards and he placed three inside the 20-yard line. The accurate punting forced Greenway to go the length of the field more than they wanted to, making the Mingus defense that much easier.

With Greenway out of the way, Mingus turns its attention to rival Notre Dame. Usually the two rivals have met up in the state finals in the past, but this year, the two teams meet just a little earlier.

“Notre Dame is going to be very good; we’ll have to play well,” Young said.

Notre Dame will host the second-round game Friday night with a kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Amanda Randolph slips one past a Coconino High School blocker to score a point during Mingus Union High School volleyball team’s last home game of the 2010 regular season Thursday, Oct. 28. The Marauders took the match in three quick but close games.The Mingus Union High School volleyball team ended the regular season schedule on a three-match win streak but none of that mattered Tuesday,Nov. 2, when the 4A-II conference state playoffs began.

At No. 2 Amphitheater High School, the No. 15 Marauders struggled with one of the best teams in the state, and lost a tough one to end their season, 3-0.

“They served and hit really well. It’s one of the best teams we’ve seen this season. They did a really nice job,” Mingus assistant coach Brian Herman said.

Marauders Head Coach Audrey Islas was set to come back from her leave of absence this week, but Mingus had to get out of the first round of the state tournament if she was to coach again this season.

Senior Kayla Dixon led all Marauders with nine kills while fellow senior teammate Amanda Randolph had three kills, two blocks and two ace serves.

Senior LaShea Taylor lays a kill on the lagging Coconino High School Panthers during the third and final game of the last home match of the 2010 volleyball regular season Thursday, Oct. 28. Mingus lost to Amphitheater High School Panthers as well in the first round of the 4A-II conference state playoffs Tuesday, Nov. 2, 3-0. Mingus finished 9-9 overall this year.Senior team captain Lashea Taylor chipped in as well, recording three digs to lead Mingus.

“Our girls got better each game, we improved on some things, but they were strong,” Herman said.

Mingus lost games one [25-16] and two [25-18] before finally giving the Panthers, who are 28-10 this season, a run for their money.

In game three, Mingus trailed 22-21 looking to finally win a game and maybe get back into things, but senior star Taylor Lane was too much for the Marauders as she recorded three straight kills for her team to take the game 25-22 and win the match.

With the loss, the Marauders wrap up the 2010 campaign with a 9-9 [5-3, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall record.

Mingus will lose Randolph, Taylor, Kayla Dixon and Jessica Zaske to graduation but a strong junior core, which includes Cortlin Sandoval, Sheila Brown, Vanessa Vera and Taylor Brott, should lead the way in 2011.

The Mingus Union High School girls soccer team set out to win a 4A-II conference state championship in 2009-2010 and did so, defeating rival Flagstaff High School in the title game, 1-0.

Nine months later, the Marauders are at it again for the 2010-2011 campaign, but will have to go without nine senior starters who graduated in May.

“I know we lost a lot of kids but we’ve got some solid players coming back and some new girls that came out. We’re still a good team and still the defending champs,” Mingus Head Coach Buddy Rhodes said.

McKenzie Mabery leaps around a North Canyon High School player to take the ball during a Mingus Union High School varsity girls soccer scrimmage Nov. 17. The Marauders won the 4A-II conference state championship last season over Flagstaff High School, 1-0.In the last two seasons, the Marauders recorded an impressive 29-1 record, losing in the state championship match in 2009 in a shootout.

Last year, the Marauders finished the season a perfect 16-0 and claimed the state championship, capping it off with a thrilling 1-0 win over the Eagles.

Top returners this season for Mingus include seniors Kayla Dixon, Jesse Zaske and Courtney Hageman.

Hageman should find herself between the posts at the goalkeeper position when Mingus begins its schedule Tuesday, Nov. 30, against Independence High School.

“She’s been our backup the last few years because of Tessa Fanning being so outstanding, but now it’s her turn,” Rhodes said.

The Marauders have several returning juniors as well, which include Tory Braly, Mckenzie Mayberry, Anna Guerrero, Courtlin Sandoval and Ashley Roth.

Top newcomers for the Marauders include three seniors in Alan Backus, Amanda Randolph and Lashea Taylor along with sophomore standout Natalie Escamilla.

Escamilla was junior varsity most of her freshman year but got the thrill of her life when she scored with five minutes to go in the state championship match against Flagstaff in February, giving her team the title with a 1-0 win.

“We’ll be better than most people think. You don’t lose a senior class like we have without it hurting at least a little bit but the girls we have now are very good and we’ll be just fine,” Rhodes said.

As for the 2009-2010 title rematch, Flagstaff plays host to Mingus on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Chances are the two will be playing for the 4A-II Grand Canyon region title as well.

The Mingus Union High School football team wrapped up its regular season schedule Friday, Nov. 5, with an impressive
40-17 victory over Mohave High School.

Kevin Webb tries to keep his balance and avoid a tackler Oct. 29. The Mingus Union High School football team wrapped up its regular season with a 40-17 win over Mohave High School on Friday, Nov. 5.Friday’s big win cemented Mingus’ fifth straight 4A-II Grand Canyon region title. The Marauders have won 26 straight Grand Canyon region games dating back to the 2005 season.

A four-hour bus trip didn’t halt the Marauders from gaining momentum early, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead.

Mingus led 28-6 at the half and added two more scores in the second half to improve its record to 8-2 overall this season and a perfect 4-0 in Grand Canyon region play.

The Marauders defense stole the show with three interceptions including a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown by Tyler Christensen. Senior Eric Quesada had the other two interceptions.

Offensively, Mingus put up 320 yards of total offense. Senior quarterback Ronald Morones completed seven of 12 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown while Kevin Webb had 12 carries for 121 yards.

Also getting in on the fun was running back Josh Longfellow who had 10 carries for 47 yards and two touchdowns.

With the regular season now complete, Mingus turns its attention to the 4A-II conference state playoffs which are scheduled to get under way Friday, Nov. 12.

Mingus earned a No. 6 seed in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point standings with its 8-2 record, and will play No. 11 Greenway High School in Cottonwood in the first round of the state playoffs.

The Demons finished the regular season with a 6-4 overall record but have lost three straight including a tough 26-23 loss at Washington High School this past Friday.

Mingus will host the first round playoff game Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Mingus Union High School Swimmers get ready to launch in an earlier meet this season. The Marauders finished second and third overall at the Buckeye Invitational on Thursday, Oct. 14.In one of the final tune-ups of the season, the Mingus Union High School swim team took second and third overall Thursday,
Oct. 14, at the Buckeye Invitational.

In the girls meet, Verrado High School took first with 111 points while Mingus took second with 102 points and Buckeye High School wound up in third with 82 points.

For the boys, Mingus took third with 82 points while Verrado claimed first with 126. Buckeye wrapped up the top three with 106 points.

Kayla Furey helped her Mingus Union High School team take second overall Thursday, Oct. 14, with 102 points.“We’re just about ready for the state meet coming up. The kids are excited,” first-year Mingus Head Coach Erin Estes said.

Top performances for the girls include Danielle Castillo who took second overall in the 100-yard butterfly event with a personal best 1:16.87 time.

Castillo was also third in the 500-yard freestyle event with a personal best 6:33.67 time.

Mikiel Block finished third overall in the 200-yard freestyle event with a 2:12.46 time.Freshman Katheryn Knowles took first overall in the 100-yard breaststroke event with a 1:17.67 time and Jaime Adams took third overall in the 100-yard freestyle event with a 1:08 time.

For the boys, senior Adam Sandoval took second overall in the 100-yard breaststroke event with a personal best 1:13.90 time, earning him a provisional state qualifying time.

Also in the mix was senior Cody Heflin who took third overall in the 50-yard freestyle event with a 25.43 and Mikiel Block who was third overall in the 200-yard freestyle event with a 2:12.46 time.

Next up, the Marauders will travel south to Surprise to participate in a regional meet Friday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 23.
After regionals, Mingus will prepare for the Division II State Championships which are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, Nov. 6.

Location of the state championship meet was unavailable at press time.

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