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Despite heavy rains the night before and the Cave Creek Golf Course path needing to be redone, the Division III State Championships eventually got under way Saturday, Nov. 5, with the Marauders finishing well.

Juan Wells, left, Colin Garttmeier, middle, and Skyler Storie were the top finishers for the Mingus Union High School cross-country team Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Division III State Championships in Phoenix.For the Mingus Union High School boys cross-country team, the Marauders finished fifth overall as a team, scoring 140 points.

Chinle High School won the state title with 71 points while Rio Rico High School took second with 86 and Tuba City High School was third with 95.

Missing one of its top runners, the Mingus girls finished seventh overall with 162 points. Senior Emma Schraner did not participate Saturday due to a foot injury she sustained two weeks ago.

“She tried to go, but after that injury she got to her foot two weeks ago on a rocky course, her foot just wouldn’t allow her to go,” longtime Mingus Head Coach Jim Bostwick said.

The Chinle girls won the state title with 74 points while Page High School wasn’t far behind in second place with 77. Saguaro High School wrapped up the top three with 99 points.

Individually for the boys, senior Juan Wells was the best overall finisher for the Marauders, taking third overall with a 16:03.10 time.

Junior Jake Wynn of Saguaro won the individual state title with a 15:39.59 time.

Senior Colin Garttmeier finished eighth overall with a 16:21.64 time while sophomore Gustavo Banks was 22nd overall with a 17:03.14 time.

For the girls, senior Skylar Storie finished 10th overall with a 20:11.95 time while sophomore Justine Taylor was 36th overall with a 21:26.40 time.

Senior Taylor Jochim was 40th overall with a 21:33.69 time and senior Alex Henley was 41st overall with a 21:38.28 time.

“The girls were shorthanded so we ran with six girls. It’s not often a coach says that they all ran well, but when it does happen it usually results in a great team effort,” Bostwick said.

The second annual Halloween Skate Competition at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood on Saturday, Oct. 29, was big enough to hold several skateboard enthusiasts who had come from different parts of Arizona.

Cottonwood skater Travis Crow, 16, executes tricks during the second annual Halloween Skate Competition at the Cottonwood skate park Saturday, Oct. 29.Wearing a clown suit and carrying a megaphone, event coordinator Helena Elder-Hamilton was thrilled to see everyone out for this second annual event.

Several other skateboarders dressed in costumes and face paint looking to win top prize for best dressed. Even the older kids had the Halloween spirit in them before competing.

Elder-Hamilton, owner of a local skateboard retailer in Cottonwood, constantly barked directions to the young skate hopefuls, but seemed to enjoy the competition just as much as the kids.

Jacob Phelps, an 18-year-old Camp Verde High School student, was on hand in the ages 16 to 18 division and was happy with his performance Saturday.

“I’ve been skating for nine years now and I’ve been to eight competitions like this. I think I did pretty good,” Phelps said.

When asked what his favorite skateboard trick is, Phelps took a minute to think but eventually had a great answer.

“You know what, any trick I can pull off is a good one,” Phelps said with a smile.

Elder-Hamilton set up the competition to help raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Xtreme Union, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building extreme sports complexes like the one at Riverfront Park.

Morgan Julian, a 17-year-old Cottonwood resident, was glad to be on hand for the competition since it was the first one he’s ever done.

“I started skating about six years ago, but this is my first-ever competition. So far, I haven’t done as good as I can today, but hopefully, I’ll get better,” Julian said.

Julian isn’t looking to go to the next level with his skateboarding, but prefers to do it over most other things.

“It’s really more of just a hobby for me,” Julian said.

Fight fans were out in full force Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Stampede Showdown 2 in Camp Verde at a local car dealership looking to watch their favorite boxer or muay Thai fighter get a win.

Anthony Rojas, right, gets his hand raised Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Stampede Showdown 2 as he was declared the winner over James Currin-Hubbard of Wolf Pack Gym. Rojas fights out of the Golden Cobra Fitness Center in Cottonwood.“Look at how many people are here; there’s over 300 chairs and they are full and there’s another 50 to 70 people standing outside watching,” Golden Cobra Center of Fitness owner Richard Williams said.

The Golden Cobra Center of Fitness had several fighters going for the win Saturday, including Shawn Rojas at 170 pounds and brother Anthony Rojas at 189 pounds.

Shawn Rojas, who is 19 years old, lost his boxing match to Nick Andrano of Impact Center in Flagstaff by judges’ decision.

Anthony Rojas, the older of the two brothers at 22, was able to get a victory in the first fight of his career, defeating James Currin-Hubbard from Wolf Pack Gym in Indio, Calif.

“This felt awesome,” Anthony Rojas said while his crew unwrapped the tape from his hands. “I put my heart into it, and this is why I love the sport. I started training a few months ago and I’m happy to win my first fight.”

Other top fights from the Verde Valley included 14-year-old Saxon Vaughan, representing Golden Cobra out of Cottonwood. Vaughan, at 110 pounds, defeated Rosario Real from Hard Knocks Gym in Phoenix by judges’ decision.

At first, the fight was ruled a split decision, but after a recount, Vaughan was declared the winner.

In the main event Saturday, 29-year-old Cecil Tudor was able to win the light heavyweight U.S. Muay Thai title from Fank Bamford.

Tudor is from Glendale but is a part of the Golden Cobra clan, according to Williams.

“It was an awesome fight and the fans loved it. Cecil [Tudor] works out down in Glendale at the Blue Collar Gym, but he’s a part of us too,” Williams said.

The only disappointing match of the night for fans was the fourth bout, because there was no fight. Golden Cobra muay Thai fighter Mike Newhall, a 19-year-old Cottonwood resident, was unable to fight Saturday for reasons not released to the press.

Newhall was scheduled to fight Mike Brown of Champs Gym in Phoenix. Brown was declared the winner by default.

After Coconino High School scored on its first possession Friday, Sept. 30, Marauders fans figured it was no big deal because of past success over the visiting Panthers.

Head Coach Bob Young puts his hand on his head in frustration while giving instructions before a player takes the field during a home game Friday, Sept. 30. The Marauders were defeated by the Panthers, 47-26.From then on, however, the Mingus Union High School football team couldn’t stop the Panthers’ offensive attack, forcing only three punts all night in a lopsided 47-26 loss.

“Coconino controlled the line of scrimmage and we couldn’t stop them. We didn’t come to play tonight, and they took it to us,” an upset Mingus Head Coach Bob Young said.

The loss to Coconino is the biggest upset of the season for Arizona high school football at the Division IV level since Coconino wasn’t even ranked in the top 25 in Division III before Friday night’s win.

Since 2004, Mingus has outscored the Panthers 307-50 and was a perfect 7-0 in that time span before Friday nights debacle. That’s a 43.8 to 7.2 average score over seven seasons including two 50-plus point victories in 2007 and 2008.

After the clock showed zeros across the board, Coconino players rushed the field jumping and screaming as if they had just won a state title.

They realized it was the first time since 2000 a Panther team had beaten Mingus, and it was the first loss at home for the Marauders since 2008.

“We took a huge step back Friday night, and if we don’t improve on defense we can expect more of the same in the coming weeks,” Young said.

The biggest contributor to Coconino’s amazing victory came from senior tailback Luke Daulton, who had 19 carries for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Daulton had one catch on a 41-yard touchdown strike and had four tackles and 1.5 sacks on defense.

Going back to the first quarter, despite Coconino taking an 8-0 lead after the first drive, Mingus struck back with two touchdowns of its own to go up 13-8.

On Mingus’ first play offensively, junior quarterback Luke Simmons found a seam within the option offense and ran 70 yards for the touchdown.

Mingus forced the Panthers to punt on their next possession, and on the ensuing play, senior Carlos Abrigo ran 55 yards for a touchdown.

On both plays, neither Simmons nor Abrigo were touched by a Coconino defensive player, giving fans reason to believe this was soon to be another blowout victory for the boys in red.

Coconino obviously had other plans in mind with the 46-27 victory, dropping Mingus to 3-3 overall this season.

The Marauders started the 2011 campaign 0-2 but had won three straight coming into the Coconino game.

With the loss, the Marauders are ranked No. 16 in the Division IV Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls. The Panthers are ranked No. 23 in the Division III polls with a 3-3 record.

Next up, Mingus will try to pick of the pieces as it is set to travel to Payson High School on Friday, Oct. 7.

The Longhorns are 3-3 and are ranked just in front of Mingus at No. 15 in Division IV. Payson has victories over Chino Valley [19-12], Miami [48-11] and Sedona Red Rock [42-7] high schools.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Knowing full well they had no chance for a state berth, the Marauders still played well until the end, finishing third overall at the second annual John Uidenich Memorial Invitational on Friday, Oct. 21.

Gary Baker hits onto the green during a Mingus Union High School golf tournament in Cornville on Thursday, Oct. 20. Mingus wrapped up its season Friday, Oct. 21, while hosting the John Uidenich Memorial Invitational.In the last high school match of his career, senior J.C. Lawler finished on a high note, taking first overall individually with an even par 71 performance Friday at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course.

“That’s pretty cool. He won the last high school tournament of his career,” Mingus Union High School golf Head Coach Craig Mai said.

Bradshaw Mountain High School product Tyler Inglehart finished second overall with a 75 [+4] while Drew Fockler of Coconino High School tied him for second with a 75.

Blair Walsh, of Prescott High School, took fourth with a 5-over-par 76, but his Badgers took home the team prize with a 323 [+39], good enough for first overall.

Nik Hubbard, of Flagstaff High School, rounded out the top five with a 6-over-par 77 performance.

Behind the Badgers for top team scores was Flagstaff, which had a 323 [+39] to tie for first place. The Eagles got second because Josh Lovett, who is the fifth golfer for Flagstaff, recorded an 86 [+15] during the 18-hole event while Prescott’s Drake Parker shot an 85.

Top performances for Mingus behind Lawler included sophomore Ryan Sullivan, who shot an 85 [+14], while sophomore Gary Baker struggled with a 15-over-par 86. Junior Tanner Wing wrapped up the top four for the Marauders with an 86 [+15].

“Gary [Baker] didn’t have his usual round,” a disappointed Mai said. “It was probably his worst of the year. If he even plays his average we probably win the tournament.”

Sophomore Baker has bright days ahead of him according to Mai, but the coach hopes the Arizona Interscholastic Association does something about the qualifying standards soon.

“It’s a ridiculous standard. You basically have to be a scratch golfer to qualify for state. This is high school. It’s too much pressure,” Mai said.

Golfers must record five scores two strokes or under the course rating that they play at to qualify for the Division II State Championships.

“Even junior colleges have standards that aren’t that difficult,” Mai said.

The Mingus Union High School golf team had one of its best outings of the season Thursday, Oct. 6, finishing first overall out of four teams at the Prescott Country Club.

sophomore Gary Baker finishes a hole well and garners praise from other teams’ coaches during a home golf tournament on Oct. 4. On Thursday, Oct. 6, Baker was the top performer for the Mingus Union High School golf team, recording a 4-over-par 40 at the Prescott Country Club.Playing the front nine, Mingus shot a 165 [+21] to beat out rival Bradshaw Mountain High School, which shot a 172 [+28].

Prescott High School came in third with a 174 [+30] and Mohave High School wrapped up the top four with a 209 [+65] stroke score.

“J.C. [Lawler] and Gary [Baker] were not at their best, but the other three picked it up. The whole team contributed and played well. It’s the best performance we’ve had as a team this season,” Mingus Head Coach Craig Mai said.

Sophomore Gary Baker led the way with a 4-over-par 40 performance, missing the state cut by three strokes. Baker lead the Marauders with two qualifying rounds in 2011. He must earn a qualifying score in three of the final four meets for Mingus if he wants to go to the Division II State Championships.

Sophomore Ryan Sullivan had one of his best performances of the season, matching Baker with a 4-over-par performance on the front nine.

Junior Tanner Wing shot a 42 [+6] while senior J.C. Lawler had a 43 [+7] to total Mingus’ 165 on the day. Lawler must shoot a qualifying score in all four remaining matches for the Marauders if he is to go to state.

Next up, Mingus will play in Munds Park on Thursday, Oct. 13, in an effort to tune up for the Mountain Ridge Invitational in Flagstaff at the Continental Country Club this coming weekend.

The Mountain Ridge Invitational begins Friday, Oct. 14, and goes through Saturday, Oct. 15. Tee times for both days are set for 9 a.m.

The Mingus Union High School football team’s defense earned its second straight shutout Friday, Sept. 23, as the Marauders rolled over visiting Cortez High School, 35-0.

Tyler Herndon grabs the ball and starts running for the end zone near the end of the first half of Mingus Union High School’s Homecoming game against Cortez High School on Friday, Sept. 23Offensively, the Marauders have been stellar in their last two games, but the defense is stealing the spotlight, allowing no points and creating several turnovers while scoring when it has the chance.

Longtime Mingus Head Coach Bob Young said he was disappointed with his defense during the first few weeks of the season, but in the last two games, they have started to come together.

“The defense looked good. That’s what we’re looking for out of them. They did a nice job,” Young said.

With the victory, the Marauders finally get over the .500 mark with a 3-2 record. It is the third straight win for the Marauders. Mingus is ranked No. 9 in the Division IV Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Monday, Sept. 26.

Cortez is one of the worst football teams in Division IV, and the loss Friday to Mingus only lengthened the Colts’ misery.

Cortez is 0-5 this season, having given up 226 points to its five opponents while scoring only 22 as the Mingus defense handed Cortez its third shutout of the year.

Marauders fans seemed a little worried when Mingus only took a 21-0 lead into the locker room at halftime against one of the worst teams in their division, but two quick scores in the third quarter put them at ease.

“Cortez played better than they have before; they didn’t turn the ball over. We turned it over three times before going in to score, otherwise the score might have been worse,” Young said.

Junior tailback Tyler Herndon carried the load for Mingus on Friday with 13 carries for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Mingus had only 237 yards of total offense.

“Tyler [Herndon] is a nice player to have. He’s similar to Carlos Abrigo; he just doesn’t have the experience,” Young said.

Herndon replaced senior standout Abrigo who injured his ankle in the first quarter of play and did not return.

Cortez had no problems moving the ball up and down the field on Mingus with 341 yards of total offense, but the Colts couldn’t finish when it mattered most.

Junior quarterback Auston Sherrill was 17 of 33 for 219 yards while sophomore running back Alex Smith had 11 carries for 61 yards.

Defensively for Mingus, senior Jordan Westover recorded an interception while senior James Bennett and sophomore Brennan Kitchen each had a sack.

The Marauders have outscored their last two opponents 89-0 and they will look to continue their winning ways Friday, Sept. 30, when Mingus plays host to Coconino High School.

Coconino is an old 4A-II Grand Canyon region rival but now sits in Division III. The Panthers are 2-3 overall this season and are ranked No. 23 in the Division III polls.

The Panthers’ only two wins this season came against Page High School [55-7] on Aug. 25 and Kingman High School [40-21] on Sept. 9.

Coconino could give the Marauders a run for their money Friday and may still wind up in the state playoffs with a light schedule to end the season after the Mingus road trip.

The Panthers play Tuba City, Winslow, Chino Valley and Flagstaff high schools in the last four games of the season, which are all winnable for Coconino.

As for Abrigo, Young said the senior is receiving treatment for his ankle this week, but he expects him to play Friday against the Panthers.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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