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Mon, Sep

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.

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.

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.

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 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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