Taking a look back: 10 moments from high school sports season stick out - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Taking a look back: 10 moments from high school sports season stick out

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012 6:45 am | Updated: 1:30 pm, Wed Oct 10, 2012.

The volleyball nets have been put away, bases removed from the fields, and the hurdles have been stacked and put in the shed.

Coaches will be attending summer clinics, players attending combines and camps while strength and conditioning coaches try to implement the offseason plan before the players are gone for the summer months.

In other words, another season of high school sports has come to end.

Less than three months before it all starts again as Desert Vista kicks off the football season playing in the Sollenberger Classic in mid-August.

It will be here quickly so before someone says, “Where did the summer go?” let’s take one last look at the top 10 things that will be most remembered when it comes to the 2011-12 school year.

1. The Thunder beat down in Glendale. The Desert Vista football program did what most thought wasn’t possible.

The odds were stacked against them as the Thunder took the field at University of Phoenix Stadium before facing nationally ranked Hamilton, which had won 53 straight games and three consecutive state titles.

Against the odds or not, Desert Vista dominated from the start by taking a 14-0 lead on a Jarek Hilgers 1-yard score and a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown by Matt Young.

By the time everyone was going nuts on the field, the Thunder won its second state championship with a 45-19 start-to-finish thumping of the Huskies.

“We told you we were going to do it,” junior wide receiver Kaleb Germinaro said. “We told you we were going to do it. No one believed us.

“The defense played great, the offense did everything we wanted and the coaches put us in a position to do it.”

2. Outrunning history. The Mountain Pointe boys 4x100 relay team made sure the season ended in style.

The Pride foursome of Kejavon Moore, Travonn White, Paul Lucas and Ben Trotter burned up the track in setting the Arizona state record in a time of 40.46 seconds to beat the previous record by nearly a half a second.

There are many factors that have to come together for something like this to happen because there are so many variables — the baton, the wind, lane assignments, traffic, injuries — but it was a perfect Pride run.

That’s what happens when you combine flawless hands offs, unmatched combo speed and a senior anchor who wanted to leave an imprint.

“It’s my last year and now I can go with a state record,” said Trotter, the lone senior among the group. “We did this to share with Mountain Pointe and hopefully it stands for a long time so we can always look back on it.”

3. A math problem gone wrong. News of the power points formula possibly being incorrect surfaced as the state basketball tournament approached in February.

The formula didn’t properly prepare for the section tournament and the extra points teams earned by participating in the extra postseason games was a huge boost.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association denied the allegations before eventually taking a look into and making changes for the spring sports.

4. Top running club. The cross country state championship meet included a ravine under water, a reconfigured course, a one-hour delay, and a coyote sighting.

It wasn’t the typical year at Cave Creek Golf Course the first weekend in November.

There was, however, one constant — Desert Vista boys and girls cross country pushing for a state team title.

Both programs continued their string of success by finishing second in the Division I state meet as the boys finished runners-up to Highland and the girls were behind Xavier.

5. Fleming finds family values. Mountain Pointe boys basketball coach Brian Fleming decided to step down after yet another successful season and with plenty of talent returning.

He wanted to spend more time with his three children and wife while going back to school to become an administrator.

It left no time, at least not the amount needed to be successful, for basketball.

“I definitely feel like I am leaving the program in a good position,” said Fleming, whose first year in 2007-08 netted three wins before getting back-to-back 22-win campaigns in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

He was replaced by Aaron Windler, who was tabbed the new coach in March after a successful run at Chaparral before stepping down just before last season.

“I adjust the system based on the talent we have and this will be the most athletic team I have ever coached,” Windler said.

6. Missed by that much. David Gonzalez was by himself after the state wrestling tournament ended in the bowels of Tim’s Toyota Center in Valley, pacing and maybe even talking to himself.

The Desert Vista wrestling coach was definitely lamenting what could have been and, more importantly, trying to figure out how he and the Thunder can get better.

Gonzalez is no different than one of his competitors as he dissects his coaching ways and decisions.

The Thunder finished third at the Division I state meet for the second straight year, tied for the second best finish in school history, and yet it felt like a missed opportunity.

For the second year in a row, the Thunder finished with three individual champs — Robbie Mathers, Robert Sobarzo and Alex Bambic — but came up short in the team goal, but an altered lineup cost them precious points.

7. Runner-up again. For the third straight year, the Desert Vista boys golf team finished second in the state tournament.

On one hand, it is hard to complain about having such a terrifically consistent program, but frustrating in that the Thunder hasn’t been able to get over the top.

“It was just one of those days where you have trouble getting those putts to fall,” Desert Vista coach Paige Peterson said. “We had some guys who went low, and some guys who were a little off.”

Desert Vista’s Cody McManus tied for second at 5-under 139 while Matthew Liringis shot a 4-under 140 to take fourth.

8. Signs of life. After years of substandard play, the Desert Vista softball team won 19 games, including a Division I playoff game.

9. One step away. The Desert Vista boys basketball team made it to the Division I state semifinals and lost to eventual champion Corona del Sol and gave the latter its toughest game of the tournament.

10. Mathers makes history. As mentioned previously, Desert Vista senior Robbie Mathers won a state title this year, but what wasn’t said was the fact that he became the program’s first ever three-time state champion and finished with a 21-1 record in the state tournament after finishing third as a freshman.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

More about

  • Discuss

Local Guitar Group Meets in Downtown Mesa

A local guitar group based in Mesa, Ariz. meets every other sunday for musical fun, community,...

Your Az Jobs