East Valley Tribune: Sports

Sports

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  • Wheeler, Day, Jones lead cross country pack for 2014

    Boys Runner(s) of the Year:Tyler Day, Mesquite and Marcus Wheeler, Corona del SolThese two talented seniors waited their turn behind past champions like Bernie Montoya of Cibola and Nate Rodriguez of Corona del Sol and staged one of the tightest head-to-head season battles in state history.Day and Wheeler raced six times, with each coming out ahead three times. Day won individual titles at the Ojo Rojo Invitational and the Division I, Section I race, with Wheeler second in both of those races.Wheeler was the champion at the Doug Conley Invitational and claimed the Division I state championship, again, with Day placing second in both. Wheeler was also second at the Desert Twilight race, with Day coming in third.Day’s biggest prize in the matchup came in their final prep cross country race, as he placed eighth at the Nike Southwest Regionals and earned a trip to Portland, Ore., for the Nike Cross Nationals. Day is the first male runner from the East Valley to advance to the Nike Nationals, and third Arizona boy to earn the trip. He finished 43rd at Nike Nationals.

  • East Valley football showed its dominance in 2014

    It has been a great year for football in the East Valley. For starters, Chandler High brought a state title home for the school’s first championship in 65 years. Hamilton also has a successful season, going 12-2, reaching the state finals and coming up just short to the Wolves.As a whole, 18 teams from the East Valley qualified for the playoffs and four of those teams (Chandler, Hamilton, Williams Field and Tempe Prep) reached the finals.As good as the season was for most teams, it didn’t come without its fair share of adversity.Williams Field almost had to forfeit its first four wins after the school reported playing ineligible players to the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA). However, after an AIA review, the Black Hawks had their wins reinstated and forged through the uncertainty to reach the Division III state finals where they fell to Saguaro 45-21.“You take high school kids and you put them through adversity and a lot of times, those kids just fold, but for these guys, it just made them stronger,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said. “… The more (they were told) that there was a chance we were going to have to forfeit those wins, the more they came closer together.”The Black Hawks almost lost some wins but Tempe Prep lost its coach for two games. After the school suspended coach Tom Brittain for two games for praying with his team, the Knights decided they would not crumble and won both of their games without their head coach against Paradise Honors (51-7) and Valley Christian (45-21).

  • Local players trying to boost badminton's popularity in state, country

    Badminton is commonly known as the world’s fastest racket sport, as it requires players to think fast and act fast due to great velocity a shuttlecock can reach.Yet despite its popularity in many Asian and European countries, badminton has a slow growing popularity in the U.S.In the U.S., people often see badminton as a weaker sport because players don’t have to be strong physically to excel, said Arizona Badminton Center manager Warren Mee. It comes as a contrast to traditional American sports Mee said require elite players to possess that strength, like football or baseball.“Americans, they see it (badminton) as a sissy sport,” he said.Badminton may not require a lot of brawn, but players still need to have agility to react to the aforementioned velocity of the birdie. The fastest smash speed that was recorded in 2005 is 322 kilometers per hour, which equates to 206 miles per hour. A Malaysian badminton player unofficially broke that record with a hit that went y broken the world smash speed record at 306 mph.“It is a lot more than just sheer strength to be good in the game,” said Mee, who was introduced to the sport by his parents.

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