East Valley Tribune: Sports


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  • ASU rugby to learn from the best

    Football tends to get all of the attention around this time of year, especially at Arizona State University, where expectations on the gridiron are high.However, there’s another sport that involves tackling and an oblong-shaped ball that’s starting to draw international attention to the Sun Devils.ASU’s rugby club recently partnered with the Australian rugby team Brumbies, a powerhouse in the world rugby scene, to open an academy at the university to help train and develop talent for both clubs. The partnership is the first of its kind, said ASU rugby coach Gary Lane.“We at Arizona State had been looking for a professional partner, or a partner that plays in a professional league, to be able to offer pathways to our players,” he said. “They agreed to provide the intellectual property for (the program) and provide the coaching and that’s how it came together.”The Brumbies play in the Super Rugby league, which is essentially the NFL of rugby union in the Southern Hemisphere. By partnering with them, ASU’s rugby club is opening doors for players who wish to play at the next level.“One of the things that isn’t done currently, or there’s not a lot of in the U.S., is professional pathways,” Lane said. “What this offers the athlete … it offers them a pathway to professionalism in a different sport and ASU is the conduit for that pathway.

  • Williams Field defense steps up in 31-7 home win over Show Low

    Williams Field senior running back Braedyn Bushman ran for two touchdowns in the second half to help the Blackhawks secure a 31-7 victory over Show Low on Friday night.Bushman finished the night with 25 carries for 172 rushing yards and the two rushing touchdowns in the final two quarters, but he and the rest of the Blackhawks offense had a hard time finding the end zone early in the game. Despite dominating the time of possession, the Williams Field offense stalled in the first half because of penalties and turnovers.“We were just sloppy,” said Williams Field head coach Steve Campbell. “The good news is that they’re things that we can clean up. I think that in game one, there’s a lot of that. There’s a lot of sloppiness. You’re not used to going against other opponents. You’re not used to a lot of the atmosphere and that type of thing.”The Blackhawks finished the game with 117 total penalty yards. Campbell said he was still content with the performance, especially since it was nine of his starters first varsity game.When the Williams Field offense did not hinder itself, it had no problem moving the ball down the field, and Bushman said the Blackhawks cleaned up their act in the second half.“I think really what happened was we just stopped the mental mistakes,” he said. “We stopped doing the little off-sides penalties. We started doing the little things right and we stopped shooting ourselves in the foot with stupid little mistakes.”

  • Gilbert Campo Verde opens season with 35-7 win against Goldwater

    This early in the season, football teams are still trying to work out the kinks. Campo Verde coach Max Ragsdale feels like there are still several of them to be worked out in his team despite beating Barry Goldwater 35-7 on Friday night.“A lot of room for improvement,” he said. “A lot of mental errors.”Campo Verde (1-0) jumped out to a 14-0 lead on two rushing touchdowns from running back Zac Wheeler. The Coyotes’ rushing attack worked well, as Wheeler finished with 82 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.“I felt we did pretty good,” he said. “Obviously we need a little bit more tweaks, we’re not all of the way there yet. We need to pick up the intensity and a little bit more tempo but overall we did alright.”The passing game didn’t fare as well as the ground attack; Campo Verde quarterbacks Cole Pineda and Dylan Wright combined to go 6-of-20 for 83 yards and two touchdowns. The battle between the two is still ongoing, Ragsdale said.“We’re still evaluating. We don’t know who our guy is,” he said. “We wanted to make sure everybody got some reps, live game reps behind the first group of offensive linemen and we wanted to make sure it got done that way.”

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