Skyline High School boys basketball coach Michael Wirth does more than coach and teach at the school. He and his staff have taken on a community service of their own through the Skyline Hoops League.
“The mission of the Skyline Hoops League is to help develop a student-athlete’s fundamental basketball skills, character traits, a knowledge of the game, while promoting the great game of basketball in Arizona,” Wirth said of his Saturday program.
“The league was operated on a donation basis. Anybody in grades 3-8 that wanted to participate could do so free of charge,” Wirth added.
The current session, with more than 140 participants and 14 teams that were divided into two divisions, started March 27 and finished May 6 with a season-ending “May Madness” tournament.
Team 13 Maroon was the Green Division (grades 3-5) champion while Team 5 Black captured the crown in the Gold Division.
Eleazar Valenzuela, Ben Masters, Jacob Vanderlip, Audrey Keams, Ryan James, Jens Crawford, Drake Munyon, Blake Camarena, Cooper Mitchell, Julian Barragan and Nick Armijo are the members of Team 13 Maroon, coached by Corey Ward and Derek Montiel.
Montiel and Justin Warner coach Team 5 Black, which is made up of: Chris Vance, Cheyenne Blackmore, Sebastion Bracamontes, Adam Becker, Samir Garnaj, Rey Sanchez, Chris Schenck, Justin Addie, Cyle Morrison, Toby Dyer and Dylan Wells.
All-league teams were chosen and the season-ending tournament featured ballhandling (Green champion - Zach Dunn, Gold champion - Jonathon Ramsubhag) and hot shot contests (Green champion - Dane Koozer, Gold champion — Lucas Salas).
Complete league standings and pictures from the seasonending tournament can be found at www.skylinebasketball.com.
“It’s just a great program for kids,” Wirth explained when he first contacted the Tribune.
And in the end, everyone came out a winner.
At the April 30 Tri Family Glendale Youth Triathlon, the X-factor Jr. Triathlon team from Scottsdale picked up several awards.
The distances were 150 meters for the swim, 4 miles for the bike portion and a 1-mile run with more than 70 participants.
Several racers ran in their first triathlons with Sierra Jarriel of Fountain Hills, finishing first in 35:38 among girls 7-8 years of age. Christian McErlean (fourth, 35:30, 9-year-old boys) and Kyle Goodall (ninth, 33:00, 11-year-old boys) also from Fountain Hills, were in their first triathlons.
Scottsdale’s Aaron Acord was a repeat winner, finishing in 25:59 in the race for 10-year-old boys. He also won the Scottsdale Triathlon in March. And 14-year-old Craig Goodall from Fountain Hills, finished first in the 19-and-under division in 1:20:22. Goodall swam 400 meters, did a 12-mile bike ride and completed a 3.5-mile run.
Gary Kida, cross country and track coach at Fountain Hills Junior High, coaches and trains the team.