East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

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  • One-on-one with Basha wrestling coach Mike Garcia

    Basha’s wrestling team is off to a very solid start. After finishing eighth in last year’s state tournament the Bears are looking to improve on that finish this year.Basha recently walked away from the Coyote Open at Skyline High School last weekend with a big win, as well as having three kids individually take first place.The East Valley Tribune caught up with Bears’ wrestling coach Mike Garcia to talk about the Coyote Open, some of his wrestlers and the differences between this year’s team and last year’s.Q: Coach, just tell me a little about how you guys did at the Coyote Open; you took first, so something went right.A: We had a great weekend over at the Coyote Open Saturday. We ended up winning the tournament by about 30 points. The kids wrestled really well. We’d had an off week, we didn’t have any matches that week other than the tournament, so the kids were ready to go, basically. We had a long week of practice. We had really good practices — covered a lot of technique. And the kids, we’re real proud of our kids right now. They’re a real good group. We don’t have many seniors, we don’t have many seniors, so our kids are sophomores, juniors, very coachable kids that when they get the kids they like to get out there and show you what they can do so we’re really proud of them.Q: You had three kids take first place, how much confidence does that give your team?

  • Photos: Moon Valley Wrestling Tournament

  • Seton football coach Bowser reflects on 40-year career

    Rex Bowser sits down at a small table in the corner of a Starbucks in Chandler. The longtime Seton Catholic football coach sips his coffee in a laid-back, relaxed manner and begins to tell the story of his more than four-decade-long career.At first, Bowser wanted to be a basketball coach — football was a secondary option. He said he only received a single job offer after graduating college in 1972 and, along with being a basketball coach, part of the job included coaching eighth-grade football.Two years later, he left the hardwood for the gridiron.“The football, I don’t know, it just struck a cord or something,” Bowser said. “And I just went from there.”For 33 years Bowser coached and taught in Indiana and he had decided, at least for the first time, he was ready to retire. His eldest son had graduated from Purdue and taken a job with Intel in Arizona. Then his youngest son moved to Arizona and Bowser soon became a grandfather.He had a decision to make.

  • Hamilton trying to get back to title game, but will have plenty of challenges on the way

    When it comes to boys soccer, the East Valley is loaded in Division I, while Division II and III look to catch up and represent the Valley in the playoffs.Last year, eight East Valley high schools qualified for the Division I playoffs while only two teams from the East Valley qualified for the division II or III tournament. Here’s a look at how the divisions shake out.Division IAt the highest division, Hamilton appears to be the team to beat once again. After snagging the No. 1 seed in last year’s playoffs, the Huskies made a run all the way to the state title game before falling to Brophy 1-0.Although coach Nick Markette says his team isn’t necessarily playing with a chip on its shoulder, the players are using last year’s championship defeat as motivation.“It provides fuel. It provides a sense of urgency,” he said. “In our vision we should have won it and our vision we play every year to win it so it certainly provides a level of cognitive dissonance if you will to put in that sense of urgency to continue to work and progress.”

  • Highland probation gives end of season a strange feel

    Highland High School’s boys golf team was placed on a one-year probation by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) for violating a regulation that disallows players from playing on the state championship venue course after a certain dateHighland boys sophomore golfer Brock Goyen played on the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen, the site of the state boys golf championship, after he was no longer allowed to play the course prior to the state tournament.Goyen won the boys Division I state championship at last month’s tournament. But now he has been stripped of his title and the program has been placed on probation after an appeal by the school.According to AIA bylaw 24.9.3.1 states, “A practice (including walking of the course) or competition on the site of the state tournament, is not permitted beginning with the day after the posted last state qualifying date.”That date was Oct. 25 and, after learning that Goyen had played the course after Oct. 25, he was disqualified from the tournament. The title was given to Hamilton’s Jino Sohn, who finished two shots behind Goyen.Goyen initially won the individual boys state title by shooting an eight-under 136 over the two-day event Nov. 5-6.

  • Seton Catholic football coach Rex Bowser stepping down

    Seton Catholic football head coach Rex Bowser has stepped away from his duties head coach after seven seasons.Bowser confirmed on Thursday he has retired from his position as head coach and will leave his post as a physical education teacher at Seton Catholic following this school year."It's just time," Bowser said, calling his job as head coach, "the best I ever had." Seton went 12-1 this year and ended the regular season undefeated before losing to Snowflake 33-20 in the state semifinals. Seton Catholic had a 62-24 overall record during Bowser's seven seasons and went 48-5 in the last four years, winning the state title in 2012.

  • Seton Catholic football coach Rex Bowser stepping down

    Seton Catholic football head coach Rex Bowser has stepped away from his duties head coach after seven seasons.Bowser confirmed on Thursday he has retired from his position as head coach and will leave his post as a physical education teacher at Seton Catholic following this school year."It's just time," Bowser said, calling his job as head coach, "the best I ever had." Seton went 12-1 this year and ended the regular season undefeated before losing to Snowflake 33-20 in the state semifinals. Seton Catholic had a 62-24 overall record during Bowser's seven seasons and went 48-5 in the last four years, winning the state title in 2012.

  • Photos: Chandler vs Desert Vista wrestling

  • Perry, Seton kick off season with eyes on state title

    With football season finally over, local high school stadiums are now filled with soccer games. The East Valley is loaded with girls teams capable of making deep playoff runs on the pitch.Division IComing off a 14-7-2 season and a state finals appearance, Perry appears ready to go far in the postseason again.An early goal for Perry will be getting settled at goalkeeper. Senior Carly Sandstedt, who recorded 112 saves last year while only allowing 21 goals and tallying seven shutouts, is out with a knee injury.However, Perry coach Jason Dunn said his team is an “attack-minded” one.“I still want to keep the foot on the gas when we play,” he said.

Football rankings

Last Updated: Dec. 1, 2014 | Compiled by Tribune

# Division I, II, III
1. Chandler (13-1)
2. Hamilton (12-2)
3. Mountain Pointe (10-3)
4. Williams Field (12-2)
5. Tempe (12-1)
6. Queen Creek (10-3)
7. Desert Ridge (10-2)
8. Skyline (10-2)
9. Marcos de Niza (7-5)
10. Westwood (9-2)

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