East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Dobson High upends Hamilton 53-50

    Neither Dobson nor Hamilton's boys basketball team has gotten off to the best start to the season, especially since both are coming off deep playoff runs a year ago.Both teams badly needed a win Tuesday but, after trailing at halftime, Dobson (2-3) pulled away from the Huskies (0-4) for a 53-50 win.“It took us a while to get going but we just kind of hung in there,” Dobson coach Rick McConnell said.Dobson is still working on replacing its top four scorers from a year ago and it showed on the court. The Mustangs, who averaged 73 points per game a year ago, were only able to muster 53 points behind junior guard Kendrick Williams who led the team with 12 points.Senior guard Mike Mellinger, who chipped in 10 points of his own, is Dobson’s most experienced returning starter.“We’re very new. Almost every kid on the floor except for Mike Mellinger has never played (on the varsity),” McConnell said. “… We’re really just trying to learn how to handle the ball, pass the ball and kind of learning how to play.”

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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