A look back at some of the biggest sports stories to hit Maricopa in 2007 - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

A look back at some of the biggest sports stories to hit Maricopa in 2007

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Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2008 10:48 am | Updated: 11:59 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

PGA Tour hopefuls hit Maricopa

There were no huge crowds, no television commentators whispering in hushed tones as the ball trickled toward the cup. This was no storied historical venue either, but for Maricopa, the private Royal Dunes Golf Club is just at the beginning of making a name for itself among golf’s elite.

The PGA tour held one of its six second-round qualifying events Nov. 14-17 as part of its annual Q-School at Royal Dunes.

“What the tour looks for is a quality golf course with consistent weather,” said Mike Martino, director of tournament operations.

Rams turn it on late, earn 3rd straight playoff berth

Home certainly was sweet for the Maricopa High School football team this season. If only every game could be at home, however.

After the Rams earned their third consecutive playoff berth, thanks in part to a 5-1 home mark, they were dispatched from state tournament play on the road, falling 38-13 at Winslow.

Matt Fierros was the star for most of the season for the Rams, amassing more than 1300 yards rushing, topping the 200-yard mark on three different occasions. Fierros also recorded a staggering 30-plus tackles in the season opener.

Tony Jones also made it look easy on defense, as the end carded 16 sacks while also returning a pair of kicks for touchdowns.

Coach fight leads to assault charges

Not all ’07 sports stories were warm and fuzzy, proven by an Oct. 13 incident at a youth football game in Tempe.

After a game between the Maricopa Youth Football Pee-Wee Matadors and Valley team The Dragonz, Matadors’ coach David Kennedy got into an altercation with Dragonz coach Terrance Payne Sr. at Tempe High School after the Dragonz did not take a knee near the end of a game their were winning, 26-12.

A verbal confrontation soon turned into a physical altercation in the school parking lot, with Kennedy ending up with a cut on the back of the neck with what appeared to be a knife, and both men cited for disorderly conduct. Payne’s son was also referred on charges of assault, while Payne’s wife, Tiffany, was also reffered to the Maricopa County Attorney for aggravated assault charges.

The fight led to the expulsions from the San Tan Youth Football League.

“Let this be a reminder to everyone that participation in this league and youth sports in general is a privilege,” said a league statement.

Pacana Park hosts 1st Copa Cup softball tourney

In the end, what started as a one-day softball showcase ultimately ran into day two.

And a team from Maricopa, calling itself “Arizona Impact” did its hometown proud by taking the championship title in the first Copa Cup Challenge softball tournament, spanning the better part of 18 hours July 14, and running into the 15th at Pacana Park.

Teams from Maricopa, Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, Casa Grande, Tucson and California competed in the 12-team tournament, with the Impact earning a berth in October’s World Softball Association championship in Cathedral City, Calif.

Seniors girls lead Rams to hoops quarters

Maricopa senior Kayla Valisto knew there was a silver lining, even if it was visible at first glance.

“We’re a good team,” Valisto said after her team’s 45-40 loss to heavily favored Chandler Valley Christian in the Class 2A state quarterfinals.

Good indeed.

With Valisto and fellow seniors Jessica Schwanbeck and Yvonne Nuguid provided most of the offensive spark for the Rams, the team finished 19-7 overall and entered its season-finale riding a five-game winning streak.

Parks earns her place in state history

At May’s Class 2A state track and field championships, 23 girls’ teams scored at least one point.

Maricopa freshman Brittany Parks out-scored 17 of those teams on her own, taking first in the 100-meters, 200, third in the 400 and fourth in the long jump, giving her 31 points, or enough to lead the Rams’ girls’ team to a fifth-place finish all by her lonesome.

On the boys side, senior Roman Wilson took second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.57 seconds.

Youth soccer program draws huge numbers

With nearly 600 participants on more than 50 teams registered, the spring 2007 installment of the city of Maricopa Youth Soccer Program opened to a hoard of goals and grass stains on March 31 at Pacana Park.

With spring marking its fourth season, the youth soccer program has seen its enrollment numbers grow continuously – this time, Maricopa Parks, Recreation and Libraries director Marty McDonald said, to a near capacity of 570, ages 4-12, on 53 teams.

Rams boys hoopsters win 2A west region

An early state tournament loss certainly stung, but for coach Rick Abel and the more than dozen seniors on his roster, there was a consolation prize at the end.

A championship banner – the 2A west region title, to be specific, something Rams won after winning 19 games overall and finishing 11-1 in region play.

MHS Soccer teams earn first wins in 2 seasons

A team’s first win of the season is always important, but for the MHS girls and boys soccer teams, that was even more evident. A 2-1 win over Phoenix Northwest Christian on Nov. 29 for the girls and a 3-2, victory over River Valley High School of Mohave Valley on Nov. 20 for the boys carried extra significance if only because neither team won a game last season.

“It’s early, but it does show progress,” said girls coach Cortney Kellenaers.

“We actually have the numbers to have a real program now, so it was bound to happen,” added boys assistant coach Jason Berg of his team’s season-opening win. “Now let’s build on it.”

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