The Pioneers made a statement in its opener, defeating a tough Red Mountain team. Brian Lewerke threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start while running back Josh Hoekstra (pictured) had 149 yards and a score. It was a great start and the Pioneers move up a spot in the rankings.
A perennial playoff team for years under Dana Zupke, the Pioneers appear to be much the same. What’s shaping up to be a tougher schedule than the past couple seasons should help that cause (win or lose) after last year’s sour ending to Week 10 (blowout loss to Brophy) and the playoffs (blowout loss to Avondale Westview) after a big win against Desert Mountain in Week 9.
QB Brian Lewerke saw short stints of action last year and takes the reigns this year, and the Pioneers are understandably excited about his potential since the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder already has a Division I college offer from Arizona State. It’ll sure help having RB Josh Hoekstra behind him (1,538 yards, 16 TD) along with nearly the entire WR crew from last year led by Daniel Galindo and Cules Rose. Cole Neubauer, Trevor Colceri and Rose will lead a solid defense.
Desert Vista players celebrate Matt Young’s interception return for a touchdown during the Division I state championship game against Hamilton last November. The Thunder have a lot of pieces back from that team this year, but the 2012 team must forge its own identity.
Corona del Sol's Casey Benson celebrates early against Laveen Cesar Chavez during the Division I state championship game at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale which Corona won 66-53. Feb 25, 2012. Corona won 66-53.
Former Saguaro running back D.J. Foster, shown running the ball against Desert Vista, set state records with 10 touchdowns in a game against Peoria Sunrise Mountain, and multiple big-school rushing and scoring records. He already figures to see playing time as a freshman at Arizona State.
Desert Vista forward Connor MacDougall is one of the first top Valley high school basketball players to leave school in favor of Westwind Prep Academy, which seeks to become a hub for elite prep basketball players in Arizona.
Desert Vista guard John Marshall, shown in the Division I tournament quarterfinals against Mountain View, is planning to leave Desert Vista and enroll at Westwind Prep in Phoenix to play on the newly-formed national team.
Desert Vista's defense stuffs Hamilton's Kendyl Taylor during the 2011 Division I state championship at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Huskies' quest for a fourth consecutive championship and a 53-game winning streak were snapped that night.
Mountain Pointe shortstop Scott Kingery fields a ball during a game against Corona del Sol on Wednesday. Mountain Pointe is the defending Division I state champion and was sitting at No. 5 in the Division I power rankings heading into the weekend.
Seton Catholic and Peoria players vie for a rebound during the Division II state championship game on Feb. 25. Despite losing its three standout players from the previous two years, Seton Catholic beat Peoria, 52-44, to win a third consecutive state championship and sixth overall under coach Karen Self.
Corona del Sol's Casey Benson (No. 15) gives chase to Desert
Vista's Danny Powell in a Jan. 10 match between two of the top
schools in Div. I. Corona is the Div. I favorite entering this
week's state tournaments while the Thunder are a "sleeper."
Chandler’s Dezirae Elias tries to keep the ball away from
Dobson’s Tori Lloyd while the two hit the floor during the MLK
tournament at Wells Fargo Arena on Jan 16, 2012. Both schools will
be in the thick of the Div. I state tournament picture which begins
Corona del Sol’s Avery Moss began playing football only two
years ago and will sign a letter of intent to Nebraska. Basketball
was his first love and he wanted to play it in college but isn’t
tall enough to play the position he wants to play, power forward.
Instead he had to be convinced to try football and wound up with
numerous scholarship offers.
Corona del Sol's Avery Moss began playing football only two
years ago and now has a scholarship to Nebraska. Basketball was his
first love and he wanted to play it in college but isn't tall
enough to play the position he wants to play, power forward.
Perry’s Nicole Stevens, right, tries to get control of the ball
while Mesquite’s Kelsy Robinson moves in. The Perry girls sat at
No. 13 in the Division I power rankings after beating Mesquite,
2-0, on Monday, and face Mountain Pointe on Thursday. The Pumas are
hoping to land one of the 16 spots in the Division I girls state
Perry (white) is one of more than a dozen East Valley teams on
the bubble of its respective state tournament cutoff. The top 16
teams from each of the three divisions will advance (three at-large
from each of three sections plus seven at-large berths, all based
on power points).
James Tanner who's a prolific researcher of family history has
used books, trips and now the computer to help him do his passion
at the Mesa Family History Center in downtown Mesa. Jan 18, 2012.
Darryl Webb/Special to Tribune
Jamell Baca-Cazer (center) is surrounded by
her husband, Rudy Cazer, and her children -- daugthers Ciera Baca,
17, and Jazzlena Baca, 19, and son Trae Baca, 16, as they prepare
to celebrate the holidays Dec. 20, after Jamell received a lung
transplant in October.
Chandler High's Je Zhe Newton cheers on her teammates during the
Nike Tournament of Champions. Newton, the team's returning starting
center from last yaer, could miss the entire season with torn knee
ligaments, though the Wolves are holding out hope of a possible
return in the next two months.