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  • Red Mountain track sets school records

    In coaching circles, the cliché regarding exceptional athletes is, “This kind of athlete does not come along very often.” For the Red Mountain High School Girls’ Track Team, the saying would be, “These kinds of athletes do not come along very often together.” Enter seniors Tayler Jameson, Abbie Sharkey, and Kristiana Warth, a trio of pole vaulters who have been competing at the highest levels in the state for several years. With all three clearing 12 feet in the indoor season, the girls are in rare company in terms of the number of athletes over a mark for a season at one school.Much of the credit is of course due to their dedication to their discipline, but they’ve had help along the way from current pole vault coaches Cara Manis and Blair Howland as well as elite vaulters Dean and Jill Starkey. Combined with an early start in vaulting years ago, the results thus far in their careers is quite noticeable. “All of our coaches have done a great job pushing us to big meets,” says Warth. “It has been great having all three of us at those meets to push each other and make sure that we support each other on our best and worst days.”What is more amazing is their ability not only to push and support each other on the track, but also in the classroom. With GPA’s of 3.64, 3.952, and 4.729, and class ranks of 163, 90, and 6, Warth, Jameson and Sharkey, respectively, each lady has opened opportunities to progress to college and be successful. “My commitment to track gives me less time for homework, but it forces me to make good decisions about the time I dedicate to homework,” says Sharkey. “It also makes me more focused when I’m doing homework because I know I need to get it done correctly the first time.”But in all their time at Red Mountain there have been ups and downs for sure in each of their careers. Jameson suffered a stress fracture in her foot her Sophomore year, Warth spent much of her Junior year fighting a quad injury, and Sharkey had a lingering ankle and elbow injury that hampered her results at times. However, as their head coach, Brent Krieg, says, “They have remained positive, upbeat, and always dedicated to the process of improving, learning, and working hard for their goals. They have unconditional support for each other and lead our team both on and off the track.”With the end of the season looming, results are definitely important. However, the ladies remain confident in their bond as athletes. “It helps when we travel to big meets like Arcadia, the Chandler Rotary, and State because we have teammates who are competing right next to each other and we know we have each other’s back,” said Jameson. This is the atmosphere that Red Mountain coaches have instilled since taking over the program. “Our athletes are expected to be supportive of their teammates no matter the event in which they compete. The culture we’ve created in the past couple of years is partly a by-product of these pole vaulters’ willingness to compete against each other while at the same time hoping that each of them does better every meet.”The question will remain whether the formula works by the end of their high school careers, but for the trio of vaulters their grades, training, and competition has led them to several options for the future. Yet, their biggest impact has been to help create a team of athletes who care for each other, work hard, and cherish the success based on process. Truly, “These kinds of athletes do not come along very often together.”

  • 2013-2014 All-Tribune Girls Basketball

    All-Tribune First TeamName                        School          Yr.   Pos.   CommentEmily Wolph         Desert Vista        Sr.     G      POY candidate averaged 15.3 PPG, 2 RPG, 2.2 APG and 2.7 SPG for Div. I state championsCecily Wilson           Mesquite         Sr.     G      Tribune POY was already good defender but made huge strides offensively between junior and senior year to lead elite Div. I teamCamille Zimmerman   Tempe Prep   Sr.     F       Despite double- and triple- teams she averaged 25.4 PPG, 13 RGP and shot 85 percent FT; Headed to Columbia after record-setting seasonJulia Barcello    Seton Catholic      Sr.      F       Gatorade POY in AZ for 2013-2014 averaged a double-double for three consecutive years and Seton’s career leader in rebounds (1,390) and blocks (282); Headed to Colgate in fall

  • 2013-2014 Tribune Girls Basketball Player of Year: Cecily Wilson

    Coach was insistent and parent was hesitant, but the kid and her team ultimately thrived.With what Cecily Wilson described as athleticism that “we don’t know where it came from,” the Mesquite senior guard was born and raised on defense. So when Wildcats coach Candice Gonzales met with Cecily and her father, Craig, between her junior and senior year to discuss her role this season, the family was taken aback.Gonzales said she could be a good defender and a big-time offensive player. It was a complete contrast to Cecily’s upbringing and mindset.They balked, but Cecily proved her coach and her team right and became the 2013-2014 Tribune Girls Basketball Player of the Year.She worked with Dana Hawkins (club coach and father of Mountain View guards Arnecia and Armani Hawkins) last summer to improve her mid-range shot, footwork and fundamentals, sometimes several hundred shots per day.“I just shot until my arms fell off,” she said.

  • Photos: Hamilton vs Mountain Pointe baseball

    The baseball game between Hamilton and Mountain Pointe at Hamilton High School on Friday, April 11, 2014.

  • 2013-2014 Tribune Girls Soccer Player of Year: Jazmarie Mader

    Sometimes kids can still surprise, and because of it, an “I told you so” is now always available to Jazmarie Mader.The Basha senior knew she had a future in soccer, but there was nothing synonymous between “Basha,” “soccer” and “success.” A miserable freshman year on the field left Mader moping and browsing.Hamilton was nearby, had “academy” programs for all its sports in place, and success followed. Mom was ready to move, but Jazmarie, who’d been home-schooled until she enrolled in high school, wasn’t.“I’d made friends and didn’t start the process of making friends over again,” she said. “The first time (in public schools) was a big transition for me, but I didn’t want to be trader.“It was quite the talk with my mother. She was all for switching and I thought I should stick it out and grow.”Rather than being a “next,” she and her fellow soccer class of 2014 wanted to be a “first,” but it became a steep hill to climb. After miserable freshman and sophomore seasons — including a best friend who opted not to play as a sophomore — her junior year was a close call before ultimately being left out of the playoffs by the power rankings formula despite a difficult schedule.

  • 2013-2014 All-Tribune Girls Soccer

    All-Tribune First TeamName                          School          Yr.    Pos.   CommentJazmarie Mader            Basha           Sr.      F       Tribune Player of the Year was the Chandler district POY led Bears to first postseason since 2007Melinda Gutierrez        Gilbert            Jr.      F       Terrific season for surprising Tigers with 18 goals, 12 assists; played big against top competitionReggie VanDevender  Seton Catholic  Jr.    F       Finished with 22 goals and nine assists for 53 points for Div. III runners-upBri Hatch                    Highland         Jr.      MF      Hawks as most dangerous player on the field in most games.

  • 2013-2014 All-Tribune Girls Soccer

    All-Tribune First TeamName                          School          Yr.    Pos.   CommentJazmarie Mader            Basha           Sr.      F       Tribune Player of the Year was the Chandler district POY led Bears to first postseason since 2007Melinda Gutierrez        Gilbert            Jr.      F       Terrific season for surprising Tigers with 18 goals, 12 assists; played big against top competitionReggie VanDevender  Seton Catholic  Jr.    F       Finished with 22 goals and nine assists for 53 points for Div. III runners-upBri Hatch                    Highland         Jr.      MF      Hawks as most dangerous player on the field in most games.

  • Coaches Q and A: Jeff Bader (Hamilton boys volleyball)

    Coming off tournament wins in the Catalina Foothills and Brophy invitationals, respectively, Hamilton boys volleyball coach Jeff Bader spoke about his team’s championship aspirations, winning tournaments and having one division for 65 schools in Arizona.Q: Nearly the entire roster is back from last year’s 29-13 team returned, did you feel like the team hit the ground running from the start?A: We didn’t need the three weeks (of preseason practice). We wanted to start right away. All of them are playing club as well and beating each other up, and couldn’t wait to play. Practices were hard to get motivated. For three weeks and they’re always playing and practicing was kind of redundant so it was nice to have the Chandler tournament and get those done, and now we have an idea what we want to do moving forward and focus on that.Q: What did you like about your team’s play in winning the tournaments, especially the Brophy Invitational?A: It was nice that the boys can be rewarded for their work. They play year-round and to win the tournament. To feel like they could win that is a great thing. I told them on Monday they stayed together as a team whether well or poorly. We’re sticking together and helping each other out, not getting upset point-by-point. That was something since the Catalina Foothills tournament we talked about. It was nice to see them not always play well, but not always worry about it and move on quickly to the next. They showed a lot of maturity.Q: Saige Gonzalves is a top-notch player, but you don’t necessarily have elite outside hitters or a guy everyone has to plan around, whereas many championship teams in the past have. Can you win it all without that kind of “go-to-player” so-to-speak?

  • Baseball: Hamilton holds on to beat Mountain Pointe

    It’s just baseball.That’s how Mountain Pointe coach Brandon Buck described the Pride’s rivalry with Hamilton after their 3-2 loss Friday at Hamilton High School.Mountain Pointe provided late-inning heroics with back-to-back doubles in the seventh inning to bring the Pride to within one, but solid pitching from Hamilton closed the door and the Huskies prevailed.The loss brings an end to a three-game win streak for Mountain Pointe (13-5). With the win, Hamilton (20-2) pulls ahead 9-6 in the season series since 2005. Buck said it’s never easy losing to a rival.“I love playing Hamilton,” Buck said. “They’re a great program. We love coming out and battling those guys, and to be fortunate enough to play them the last few years. To be honest, this is playoff baseball.“They know it. We know it. Both teams looked forward to this before the season started because we’re both pretty good ball clubs and play a great game.”

Tackle The Trib!

Boys Basketball

Last Updated: Dec. 4, 2013 | Compiled by Tribune

# Division I Division II
1. Corona del Sol 4-0 Cat. Foothills 5-0
2. Pinnacle 2-0 Gilbert Christian 0-1
3. Mountain View 1-0 Sahuaro 3-2
4. Hamilton 5-0 Shadow Mtn. 4-0
5. Mesa 4-1 Salpointe 4-2
6. Gilbert 3-1 Cienega 0-0
7. Sunnyslope 5-0 Buena 3-0
8. Perry 5-0 Marcos de Niza 0-0
9. Desert Mtn. 2-2 Paradise Valley 3-1
10. Chaparral 2-2 South Mtn.

Girls Basketball

Last Updated: Dec. 5, 2013 | Compiled by Tribune

# Division I Division II
1. Desert Vista 6-0 Saguaro 4-3
2. Dobson 6-0 Bradshaw Mtn. 7-0
3. Hamilton 0-0 Marcos de Niza 4-3
4. Highland 6-1 Mtn. View (Marana) 2-2
5. Westview 5-2 Seton Catholic 6-1
6. Millennium 4-1 Flagstaff 0-1
7. Mtn. Pointe 5-1 Williams Field 5-2
8. Mesquite 5-2 Thunderbird 4-3
9. Mtn. View 3-4 Pusch Ridge 5-0
10. Basha 1-0 Peoria 3-1

Best of Mesa 2014: Teachers

The best teachers of Mesa, as voted by our readers, talk about what it feels like to shape the...

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