Longtime Chandler High School softball coach Mike Barney passed away last Friday following bouts with several illnesses and a heart attack.
Barney, 60, competed in track and field while he was a student at Chandler in the early 1970s before he became a chemistry teacher at the school. He also served as the JV football coach, an assistant baseball coach and track coach when not coaching softball, a winter season sport at the time.
He coached softball from 1977-1993.
He suffered from diabetes later in life which made walking difficult, but still enjoyed rose bushes, dogs and was a devout ASU basketball fan.
He was also a statistician, and recently began compiling Chandler softball stats and records dating back to the 1970s.
Barney also made homemade ice cream, which he would bring to Chandler to share on the last day of each school year.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Bueler Mortuary in Chandler (14 W. Hulet Drive). A funeral service will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at Valley of the Sun Cemetery in Chandler (10940 E. Chandler Heights Road).
BASHA KEEPS ROLLING
Kudos to the Chandler Basha boys soccer team, which plays Gilbert in a 5A-I state semifinal tonight at 5:45 at Mesa Community College.
Gilbert Highland and Phoenix Mountain Pointe will play at 7:45 in the other state semifinal.
The No. 8 seed Bears (11-6) beat a surging Mesa squad last week to reach the quarterfinals, then knocked off top-ranked and undefeated Brophy in Saturday’s quarterfinal match.
“We don’t fear anyone,” Basha coach Jim Vanney said. “Our record is kind of deceiving. They’re a pretty confident group.”
The Bears have three seniors who see regular playing time. Seven starters are underclassmen. The team is led by Scott Grode, Nigel Ramnauth and Kevin Parsons, all juniors.
It’s the third time in four years Basha’s boys have been to a state semifinal. Since the program started in 2002, it didn’t take long.
The 5A conference executive board decided last week to continue the current power-point rankings for football and badminton to help expedite scheduling for the next two-year block.
The only other fall sport which employs power-point rankings is girls volleyball. The board will take more time to decide on what changes, if any, it will make regarding those rankings. Golf, swimming and cross country do not utilize power-point rankings.
At issue at last Thursday’s meeting was whether or not to count matches or games played in invitationals and to further explore the use of a power-points system an Arizona Interscholastic Association committee devised over the past year. That system is widely considered to be simpler than the current rankings and may allow ease of scheduling between schools in different conferences.
Fountain Hills had 13 wrestlers advance from Saturday’s 3A West Region meet at Fountain Hills. The Falcons had four region champions in Matt Rindal (112 pounds), Kyle Flano (130), Jeff Cappellini (160) and Anthony Carillo (189).
In the 3A South Region meet at Coolidge on Saturday, the host Bears enjoyed a successful day, qualifying 12 wrestlers, including four region champions. At 119 pounds, Aaron Garcia kept his perfect season intact, improving to 65-0. Brother Eric Garcia (64-1) won at 125 pounds, and Daniel Baldenegro (112) and Andrew Ashford (171) also were region winners.
In 1A/2A regionals, Canyon State Academy had 10 wrestlers advance from the Central Region and Maricopa had eight.
The state tournaments for the 1A/2A and 3A conferences begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
Former Tempe Corona del Sol softball players Katie Logan and Megan Willis will return home to play in Arizona State’s Kajikawa Classic tournament this weekend at the Tempe Sports Complex.
Logan, a center fielder for Northwestern, led the Wildcats to last year’s Big Ten championship and reached the College World Series last spring.
Willis, a catcher for Texas, led the Longhorns to a second consecutive berth in the College World Series.
Both were catalysts for Corona in winning the 2003 state championship.
Tribune writers Les Willsey and Steve Burks contributed to this report.