Mesa High baseball coach Steve Gourde said Monday the Jackrabbits will honor former teammate Dan Agne by wearing patches and with a banner erected on the outfield wall.
Agne, who played varsity baseball the last two seasons and graduated last May, passed away Friday after an 18-month bout with cancer.
‘‘We’ve had him in our thoughts for a long time,’’ Gourde said.
‘‘We’ll keep him in our thoughts this way. We’re going to wear patches on our sleeves with his number (16). We also will have a banner put up on our outfield wall in his memory. We’ll have a moment of silence Friday and then put up the banner at our first home game (vs. Saguaro).
Gourde said many of the juniors and seniors on this year’s team visited Agne as recently as two weeks ago. Gourde said those types of visits were a lift for Agne, who was diagnosed with cancer after his junior season.
Agne battled the disease well enough to play his senior season and continue as a knuckleball pitcher last spring for the Jackrabbits.
Funeral services for Agne, 19, are today at 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1415 E. Southern in Mesa.
Clubbed: A postscript to the justcompleted season. The most controversial issue in the sport should be settled at the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s legislative council meeting in March. That group likely will confirm a stand taken by the AIA executive board that calls for players to play only with high school teams once the high school season begins.
That means club soccer players would not be able to join their high school teams after the schedule begins as they have in previous years.
Club tournaments continue through the holidays — well after the start of high school soccer in early December.
Although coaches welcome the resolution of the matter, not all agree with the ruling.
Dobson coach Nick Markette notes that some clubs can accommodate the prep season. He said his club — Arizona Football Club — simply stops its schedule during the high school season.
Teams chosen: The Arizona Coaches Association has chosen its all-state teams that are scheduled to compete in all-star games May 29. East Valley players chosen were Josh Chavez and Eric Lugo of Gilbert, Freddy McDonald and Ryan Bowie of Mountain Pointe, Jason Cascio of Hamilton, Brian Thames of Dobson, Zach DeFrancis of Mountain View, Roland Erlichman of Chaparral, Jake Gustafson of Pinnacle and Sergio Hernandez of Tempe.
Welcome addition: After Gilbert and Tucson Salpointe were tied following 20 minutes of overtime in the 5A state title match, a new rule passed last year by the AIA kicked in. An additional 10 minutes — split into fiveminute periods — of "sudden-death" overtime was added.
Since administrators do not want the state championship decided by penalty kicks, the additional overtime periods were added.
A couple of East Valley coaches would love to float their idea — borrowed from hockey — to decide a stalemate. Jeff Perry of Gilbert and Dominic Scafaria of Mountain View had similar ideas when asked during the Arizona Coaches Association meeting last week. They said the overtime should be "sudden-death" — or "golden goal" as it is known in soccer — immediately after regulation play and that the teams should cut players every 10 minutes. That is, go 10 on 10, then 9 on 9, then 8 on 8, etc., until there is a winner.
Untimely injury: Paradise Valley forward Calvin Chitwood sprained his ankle in the first minute of his team’s Desert Valley Region championship game loss to Phoenix Brophy on Saturday.
Trojans coach Marc MacGowan said Chitwood’s availability for tonight’s first-round state playoff game at Southern Region champion Tucson Salpointe is "50-50."
That’s bad news for Paradise Valley, which would probably be considered the underdog tonight even with their all-region forward in uniform.
Chitwood averages about 18 points per game and scored 41 points in the Trojans’ state-berth-clinching win over Desert Mountain last Tuesday.
"Hopefully he’ll play, because if he doesn’t we won’t have much of a chance," MacGowan said.
- Staff writer Matt Simpson and correspondent Al Bravo contributed to this report.