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  • Gilbert Public Schools places Gilbert High football coach on paid leave

    The Gilbert Public Schools district has placed Gilbert High School football coach Tim Rutt on paid administrative leave.District Chief of Staff Alex Nardone said in an email the district placed Rutt on administrative leave with pay on Aug. 14 due to Rutt’s involvement in a police investigation.Gilbert Police Department spokesperson Jesse Sanger said the investigation, which is in its initial stages, is based on allegations that Rutt had misappropriated items valued at approximately $2,000 that were donated by one of the school’s booster clubs. Sanger said he was not sure if charges could come from the investigation, but said the most likely would be related to misdemeanor theft.Nardone said the district is unable to provide comment about the situation because of the police investigation into it.Rutt, whose team went 2-8 last year, was hired in advance of the 2013 football season after serving as an assistant at Basha High School. He also worked at Hamilton High School for more than a decade and played at Mesa Community College and Corona del Sol High School.

  • Q&A with Gilbert Mesquite football coach Jim Jones

    Mesquite is coming off one of its best seasons in recent memory and much of that has been due to the efforts of third-year head coach Jim Jones. Jones recently took a few minutes to talk about the team’s turnaround as well as the upcoming season.Q: In 2012, your team went 2-8. Last year, you go 11-2. How did you manage to turn things around?A: Good players make coaches look good. Bottom line, we had some good players. The thing that made us successful more than anything was the speed we had. We had some outstanding speed and that along with the experience, that most of those kids were players from the previous year, a lot of them were returning starters, so that experience and speed that we had I think was a big part of the reason we were successful.Q: Speaking of young players, you lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team, how do you go about rebuilding?A: It’s a matter of patience and a lot of repetition, trying to confront them with a lot of game situations right now. This has been one of our more demanding preseasons this season. We put them through some pretty serious work along with as much game situations as possible, so we’re hoping that will work out for us.Q: With such a young team, do you have to coach them differently?

  • NFL dream within reach for ex-Chandler Hamilton star Bauman

    Zach Bauman slowly trotted his way down a ramp leading off the field at University of Phoenix Stadium. He just finished practice with the Arizona Cardinals, but this practice was different. For one of the very few times in his football-playing life, he wasn’t the star of the show.Since his days at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Bauman has been the focal point of virtually every offense which he’s been a part of. He blends shiftiness and vision with a knack for finding the end zone.As a senior in 2009, Bauman ran for 1,178 yards and 25 touchdowns on his way to helping the Huskies win a second career state title. Those totals probably could have been even higher, but individual accolades weren’t his primary concern.“He could have been a guy who could have had 2,000 yards for us easily,” said Hamilton coach Steve Belles. “That’s how important winning was. He knew if we spread it out a little bit, the team would be better for it. He sacrificed a little bit for the team.”The awards came anyway. Bauman was a two-time all-region selection as well as being named second-team all-state. There was only one thing missing: an offer from a major college program. Bauman had interest from schools in the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) but none of them “pulled the trigger,” Belles said.“He easily could have played in the Pac-12,” Belles said. “It would have been interesting to see what would have happened in the Pac-12 if somebody would have pulled the trigger on him. I think every time he played a U of A or ASU, it really got his blood flowing.”

  • Sun Devils lineman, Highland alum Sarafin tells magazine he's gay

    Arizona State offensive lineman Edward Sarafin has told a local magazine he is gay, making him the first active Division I football player to come out.A fifth-year senior, Sarafin told Phoenix-based Compete, a magazine for gay sports, that he began telling teammates of his sexual orientation last spring."It was really personal to me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly," he said in the magazine's August issue.The walk-on lineman, who goes by the nickname Chip, follows the precedent set by St. Louis Rams linebacker Michael Sam. Sam told teammates he was gay during his playing days, but did not come out publicly until after finishing his career at Missouri.New Jersey Nets forward Jason Collins became the first active openly-gay player in one of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues when he came out to Sports Illustrated in April 2013. He became the first openly-gay player to play in a game after signing with the Nets last season.Massachusetts sophomore Derrick Gordon became the first active openly-gay Division I basketball player when he came out in April.

  • Chandler football seeking elusive state title

    Music blared from a loudspeaker nearby as Chandler High’s football team worked out in only helmets on their second day of practice Tuesday.By all accounts, it was a normal practice. The offense worked on its tempo and timing while the defense focused on alignments and assignments. The offseason and practice were conducted with a singular goal in mind — getting to the state championship game.Last year, the Wolves came up short, losing 21-17 to archrival Hamilton in the state semifinals.“Last year left a salty taste in our mouth, so we’re just practicing harder and harder each day so that won’t happen again,” senior quarterback Bryce Perkins said.Perkins will be the focal point of Chandler’s spread-offense attack. He’s a dual-threat who is just as dangerous with his arm as he is with his legs. He reminds some of former Chandler star and current UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley.Running back Chase Lucas also returns for the Wolves, giving them a threat in the running game, but the challenge for Perkins will be replacing three of his top targets from a year ago. However, he isn’t worried.

  • Local high school coaches team up to help girls improve

    Under normal circumstances, Basha, Perry and Campo Verde high schools are rivals all within a few miles of each other.But now, instead of competing against each other, the coaches of the schools’ varsity girls basketball programs are teaming up to try and develop the sport.Basha’s Rich Meseroll, Perry’s Brock Kearsley and Campo Verde’s Brian Hutchins put their heads together to form the East Valley Basketball Academy, a basketball camp aimed predominantly at girls, to try and improve the sport.Kearsley, whose son plays youth basketball, has become disillusioned with the way things were being done at the youth level.“Throughout an eight-week season, he probably got four shots up, probably touched the ball two or three times a game,” he said. “The best player probably shoots 20-some times a game and dribbles up and down the floor most of the time. I’d say the ball is in their hands, the two best players, probably 60-70 percent of the time.“Yeah, (his son) improved, but how can we make him improve more?” Kearsley said. “By getting the ball in his hands more. So that’s how we came up with this.”

  • Local high school coaches team up to help girls improve

    Under normal circumstances, Basha, Perry and Campo Verde high schools are rivals all within a few miles of each other.But now, instead of competing against each other, the coaches of the schools’ varsity girls basketball programs are teaming up to try and develop the sport.Basha’s Rich Meseroll, Perry’s Brock Kearsley and Campo Verde’s Brian Hutchins put their heads together to form the East Valley Basketball Academy, a basketball camp aimed predominantly at girls, to try and improve the sport.Kearsley, whose son plays youth basketball, has become disillusioned with the way things were being done at the youth level.“Throughout an eight-week season, he probably got four shots up, probably touched the ball two or three times a game,” he said. “The best player probably shoots 20-some times a game and dribbles up and down the floor most of the time. I’d say the ball is in their hands, the two best players, probably 60-70 percent of the time.“Yeah, (his son) improved, but how can we make him improve more?” Kearsley said. “By getting the ball in his hands more. So that’s how we came up with this.”

  • Pop Warner, Mayo Clinic implement concussion testing protocol

    As concussions continue to be at the forefront in the issue of sports safety, Arizona Pop Warner is teaming up with Mayo Clinic and taking a proactive step in tackling the concussion problem.Participants in Arizona Pop Warner’s football and cheer programs ages 10 and older will undergo testing to help diagnose and treat concussions.The children must complete a baseline test before the start of the season. If a participant has a suspected concussion during practice or a game, he or she is administered a test on the sidelines by a medic. The results of that test are compared to the baseline test to determine whether a participant has indeed suffered a concession.If it is determined a player has suffered a concussion, he or she is immediately taken out of the game.“It’s all about getting baseline evaluations with objective tests that are accurate in identifying concussions and being able administer them on the sidelines, accurately diagnosing a concussion to remove them from play,” said Dr. David Dodick, director of the Mayo Clinic Concussion Program.After a player is removed from the game, he or she will be evaluated by a doctor and the results of that examination are once again compared to the baseline to make sure brain function has returned to normal.

  • D-IV, V football preview: Seton, Tempe Prep look to keep rolling

    With the high school football season just around the corner, some teams will look to continue their run of success while others will look to regain it.Seton Catholic has been a dominant program at the Division IV level during the past three years, going 36-4 in that span. Coach Rex Bowser said much of that success is due to the continuity within the system at the school.“Our kids come in as freshmen and they learn the system,” Bowser said. “They’re not having to learn a bunch of new stuff every year.”That consistency will be put to the test this year as the Sentinels look to make it deeper into the playoffs after being eliminated in last year’s semifinals by Mohave Valley River Valley.Seton loses starting quarterback Kyle Johnson, who threw for over 2,400 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2013. It opens the door for senior Zach Wade to take over the Sentinels’ high-powered offense, which has averaged more than 40 points per game the past three years.Wade appeared in 10 games last year, completing 35 of 59 passes for 468 yards and six touchdowns with four interceptions.

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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

Video: Sunsplash Waterpark in Mesa

If you're not too chicken, there's still plenty of time this summer to drop in on the new Doub...

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