Desert Vista honors state champions - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Desert Vista honors state champions

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Posted: Friday, December 2, 2011 8:00 am

It's been a one of a kind year for Desert Vista High School.

Fresh off state football and band titles, the school celebrated and honored everyone involved in those programs and more at a ceremony on campus Wednesday night. Also honored was boys golf and boys and girls cross country, all of which finished as runner's up in the state.

For the freshmen, it's an unbelievable start to their high school careers. For the seniors, it's a high point to go out on as they venture out into the next phase of their lives.

"You're getting kids who don't come out to any school events, out here tonight," senior Jackie Janssen said of Wednesday's celebration. "There's just a vibe, an energy that you feel around campus."

Saturday's victory over Hamilton in the state championship game gave Desert Vista its first since 1998. Back then, current principal Dr. Anna Battle was the school's athletic director.

"These are really victories for the Desert Vista community because there is a feel that everyone can contribute," Battle said.

Band director Josh Thye and his students took home the Division 1 Arizona State Marching Band Championship for the second year in a row.

The title of state band champion has only been in existence three years and Desert Vista has laid claim to it twice.

The first year they placed second.

"It's the first time in the state something like this has happened and it's a neat feeling because (football coach Dan) Hinds and I were hired at the same time (in 2002)," Thye said. "It has been a great experience working with him and the support goes both ways."

Thye said he knew from the beginning of the school year that his team had a chance to repeat.

"You can just close your eyes and I just knew by the sound that we had what it would take to win," he said. "There's power in silence. And that is the same with the football team. When there is silence coming from the players or musicians, you know they are listening and learning."

With the school year not quite half over, there is still time for Desert Vista teams to add to their list of accomplishments this year.

"We are at the top right now, and I don't know how it can get any higher," senior and student body president Julia Thatcher said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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