Skoda: Time to clean out the notebook - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

Skoda: Time to clean out the notebook

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:49 pm | Updated: 10:31 am, Wed Feb 26, 2014.

With a little bit of a lull during spring break, I had a chance to get some down time and poke around about several topics.

So let’s take a quick look at some of the rumblings and doings tied to Ahwatukee Foothills.

The grass roots ABC Project by resident Ron Passmore took a recent hit after months of positive news.

Passmore, who has been trying to get a large youth baseball facility built in the area, said the land they were looking to lease is no longer available and it might cause him to widen his scope to the Chandler area.

Mountain Pointe is going to be well represented in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January as wide receiver/defensive back Jalen Brown has already sent in the paperwork, offensive lineman Natrell Curtis just received his, and head coach Norris Vaughan will help coach the team.

The Desert Vista girls basketball head position is officially open for candidates to apply. The administration did a nice thing by waiting until after the team banquet to officially put the odd 2012-13 season to rest.

I think J’Ontar Coleman did a fine job, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see someone else running the program next year.

There are going to be some very impressive applicants and it only makes sense to bring in someone with more experience than Coleman, who was supposed to be the junior varsity coach after serving one year as the Thunder’s freshmen coach.

The Desert Vista freshmen and junior varsity went undefeated this past year and the varsity brings back two Division I players in guard Emily Wolph and post Kristine Anigwe.

I am going to guess it is a job that will be highly pursued so look for a new coach in the coming weeks. The interview process was scheduled to begin this week.

The recruitment of Desert Vista junior Jalen Jelks has been fast and furious.

The 6-foot-7, 265-pound two-way lineman played well on both sides of the ball last season and has had a good offseason, to say the least.

Since mid-January he has received offers from Arizona, Oregon State, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

He recently performed well at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp where Scout.com said he may have been the most physically impressive defensive ends in attendance.

The scheduling mess for Division I football should be coming to a head soon as there is a March 26 meeting where all of the athletic directors — with the coaches on speaker phone if they are not in attendance — are expected to hash things out.

Last I heard Mountain Pointe was still looking for four games including Week 9, a spot where all of the other 28 Division I schools are already scheduled.

Despite reports by other outlets, the Pride didn’t agree to play Peoria Centennial.

I haven’t heard much from Desert Vista other than opening in California against Mission Hills of San Diego. There were initial talks with Pinnacle and Boulder Creek, but I don’t know if those became official or not.

The sudden coaching change at Grand Canyon is a shame in my mind.

Russ Pennell has done a great job with the program and had the Lopes heading toward Division I just fine, but he won’t be around to see it through.

The team knew before its first-round game in the playoffs that he was going to be replaced.

“I thought being 42-16 the last two years, going to back-to-back NCAA (Division II) tournaments would be good enough,” Pennell told the Arizona Republic. “I’m not bitter at all. It’s a part of the business. My concern is for the kids. In college basketball, contrary to what you think, kids go to the school for the coach. My guys right now are disappointed and upset. So I’m worried about them. Now, I can’t do a lot about it.”

Mountain Pointe graduate Jerome Garrison and Desert Vista graduate Jeff Lowery will now be playing for former Sun Dan Marjerle, assuming they stay in the program.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwautkee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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