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Desert Vista High School Theatre will take the stage performing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “Cinderella.”
Baseball has a special place in Ahwatukee Foothills.
GLENDALE – Soon after the nets were cut down about year ago and a perennial power was dismantled, Division I girls basketball coaches knew for the first time in years a state title was in the offing.
Once upon a time, nearly everyone had to wait their turn.
PRESCOTT VALLEY – Alex Carrillo is taking a much easier way to the podium this time around.
As anyone who has ever taken a standardized test knows, the last step in preparing for the test is to sharpen your No. 2 pencil. That may not be enough, however, for those thinking about taking college entrance exams. Planning and preparation for the ACT/SAT should begin now for students who are currently in their junior year. Here are some topics to consider as you establish your test-taking strategies.
The Desert Vista and Xavier girls soccer programs have a bit of postseason history.
Bethany Wolph, Guard, Valley Christian: Similar to Seton Catholic, Valley Christian has been a perennial title contender for years. And, similar to Seton Catholic, the Trojans have relied on freshman contributions before. This, however, is new. Wolph (11.9 points per game) is second on the team in scoring behind sophomore Mara Kemmer, and has quickly become a product of hard work in morphing herself from a shooter into a scorer (she plays with some of the Seton girls in club ball), and her mother, a “basketball junkie” according to Timmer. Megan Timmer and Angie Andreas are also seeing significant minutes as freshmen for the No. 1-seeded team in Division III, but Wolph “was the biggest shock” in Timmer’s view between eighth grade and now. “Bethany was always a shooter but didn’t have a complete game, wasn’t real tall, her ball skills were solid, but now she can score — not just shoot — and she’s coming around defensively and rebounding,” he said. “She really had to get better and you could see the improvement right away in summer and fall.” The challenge moving forward will be playing in a series of larger, neutral site venues — more than Div. I or II —, and against some of the Northern Arizona schools’ several thousand opposing fans. That’s a lot to ask of a few freshman (there are no seniors on the roster) who play such pivotal roles in the Trojans’ attempt to win a third state title in Timmer’s long-standing tenure. “Those kids are pretty mature at every level and in games when it comes to pressure, 6,000 fans, the physical play they’re going to find, so we addressed it,” Timmer said. “I’m pretty confident this group will handle it as well as anyone. I’m not afraid we’ll be that nervous or tight we can’t perform.”
2013-2014: 11.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 2.2 spg
Ever since I was young, whenever my brother and I earned money from cleaning the cars or weeding the yard, we had to deposit a portion into a big “flower money” jug my mom made. Then every year when spring came to town, we would purchase flowers and plants for the garden. I loved the bugs our garden attracted and my brother the worms, so we bought into the system with little resistance. Little did I know this would be my first lesson in managing my finances: to save a little bit of all you earn.
Jennifer Wirth, Forward, Seton Catholic: Jennifer isn’t alone, not only among Seton freshmen but among Wirth freshmen. Twin sister, LeeAnne, has also seen playing time this season as she continues her return from a significant injury in eighth grade. The Wirth sisters aren’t alone, either, as two elite, record-setting Wirths came through Seton in the past decade (Theresa and Christina). Jennifer and LeeAnne came to their games as elementary school kids, and then 11-, 12- and 13-year-old kids, and they didn’t just run around the school or hide in the bleachers. Each of the older sisters started as freshmen, so the pattern continues. So, too, might the pattern of greatness those older sisters built. “We’d come to the games to watch our sisters and we paid attention,” Jennifer said. “I think it definitely helped a lot having siblings who’ve been part of this.” Still, summer and early fall weren’t always a smooth transition for the Wirth sisters as they tried to learn the varsity basketball expectations while fitting in with teammates, and while the older Wirths occasionally chimed in about expectations and suggestions for success. Sometimes the best resource was each other. “It was hard getting used to this especially in summer and early in fall, but we worked hard for these spots. They said it’s hard but it’ll be worth it.”
2013-2014: 6.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.5 spg
Liz Holter, Guard, Seton Catholic: Actually, there are four freshmen who’ve made contributions at various points this season for Seton Catholic, with Holter and the Wirth twins (Jennifer and LeeAnne) seeing the most action for these perennial championship contenders. As is often the case with a 575-enrollment school, Seton coach Karen Self plays freshman, but four is abnormal. Older sister Anne Marie was a standout guard the previous four years, and Liz said her sister’s advice has helped on occasion. Still, Liz has been effective as the No. 1 Sentinels (Div. II) continue their march toward a championship. Self acknowledged plenty of “freshman moments” this season even during this 28-3 season, but playing in Highland’s Thanksgiving weekend tournament, along with the MLK Classic at Grand Canyon University, was designed to show the youngsters about playing in strange environments which are coming up toward the end of the tournament. So, too, was playing a schedule with Mesquite, Mountain Pointe, Highland, Marcos de Niza, and South Mountain. “It’s going to be more physical moving forward,” Liz said. “We push each other around during long practices to get better for this time.”
2013-2014 stats: 4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.4 spg
On the surface the test results weren’t all that positive, but it was exactly what Austin Reyher needed.
The first clue Cameron Frith was ready to turn in a special season came via a conversation.
Desert Vista High School is having its class placement auditions for dance classes for the 2014/2015 school year on Wednesday, Jan. 8 through Friday, Jan. 10 from 4 to 6:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 11 at 9 a.m.
Trey Ronayne knows the challenges are going to be few and far between.
To jump start the spring semester, the Desert Vista dance program will be hosting auditions for students interested in being involved with the program.
There is no other sporting community like Ahwatukee Foothills in Arizona, or maybe anywhere.
Sometimes it takes several things to put together a good season.
No one in Arizona beat Dani Jones this season so she took her show on the road.
There was a disc jockey, a pig, and not nearly enough blankets to combat the cold.
Every family looks forward to the day when the “big envelope” arrives in the mail announcing an acceptance into their child’s college of choice. After the rounds of congratulations and phone calls to family and friends comes the reality of financing four years of tuition, room, board, books and living expenses. How will you pay for college? Understanding the sources of college funding is an important component of your college plan.
When Trey Lauer had to sit out the state semifinals, and couldn’t even attend Mountain Pointe’s win over Desert Ridge on Monday, for disciplinary reasons, he asked his mom to stop sending text updates because he had faith his teammates.
There are a lot of questions surrounding area boys basketball teams as the season begins and the answers will go a long way in determining just where it ends up.
Desert Ridge's Taren Morrison, left, and his twin brother Tarek were freshmen in 2010 but are listed as juniors on the roster after withdrawing from school for the 2011-12 school year.
Arizona’s four-year public universities had the nation’s largest in-state tuition and fees increase over the past five years, according to the nonprofit organization that oversees the SAT.