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Senior Viola Logston and junior Alyssa Watkins capped strong postseason performances for the Camp Verde High School track and field team May 13 with two top seven finishes at the Meet of Champions.

Junior Alyssa Watkins got the silver medal in the discus for Camp Verde High School at the Division III state championships May 9. Although she specializes in throwing the shot put, Watkins threw the discus nearly 114 feet for second place.
“I’m really proud of our throwers,” said first-year head coach Michael Prow. “They’ve really stepped up big in the last couple weeks. The team usually comes on strong at the end.”

Logston fought through a hamstring injury to throw the shot put 37 feet, good enough for third place at the Brophy Sports Campus, after finishing second at the Division III state championships to Sedona Red Rock High School sophomore Hannah Ringel.

“She just had no explosion,” Prow said. “Obviously, I’m really proud of her for her runner-up, but anybody who follows shot knows it’s all in the legs.

“She’s disappointed to finish second after having had the top throw all year long, but I’m still thinking she’s going to go to Northern Arizona University.”

While Watkins’ 111 feet was just over two feet short of her personal best in the discus that garnered her silver medal at State, it was good enough for eighth place.

“That made her feel even better about how the season went,” Prow said. “She was ranked fourth and had good throws at the end of the year.”

For the full story and more photos, please see the Wednesday, May 20, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

An uncharacteristic performance defensively led to an uncharacteristic season-ending upset loss for the second-ranked team in Division III softball May 6.

Senior Sharli Macdonald throws a ball in the infield for Camp Verde High School in a home victory earlier this season. The Cowboys will need to replace Macdonald and three other seniors to build on a No. 2 ranking in Division III at the end of the regular season.
Camp Verde High School entered the postseason riding high, finishing undefeated in Section V on a five-game winning streak to become the No. 2 seed in the state tournament.

But bad news rode in even before the Cowboys’ first playoff game against Morenci Junior/Senior High School at Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Peoria. Sophomore starting outfielder Amber Dodge had been academically ineligible since the season finale April 23, and two senior reserves were also lost to what head coach Henry Smith would only call “personal stuff.”

Although the remaining nine CVHS regulars hung with the Wildcats in their second round game, tying the game with two runs in the fourth inning, the bottom dropped out in a five-run Morenci fifth from which not even junior ace Taya Smith could recover in a 10-3 loss.

“We just had a couple of key errors throughout the game that made it impossible to come back,” Henry Smith said. “Morenci, they’re a very good team. We could probably play them next weekend and do a ton better. Who knows why things happen?”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 20, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

The Camp Verde High School golf team, led by juniors Joel Beauty and Vance Tewawina, powered through the back nine holes of the Metro Invitational to claim the final seed in the Division III state tournament.

junior Joel Beauty takes his second stroke for the Camp Verde High School golf team on the first hole of his home course at Verde Santa Fe Golf Club. The Cowboys lost April 29 to Sedona Red Rock High School but recovered to be the final Division III team to qualify for the state tournament Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, in Prescott Valley.
In the State qualifying round on the final day of the regular season, Beauty and Tewawina each shot a 38 in the back nine at the Palmbrook Country Club in Sun City to lead the Cowboys into the No. 15 team seed.

“We were, like, 20th at the beginning of the tournament, then we jumped into 15th,” Beauty said. “It was kind of a huge leap, but not a huge shocker. Everybody went off.”

Junior Andrew Witt shot three strokes off their pace at five-over-par, with senior Bodie Holowell finishing one stroke behind Witt at the 36-hole invitational.

Those scores, along with senior Brett Worth’s 51, were enough to help the Cowboys finish 10th out of 19 teams Saturday, May 9, edging Gilbert Christian High School by two strokes.

With the exception of five teams, Beauty said, they’ll be seeing the entire field again beginning Friday, May 15, when they play for a state championship for the first time as a team under fifth-year head coach Chris Fuller at Antelope Hills Golf Course in Prescott.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 13, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Juniors Laramie Mahan and Luis Valdez, along with five Camp Verde High School throwers, will travel Friday, May 8, to the Division III state championships at Mesa Community College.

Senior Curtis Corder heaves the 12-pound shot at a recent Camp Verde High School track practice. Corder is one of the Cowboys athletes heading to the state finals.
But it could have been more, head coach Michael Prow said.

Valdez’s personal best April 21 of 2:03.24 in the 800 meters made him the first CVHS boys runner to qualify for State since Justin Reay had a fifth-place finish in the event at State in 2013.

But Reay’s little brother Jordan, a senior, tied for 25th in Division III in the 200 meters with a run of just over 23.5 seconds at an April 1 multiple meet in Prescott. The top 25 athletes at the end of the season qualify for State in most events, but Reay chose to sit out his final week of meets to focus on graduation.

“He would’ve gone had he finished the season with us,” Prow said. “He was right on the bubble.”

As it turned out, five more Cowboys than last season will be going to State anyway. Mahan’s long jump of 14 feet, 11 inches was not a top-25 mark but, if her knees are not hurting her too badly, she still plans to accompany her teammates to Mesa.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 6, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

A 4-3 deficit at Valley Christian High School could not be surmounted April 29 as Camp Verde High School lost its third straight game — and with it, the final seed in the Division III state baseball tournament.

Sophomore Wyatt Howe gets a solid hit for Camp Verde High School in its Senior Night loss to top-ranked Fountain Hills High School. The Cowboys lost Howe, their starting second baseman, for the final week of the season to injury and ended up missing the Division III state tournament after their final loss at Valley Christian High School.
The Cowboys had four errors while the Trojans had none, touching senior ace Ty Williamson for two earned runs in the second inning and two more in the third to seal the CVHS season.

“Ty couldn’t pitch the last three weeks,” said head coach Will Davis, whose Cowboys, heading into the finale, were the 24th and final seed in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power rankings. “He pitched the last game but was limited. We had a lot of big losses late in the year.”

After glass had been removed from a finger on the pitching hand of sophomore Ezekial Casillas, only junior Logan Conrad and sophomore Carson Zale were available for major innings the last five weeks, Davis said — and their arms had worn down.

With other injuries shelving starting second baseman Wyatt Howe and freshman outfielder Rafael Zapata in the final weeks, the odds of making the postseason were against the Cowboys. But Davis felt his young team, which finished 14-12 overall, still played a tough enough schedule that it deserved a shot.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 6, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

If there is a dark horse in the state softball tournament, it rides out of Camp Verde.

Senior Madison Garcia pitched two no-hitters since striking out 13 in a 4-2 home win April 10 over Sedona Red Rock High School.

Camp Verde High School senior Madison Garcia made short work of Fountain Hills High School on Thursday, April 23, throwing her second no-hitter in eight days to keep the Cowboys [23-4] ranked third in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Division III rankings.

Garcia struck out seven, decking a two-run home run to boot as the Cowboys finished their Section IV schedule undefeated with a 15-0 run-ruling of the Falcons in four innings.

Sophomore Katie Grandy went two-for-two at the plate and also batted in two runs, as did junior Paige Church on a single. Freshman Jade Oium added an RBI double.

“She’s going to be a baller the next couple of years,” said senior outfielder Sharli Macdonald, who had an RBI of her own to go with her three runs scored. “Last year, we had some new players that came up from middle school. We weren’t really familiar with playing, so it was kind of hard to get in sync with everybody.

“We’ve all had a year under our belts to get to know each other. We know exactly what [we’re] going to do.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 29, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Slowly but surely over the past 20 months, Camp Verde High School has been upgrading its weight and locker rooms.

Using his own trailer, football players and building materials as well as money left over from three district funds, Cowboys head coach Steve Darby has been able to add a coaches’ office, a padded floor, new weights and even an upgraded locker room downstairs in his two years working in the CVHS athletic facility.

Camp Verde High School recently got some updates to its weight room, including new free weights. Head football coach Steve Darby enlisted the help of his players and wood shop students to help with a series of upgrades to the facility.

Since arriving as CVHS head football coach in 2013, Darby has sought the funding support of principal Bob Weir and athletic director Mark Showers to upgrade the weight room in order to stay competitive with the other two high schools in the Verde Valley as well as bigger private schools to the south “who have quite a bit of money,” Darby said.

“It’s tough for a public school to compete against that,” he said. “Mingus and Sedona have both had voter-approved bonds to improve their school facilities — Sedona has a phenomenal weight room. We’ve asked several times and have not been able to get those.”

With the returning football players taking the lead in the building — and with some help from woodshop students cutting two benches and weight platforms — the CVHS weight room now has a ventilated, completely rubberized floor padding fully reupholstered equipment, two new weight platforms and some added barbells, dumbbells and kettle bells.

“I’m a general contractor, so I have all the tools,” Darby said. “Fortunately, I’m an extremely persistent person and I’ve been bugging Mark and Bob every week for two years on this. I won’t let it go.”

For more photos and the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 22, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

Will Davis and Henry Smith were not smiling after games Friday, April 10, against Sedona Red Rock High School.

The head baseball and softball coaches at Camp Verde High School were not pleased after their respective teams were shut out and narrowly averted a first loss in Division III, Section IV, to the Scorpions.

Senior Madison Garcia got her final batter to ground out with the bases loaded to salvage a 4-2 win.

The 5-0 shutout of Davis’ baseball team hurt worse. The second loss in a row for the Cowboys [10-9] dropped them out of the top 24 playoff seeds and, with a 1-4 Section IV record, solidly into the lower tier of sectional competitors.

Smith’s daughter, Taya, and Garcia at least continued two of the best pitching performances in Division III, which the Cowboys needed from Garcia, who struck out 13 Scorpions but didn’t leave her head coach any happier.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 15, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.

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