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The expectations are high for Camp Verde’s high school wrestlers.Korben Uhler, top, attempts to break down Hayden Uhler’s defense as he tries an escape at practice for Camp Verde High School. The brothers are two of the  wrestlers assistant coach Mario Chagolla Sr. said could earn state gold this year. The Cowboys first meet is on Saturday, Nov. 26 at Embry Riddle University.

The school has become known for the sport and a much different team will carry on that tradition this year. Though the returning wrestlers have accomplished much, a good roster of freshmen will have to prove they have what it takes after going through the middle school program.

Despite a hard push in the first quarter, the Mingus Union High School football team failed to avenge its 61-17 regular season defeat Oct. 28 by Peoria’s Sunrise Mountain High School during a
49-6 loss Nov. 4, booting the Marauders out of the first round of the playoffs.Mingus Union High School senior Juan Ruiz, No. 18, center, looks for running room after taking a handoff from senior quarterback Trey Meyer, left in a Marauders game earlier this season. In the first round game of the playoffs against Sunrise Mountain High School, Ruiz had 24 yards  on 12 carries, plunging through defenders. Meyer had five completions on nine attempts for 79 yards. The Marauders lost 49-6.

The Marauders came out eager, garnering a holding penalty on the opening kickoff and were plagued by penalties throughout the game, giving the Mustangs extra yardage.

A short running game on the first drive led to long pass to Sunrise’s Angel Ruiz, and a 15-yard penalty for a late hit on the quarterback placed the ball inside the 20-yard line.

It will be deja vu for the Mingus Union High School football team Friday, but the Marauders are hoping it’s not deja vu all over again.

After getting thoroughly dominated by Sunrise Mountain High School, 61-17, in Peoria, Friday, Oct. 28, the Marauders will face Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Friday, Nov. 4.

Despite the loss, Mingus [6-4] secured a playoff spot as the 14th seed in the 16-team 4A championship, but as fate and the Arizona Interscholastic Association would have it, they are matched against the Mustangs, who are seeded third.

When Camp Verde coach Jerry Rhoades answered the phone Sunday and was asked about his team’s game Friday, he let out a combination groan and sigh.Junior quarterback Payton Sarkesian rolls out during Camp Verde High School’s 24-20 home loss to Gilbert Christian Friday, Oct. 21. Sarkesian ran for a touchdown and passed for two others to senior Carson Zale for the Cowboys.

When victories are few, the ones you let get away are especially painful.

The Cowboys, after being down most of the game to visiting Gilbert Christian High School, came back to take the lead late in the third quarter. They held it until there were 34 seconds left in the game, when the Knights’ senior Caleb Young threw a one-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Kyle Patterson to give Gilbert Christian a 24-20 win. The Knights improved to 5-4 on the season.

Flagstaff has nothing on Cottonwood, at least when it comes to football.Senior quarterback Trey Meyer reads the defense as he fakes a handoff to senior Juan Ruiz in a Mingus Union High School game earlier this season. The Marauders on Friday, Oct. 21, dominated visiting Coconino High School, 78-6, as Meyer completed six of eight passes for three touchdowns, including one to Ruiz, and ran for two other scores.

Mingus Union High School completed its two-game sweep of Flagstaff schools, Friday, Oct. 21, with a 78-6 victory over visiting Coconino High School in a game that — wait for it — wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.

Led by junior Tyler Kelly’s four touchdowns, Mingus Union High School easily took down Flagstaff High School, 49-14, in the Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University Friday, Oct. 14.Michael Rinker/Larson Newspapers

The win improved the Marauders’ record to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the Grand Canyon Region, where the trail only Bradshaw Mountain High School, which is 4-0.

Jerry Rhoades has coached the Camp Verde High School varsity football team for five games. Which means the “interim” coach has been head man on the sideline more than the man he’s standing in for, Steve Darby, who was suspended Sept. 13 for unspecified reasons. Neither Darby nor Camp Verde Unified School District officials have commented on the situation.Zack Garcia/Larson Newspapers

Rhoades, like most, says he’s not privy to what’s going on. “I heard from a couple of people that [Darby’s] portion of the [school] board meeting was canceled.”

When it was suggested that with just two games remaining, it’s likely he would be coaching through the end of the season, Rhoades said, “That’s kind of what I’m thinking; it’s probably a moot point.”

The Camp Verde High School football team won its first game this season on the filed thanks to “perfect storm” of offensive and defensive execution, according to coach Jerry Rhoades.n unidentified Camp Verde player carries the ball during the game, which the Cowboys won, 39-0, on Friday, Oct. 7.

The win boosts Camp Verde’s record to 2-5. The other win was a forfeit when Arete Prep Academy was unable to field a team.

“It was just one of those nights... a perfect storm,” he said about the Cowboys’ 39-0 victory of visiting Mohave Accelerated.

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