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If the first year is always the hardest for a head coach, the second year is usually the most revealing.

Head Coach David Beery, left, joins his Mingus Union High School varsity boys basketball team in celebrating a 3-1 record in their summer tournament at Point Loma University in San Diego. From left, juniors Jordan Pollock, Issac Escalante and Victor Anaya, seniors Ashton Loring, Fabian Navarro, Bryce Feher, Gerardo Angulo, Evan Snyder and Kyle Houston, and junior Miles Tapija.

So Mingus Union High School head basketball coach Dave Beery hopes the results the Marauders program achieved this summer will reflect well on the season to come.

After a rookie season in which Beery and the Marauders struggled to finish above .500 in Division II, the MUHS basketball program put together a 33-12 record over the month of June in five different locations — most of which split the Marauders into a younger team and a varsity team.

“We usually played with an A and a B team, based upon experience,” Beery said. “We also brought freshmen teams to Camp Verde and Scottsdale Christian [Academy].”

Although the Marauders came up short in final scrimmages at both the Eagles and Cowboys on June 15 and 23, they would win more than 30 other contests in round-robin tournaments at CVHS, Grand Canyon University, Sedona Red Rock High School and San Diego, where MUHS won three out of four games at a Point Loma Nazarene basketball camp.

“The summer is all about growth and improvement,” Beery said. “You don’t win any championships in June, but obviously we always step on the court wanting to compete and win. Our focus was mostly on improving chemistry and figuring out our identity as a team.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, July 29, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

The name may not stay the same, but Tom McCarty’s career path continues to follow in some familiar footsteps.

Tom McCarty, a recent graduate of Mingus Union High School, drives a double for the Marauders. McCarty led all Division II, Section V batters with a .556 average and 43 runs batted in. McCarty, like his older brother, Shaun, will play shortstop at Paradise Valley Community College.
He started at Mingus Union High School as “Tommy,” then grew into “Tom,” before becoming Thomas McCarty after being named to the all-Division II first team and the Section V Player of the Year.

“It’s always been Thomas,” McCarty said. “I’ve got to go with the name on my birth certificate.”

He will follow the name on an earlier birth certificate, attempting to beat out four other freshmen to start at shortstop at Paradise Valley Community College — just like his brother, Shaun, a two-time MUHS state champion shortstop.

“He got first team all-State and all-Section, but he never got section Player of the Year,” McCarty said. “The highest I got before this was all-section honorable mention, so I don’t know — something just happened. Going from that to playing in an all-star game was a dream come true.”

McCarty ended his senior season tied atop the divisional leaderboard with 43 runs batted in — helped by his three home runs that were second-most in the section.

“I couldn’t even tell you how I did it,” he said. “I guess the wind was blowing out on the right days for home runs.”

He blew up in his final season to score a section-leading 35 runs off of a .556 batting average, tying the MUHS record for triples in a season with eight.

For the full story and more photos, please see the Wednesday, July 22, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

Junior Megan Goettl finished fifth in two events at the Meet of Champions to end what had been a remarkable run for girls track and field at Mingus Union High School.

Pole vaulting was part of every track practice at Mingus Union High School this season. Senior Allison Whitworth placed seventh in the event at the Division III state championships May 9, while junior Chance Gribauskas placed fifth for the boys.
At 2:23.69, Goettl ran the 800 meters four seconds slower May 13 than her silver-medal winning performance at the Division III state championships, a personal best in the event.

“Megan was very impressive down the stretch,” head coach Yancey DeVore said. “The second half of the season, she’s just been lights-out.”

Her 5:10.26 in the 1,600 meters at the Brophy Sports Campus in Phoenix was a season-best, finishing nearly a full second faster than her state runner-up effort in the event.

“She’s certainly a smart runner — very coachable,” DeVore said. “The 800 wasn’t really her best, but her times continue to go down.”

She was the Marauders’ top finisher May 8 and 9 at Mesa Community College, as a streak of three state championships came to an end for the 12th-place girls.

“It would’ve been great to get a fourth one,” DeVore said. “Our kids would’ve loved it, but as long as they put their best effort in, I’m proud of them, regardless.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 20, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

The two-year Division II experience on the diamond for Mingus Union High School ended not with a bang, but in a subdued whisper Saturday, May 9.

Pitcher Orlando Machado will leave a big void as staff ace for the Mingus Union High School baseball team (above). The senior went two-for-two with a run batted in the Marauders’ final game in Division II, a season-ending 5-2 loss to Sunrise Mountain High School, of Peoria, in the consolation round of the state tournament. For softball, the future in Division II may be now in the form of freshman outfielder Bailey Brown, daughter of head coach John Brown (below).
Orlando Machado went two for two with a walk and a run scored, but fellow senior Gage Benevento could not last through the fourth inning on the mound in a 5-2 loss to Sunrise Mountain of Peoria in the opener of the state tournament’s consolation round.

While head coach Bob Young’s Marauders will roar back into Division III next spring having won 47 games the past two seasons, which division softball will be playing in next spring remains uncertain.

Besides Benevento and Machado, only freshman Andrew Kulis and senior Tom McCarty reached base against the Mustangs. This was after a 12-2 loss at the hands of Tucson High School, the tournament’s top seed, in the second round May 6.

“They think they can do it: That’s most of it,” Young said. “I usually chew on them when we’re winning. When we’re down, I just try to keep their heads in the game.”

Bailey Brown 5 13

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 13, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

Four-peat or not, here come the Marauders.

Junior Megan Goettl, left, warms up with freshman Sydney Alexander at Mingus Union High School track practice. Goettl will be running relay as well as the 800 meters at the Division III championships Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, as the Marauders go for their fourth straight girls state team title.
Eight Mingus Union High School girls will attempt to win their fourth straight state team title at the Division III state track and field championships beginning Friday, May 8.

“I’m sure they would love to do that again, but our girls just need to focus on going down there and putting their best effort into their events,” DeVore said. “Try to get the best time we’ve done all year. Let the results speak for themselves. As coaches, we couldn’t be more proud: That’s really all we can ask of a kid.”

If successful, senior jumper Allison Whitworth would become the first Marauder in school history to win four team titles in four years. But DeVore agreed the odds are longer this time.

“You’d just kind of have to look and see where people are sitting and try and figure it out that way,” DeVore said. “You never know until you get down there. Certainly there are some schools that are pretty strong because they have multiple runners spread across different events that would score high.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 6, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

Tuesday, May 5, was not a day for pitching at the old Mingus Union High School ballpark.

The Mingus Union High School baseball team comes out of the dugout to celebrate freshman Tyler Kelly’s home run. Kelly hit his first pitch over the left field fence for the three-run homer against Verrado High School.
Both MUHS [25-5] and its first opponent in the Division II state baseball tournament, visiting ninth seed Verrado High School, had overcome four-run deficits, combining for 23 runs on a home run, multiple doubles and triples — as well as unearned runs off wild pitches and throwing errors into the other team’s dugout.

“We knew if they could score seven runs in the seventh inning, we could at least score five to beat them,” said senior shortstop Tom McCarty, whose three runs scored were all needed by MUHS in a 12-11 victory over the Vipers. “No pep talk — we didn’t really need it. We just swung the bats.”

His belief would be validated by junior center fielder Tristan Clark, whose walk-off single with two outs capped a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“I lost my voice,” McCarty said. “You can’t describe that type of feeling, the adrenaline that’s running through you. It’s incredible.”

Either freshman Tyler Kelly or junior Zack Abrigo will start at pitcher Wednesday, May 6, against top-seeded Tucson High School at 6:30 p.m. in Tempe Diablo Stadium.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 6, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

 

Despite a nine-run loss on Senior Night, fifth-ranked Mingus Union High School can still bounce back to claim a sectional title with a win Wednesday, April 29, at Prescott High School.

Senior Gage Benevento readies before batting a solid single for Mingus Union High School during an 11-2 loss Monday, April 27, to Northwest Christian High School. Benevento took over for freshman Tyler Kelly when the Marauders were down, 4-1, in the fourth inning.
Going into the road game at the 10th-ranked Badgers, the Marauders [14-3] are the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s No. 5 seed in the Division II power rankings.

So the winner of the regular season finale would not only be the Section V champion but would also get a bye to the second round of the state playoffs, Tuesday, May 5, at home.

Northwest Christian High School, the second-ranked team in Division III, handed the Marauders an 11-2 loss Monday, April 27, in their final home game.

For more photos and the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 29, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

 

While no postseason awaits the boys and girls tennis teams at Mingus Union High School, a high-achieving handful of Marauders still have a date set on the State courts.

Junior Jerry Hernandez will be the singles representative from Mingus Union High School in the Division II boys state singles tennis tournament. The state boys and girls singles and doubles tournaments will begin Friday, April 24.

After winning their final match of the season Tuesday, April 21, over Bradshaw Mountain High School by identical 7-2 scores, the head coaches for the boys and girls teams had reason to be optimistic — especially for their top three varsity players at the Division II state singles and doubles tournaments beginning Friday, April 24.

Junior Jerry Hernandez will get his first postseason exposure at the state singles tournament, while juniors Logan Connella and Turner Walz will again team up for the doubles tournament. The first two rounds of State begin at the Scottsdale Tennis Center at 10:30 a.m.

Junior Olivia Galluzzi and freshman Talon Whiteley, meanwhile, will be at the Phoenix Tennis Center at 8:30 a.m. Junior Abii Almanza is scheduled to play with Whiteley on the Marauders doubles team April 24.

However, Almanza was ill and did not even show to the April 21 final team win at MUHS over the Bears. If she is not available by 1:30 p.m., Whiteley’s friend, freshman Emma Williams, will step in as the alternate.

 

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 22, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

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