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While the last day of the 2008-2009 school year has come and gone, it’s time to look back and realize just how good the girls teams at Sedona Red Rock High were this past year.

In the 3A-West region, the lady Scorpions dominated almost every sport during the fall, winter and spring sessions and brought home some hardware to prove it.

Beginning with volleyball, the Scorpions stormed off to a 16-5 overall record and brought home their first ever 3A-West region crown with a perfect 12-0 mark.

The 3A-West region MVP and all-state performer, Sedona’s own Hayley McCord, led the Scorpions into the 3A state playoffs, but the Scorpions were turned away by Holbrook High in first round action, 3-1.

Others receiving awards for Sedona were Logan Reilly [1st team], Shelby Brekke [1st team], Chelsea Strong [2nd team] and Katie Adams [honorable mention].

At the time, Sedona head coach John Parks was very optimistic about the year his club had.

“It was a phenomenal year. This gives us good momentum heading into next season,” Parks said.

The dominance didn’t stop there as the Scorpion cross country team was just as good and wound up claiming the 3A-West region title on Oct. 31 at River Valley High.

All five girls who ran for Sedona finished in the top 10 with Yara Denninger claiming an individual championship with a 21:48 time.

Sophia Zeno finished in third with a 22:11 time, Hope Goimarac was fifth with a 24:26 time, Danielle Holman was seventh with a 25:05 time and Rita Clancy was ninth with a 25:59 time.

Zeno’s comment, “We want to win,” certainly came true for the Scorpions this year.

At state, the girls gave a solid effort but came up short, finishing fourth overall with 147 points with Goimarac finishing 11th overall with a 21:19.25 time as the top Scorpion.

Moving on to the winter season, the Scorpion girls basketball team had one of the best seasons in school history.

The Scorpions had only one hiccup as they fought their way to an 11-1 record in the 3A-West region and claimed their first outright region championship in school history.

With an impressive 19-8 overall record, the girls were rewarded with senior Breanne Cunningham receiving the MVP award for the 3A-West region.

Adams was a first team all-region performer as well and could have potentially been co-MVP with her 19.1 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game average over the season if the league had voted that way.

Along with Cunningham and Adams was Rita Clancy and Ashley Lo Duca who received all-region team awards as well.

Sedona’s ride came to a crashing halt however in the first round of the 3A state tournament when the Scorpions lost a close one to Window Rock High, 54-42.

Despite the loss, Scorpion head coach John Cunningham was very pleased with his team’s performance this season and had this to say in his last interview:

“We came a long way this season. The girls have plenty to be proud of with the school’s first outright regular season region title for girls basketball.”

Moving on to spring, the Scorpion girls teams didn’t let up.

The girls track and field team had quite a performance on their newly built track this season with several key moments to remember.

At the Sinagua Invitational the Scorpions were the smallest school in the bunch in a 4A meet but still came away with a first place trophy.

The girls went on to claim first place at the Fountain Hills Invitational, the Bourgade Invitational, the Yavapai County Championship and of course the 3A-West region championship.

“I would like to point out that this has been the most competitive season our girls teams have ever had. At every competition that team trophies were handed out, our girls took first place,” Sedona Head Coach Harry Schneider said.

The 3A state meet was the only meet the girls did not take first as a team, but they did take third and Schneider said that alone was a tribute to how good the girls were this season.

Last, but certainly not least, we wouldn’t want to forget about the amazing run the Sedona softball team had this spring.

Having not made the 3A state tournament ever before in school history, and not a state tournament at all since the 2001 campaign, the Scorpions bucked all naysayers and went on to have a great year.

Led by freshman standout Whitney Cooper on the mound, who earned a first team all-region award, the Scorpions went an improbable 18-5 overall on the season and were 10-2 in 3A-West region play.

Other Scorpions receiving awards were McCord [1st team] and Ashley Haas [2nd team].

Although the Scorpions did not win the region as most teams mentioned in this article, the Sedona girls were definitely worth mentioning since they went 2-20 in 2008, were 1-21 in 2007 and didn’t win a game in 2006, going 0-22.

The Scorpions also qualified for the 3A state tournament having finished second only to Estrella Foothills High and actually beat Globe High in first-round action on May 8, 3-2.

We wouldn’t want to forget the head coaches in this article as Parks, Cunningham and Sedona softball Head Coach John Brown all received a Coach of the Year award for their efforts this season.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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