The 2010-2011 school year is sure to have plenty of exciting games to watch, players to cheer and story lines to cover over the next 10 months.
It seems like the first day of school gets earlier every year, but Mingus Union High School, Camp Verde High School and Sedona Red Rock High School are all a week or so away from their respective start dates.
Being the Midwest corn-fed boy that I am, this starting school before Labor day business is a little strange, especially when two of the three schools start classes in the middle of next week.
August brings excitement for me to tell you the truth.
Not that the two-plus months of summer aren’t fun in June and July, but it seems the hotter it gets, the fewer sporting events there are to cover.
This fall, all three high schools have their own exciting story lines that should unfold as time goes by, some of which are more interesting than others.
For starters, the biggest questions surround the Marauders football team in Cottonwood.
With almost everyone returning, can Mingus get back to the state championship game like it did in 2008 and this time finally win the big one?
Santa Rita High School ended Mingus’ season last year in the state semifinals, handing the Marauders their only loss of the season as they finished 12-1.
With most of the players coming back as seniors this year, it’s quite possible the boys in red and gray will bring home a title.
Sticking with Mingus, Athletic Director Mike Boysen hired a new swim coach this summer, Erin Estes, who is looking to continue the great work Rick Heisley did in bringing home a Grand Canyon title for the girls.
Out on the trails, can Jim Bostwick and his cross country team repeat what they did in 2009 when they took home a 4A-II state championship?
Over in Camp Verde, the Cowboys football team graduated a few seniors, including All-State quarterback Mike Boler, but Head Coach Luke Steege always has a few tricks up his sleeve.
In soccer, Dave Miller and his boys are certainly going to be in the mix for a 2A state championship this season, having lost in the state quarterfinals last season with many young players who are coming back.
Of course, Sedona is never missing from any water cooler discussions at this time of year.
The defending 2A-3A state swimming champs are back for the Scorpions this season, and the girls cross country team under the tutelage of Head Coach Harry Schneider could win a state championship this season at the 3A level.
In volleyball, Head Coach John Parks led a strong group of girls to the school’s first final four appearance but lost to eventual state champion Monument Valley High School.
Although Sedona lost a few seniors, the program is strong, and the Scorpions are primed for another run in 2010.
As for football, the Scorpions haven’t been the strongest team in recent years. In fact, they’ve been downright horrible, but with new Head Coach Rick Walsworth running the show all summer, it seems a new era is about to begin, even if it doesn’t mean a whole lot of wins in 2010.
It’s good to be back, folks, so get your tickets and enjoy the show because the fall 2010 season is going to be a whole lot of fun.