Head Coach Rick Walsworth’s first chance to host a seven-on-seven football tournament at Sedona Red Rock High School didn’t go all that well Saturday, June 26, finishing the day with an 0-5 record.

Head Coach Rick  Walsworth goes over plays with his Sedona Red Rock High School football  players during the team’s seven-on-seven tournament Saturday, June 26.  The Scorpions finished the seven-on-seven tournament without a win,  going 0-5.Mingus Union High School finished Saturday with a perfect 6-0 record, edging out Chino Valley High School in the championship game, 34-33.

Mingus senior quarterback Nick Alred was awarded by the coaches as the tournament MVP.

Other team standouts included Chino Valley, which was 4-2 while Page High School and Williams High School finished 3-2.

Valley Christian Academy was also involved in the tournament, and finished 3-3.

“We had 14 kids out there Saturday, eight of which were freshmen so there was only one game that we played with kids at our level,” Walsworth said.

The Scorpions played against a bunch of young up-and-coming players from Mingus and gave them a game, but wound up losing 27-26 in a heartbreaker.

“It was good to see our guys play against some guys their own age ... and they did well,” Walsworth said.

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Ramirez had a good tournament in his first action under center this summer, throwing a few touchdown passes and running for a few more.

Junior Bradley Cox was all over the place Saturday, playing strong safety and catching passes on offense.

Newcomer Ashor Samano, a junior from Chicago whose family just moved to town two weeks ago, looks to already be one of the top players for the Scorpions and may see plenty of time at the tailback position once the boys put on pads in August.

Another notable for the Scorpions is sophomore Zane Saxman, who was outstanding defensively, according to Walsworth, getting his hands on a few balls at the linebacker position.

With Saturday’s tournament now complete, the Sedona football team will concentrate on summer workouts which will still take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer until camp begins Monday, Aug. 2.

“We’ve got a lot of things to work on including our running game now that seven-on-seven is over,” Walsworth said.

If Walsworth brings any kind of philosophy from Mingus Head Coach Bob Young over to Sedona, look for the Scorpions to run the ball 40 to 50 times a game in the fall.

With only two teams representing the Sedona Little League in the upcoming District 10 All-Star Tournament, the focus should be on the kids playing, instead of the kids who aren’t.

Catcher Nathan Hoyer receives a pitch during the Sedona Minors All-Stars [ages 9-10] practice Thursday, June 17.Only 19 players from Sedona were selected when the All-Star rosters were released Thursday, June 17, but the young group of kids are just as committed as anyone else.

Beginning with the Majors All-Stars [ages 11 to 12], skipper Eric Sadler takes the helm looking to just survive the first two rounds of the District 10 All-Star Tournament, which is set to begin Tuesday, July 6.

In the first round, Sedona is scheduled to face off against a tough Prescott South All-Star team at the Community Center Park in Chino Valley when the tournament opens July 6.

First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. on field two.

Jack Burns throws with a teammate at All-Star practice Thursday, June 17. Burns is expected to play first base for the Sedona Minors All-Star team in the upcoming Little League District 10 All-Star Tournament.If the young players can get past Prescott South, they would have to face the Verde Valley All-Stars, a two-time defending champ.

If Sedona loses, the team would likely play the Dewey-Humboldt All-Stars on Wednesday, July 7, with a first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.

Standouts taking the field for the Sedona Majors All-Star team include Randy Rodriguez, Wesley Mikulewicz, Jake Christensen, Dylan Sadler and Tanner Young.

The second team representing Sedona this year at the District 10 All-Star Tournament is the Sedona Minors All-Stars [ages 9 to 10].

Coach Pedro Ortega Sr. leads the way looking to get a victory or two for the first time at a District 10 tournament in recent memory.

“We have a strong team. We don’t have many players, but we have some good ones. We should be able to compete,” Ortega said.

Shortstop Michael Ortega gets his reps in during infield practice Thursday (above). Ortega is expected to perform well at the upcoming Little League District 10 All-Star Tournament which is set to begin Monday, June 28.Michael Ortega is easily the star of this team and should play shortstop most of the way for the Minors when their tournament bracket opens play Monday, June 28.

The Sedona Minors are slated to play the Verde Valley All-Stars in the first round Monday at Riverfront Park in Cottonwood on field two. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Behind Ortega will be third baseman Angel Betancourt, catcher Nathan Hoyer and first baseman Jack Burns.

Young Hayden Bruce is an outstanding player while Javier Pacheco and second baseman Bradley Howard are outstanding in their own right.

“Overall we have some decent players. The tournament is going to be tough but I hope we play hard and succeed,” Pedro Ortega Sr. said.

If Sedona Minors gets past Verde Valley on Monday, they would likely face the Prescott Valley All-Stars on Tuesday, June 29, on field one at 7:30 p.m.

If Sedona loses its first-round game Monday, it would likely face the Dewey-Humboldt All-Star team on Tuesday at 5 p.m. on field two.

Sedona would have to win that game  since it’s a double elimination format tournament.

Paul Martin, Glenn Brown and Peter Volckmann claimed first place overall Wednesday,

June 16, in the Oakcreek Country Club Men’s Golf Association league day, shooting a 20-under par as a team.

Oakcreek Country Club men’s club member Paul Martin watches  his tee shot on the third hole Wednesday, June 16. Martin would birdie  the 495-yard par 5.The Men’s Golf Association  at OCC plays every Wednesday throughout the year and this week was no different.

Taking second overall was George Shelley, Jim Chivers and Edward Lajala who shot 13-under par as a team.

Bob Mellema, Leo Downey, Alan Larson and Karl Breitmaier took third overall, shooting 11-under par as a team.

In the closest to the pin contest, Martin took first, coming within 15 feet, 8 inches, while Larson was second, rolling his approach shot within 22-feet, 10-inches.

As for the longest putt contest, Dick Petty took first overall with a 6-foot, 9-inch putt while Tom Brown came in second with a 12-foot putt.

There were several new players on the course Wednesday and Art Levin, 10-year veteran of the Men’s Golf Association  at OCC, believes the league is excited to see some new membership.

Oakcreek Country Club  men’s club member Glenn Brown chips onto the green on the number three  hole at the club in the Village of Oak Creek on Wednesday, June 16.  Brown parred the 495-yard par 5 hole. “I think our league has been consistent over the last 10 years and usually has 40 to 50 players out during the week. We had a decrease in attendance, but we recently added over 20 new members which is exciting to see,” Levin said.

Levin went on to say the Wednesday league is usually a popular day with the members at OCC and the Men’s Golf Association  is a very welcoming golf club, leading to his next comment that he would love to see more members join and be active in the league.

“During the summer people leave to go to their summer homes, so we don’t always have the highest attendance, but we would always welcome more people,” Levin said.

In hosting their first meet of the summer, Head Coach Brandon Hancock and his Sedona Swordfish weren’t bad, finishing in the top three in both the boys and girls events Saturday, June 12, at the Sedona Splash.

Brittany Medel Garcia was a part of the Swordfish mixed 10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay team that took second overall with a 2:26.58 time at the Sedona Splash on Saturday, June 12.“It was an amazing weekend. We had a lot of new kids in the pool and they gathered the courage necessary to swim well, which I was pleased to see,” Hancock said.

For the girls, the Swordfish took second overall with 385 points while the Bullhead City Barracudas took first with 644 points.

Don’t read into the Barracudas massive point total too much, because in meets like these, sheer numbers always win and that’s exactly what Bullhead City had with nearly 65 swimmers in the pool Saturday.

Standouts for the girls included Olivia Luyckx who took first in three different events Saturday, taking first overall in the 100-yard freestyle swim while taking first overall in the 200-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle swims as well.

Kendall Peterson wasn’t bad either with two first-place finishes while Laura Clark dominated the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard individual medley events.

For the boys, Bullhead City took first with 456 points while the Kingman Dolphins were second with 434 points and Sedona wound up third with 270 points.

Karla Kaldor helped her Sedona Swordfish take second overall at the Sedona Splash on Saturday, June 12. Kaldor was a part of the mixed 10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay team that took second with a 2:26.58 time.A familiar name was atop the leader boards Saturday for the boys in Evan Decker who took first place in six different events including a solid 1:10.50 time in the 100-yard breaststroke event, good enough for gold.

Younger brother Tristan Decker was involved Saturday as well, taking home two first-place medals while teammate Benny Guadarrama took home three first-place prizes.

With the Sedona Splash now complete, the Swordfish will turn their attention to the Bullhead City Invitational which is scheduled to begin Saturday, June 19, and run through Sunday, June 20.

The Swordfish will not return home until Saturday, July 24, when they play host to the Sedona Mile event, a general fundraiser for the club at the Sedona Community Pool in West Sedona.

This is the first  installment of a series featuring the  editorial staff members of your  community newspaper, the Sedona Red Rock News.There’s not likely a high school student athlete in the Verde Valley unfamiliar with Larson Newspapers sports reporter Brian Bergner Jr. — either on the sidelines or the newspaper page.

For more than three years, Bergner, 27, has covered almost every sport, attending everything from ball games and track meets to wrestling matches and roller derby bouts.

Brian Bergner Jr. has   been Larson Newspapers’ sports reporter for more than three yearsAt 6 feet 8 inches tall, Bergner is a well-known figure in Sedona and the Verde Valley, but he’s on a first-name basis with nearly every coach in the area. He’s not just a writer with a brain for statistics. He’s played on the court and coached from the sidelines.

Brian Bergner Jr.  coaches the Sedona Red Rock High School varsity boys basketball team at  Flagstaff High School on June 7. Recently named the team’s head coach,  Bergner has been Larson Newspapers’ sports reporter for more than three  years.“I enjoy both coaching and being a sports writer,” Bergner said. “It’s fun covering all three towns.”

To Sedona sports fans, he’s been an assistant coach for the Sedona Red Rock High School baseball team and both boys and girls’ basketball teams.

“Coaching is one of those things that gives me a high,” Bergner said.

In April, he was hired on as SRRHS boys basketball head coach, coming full circle to a team on which he once played. He said he sees it as fulfilling a duty to serve as a mentor to athletes coming of age as adults.

“A lot of times, my teams are my kids. I felt the same when I was a kid — that the team was my extended family,” he said. “That’s my way to give back — coaching these young kids.”

Bergner was born in Milwaukee, Wis., the eldest of four children.

He has a brother, Jordan, now 22, and two sisters, Leah, 24, and Hannah, 19.

When Bergner was 13, his father, Brian Bergner Sr., quit a 15-year job managing a gas station and the family moved to Phoenix so his wife, Denise, could study at Al Collins Graphic Design School.

In 1997, just before the start of his freshman year, the Bergner family moved to the Sedona area. Until they got settled, all six lived in a pop-up trailer near what is now Sedona Shadows.

At the start of his freshman year, Bergner attended Sedona Red Rock High School. He played on the varsity football team as an offensive right tackle and defensive tackle. He suffered a right knee injury during the season and had to have surgery. Unable to play football, Bergner joined the SRRHS basketball team as a center in his sophomore year.

The team had a stellar 27-2 record in his junior year, losing in the state semifinals, and going 24-8 in his senior year, eliminated in the first round of playoffs.

In his senior year, Bergner returned to the varsity football team under coach Jim Cromartie.

After graduating in 2001, Bergner was contacted by Pete Gnan, the head basketball coach at Concordia University Wisconsin, a private Lutheran college in Milwaukee, and asked to play for the school. Bergner said he knew the best and easiest way to become a coach was first being a teacher, so he majored in secondary education with minors in public relations and athletic coaching.

Bergner played basketball his freshman year of college and also worked as assistant sports information director, producing media guides and updating the sports website.

He injured his left knee his sophomore year, effectively ending his playing ability in 2002. However, Bergner had already showed talent coaching and began working as the women’s basketball team assistant head coach — at only 20 years of age.

After three years at Concordia, Bergner transferred to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, changing his major to journalism with a minor in public relations. Not all of his credits transferred, so he had to retake a number of classes, extending his time in school to 5½ years.

NAU’s Head Sports Information Director Steve Shaff hired Bergner as an assistant, a job which helped pay his tuition.

He also started coaching SRRHS junior varsity girls basketball team in 2004.

While working in sports information, coaching at SRRHS and going to school full time, Bergner described his last years of college as “hectic.”

He graduated from NAU in December 2006 and moved on to coach the SRRHS boys junior varsity basketball team for the next three years.

Bergner worked at a Sedona gas station while looking for a position in his field after graduation. He was searching for jobs working in sports information, and said he finished as a top candidate for both the San Francisco Giants baseball club and Concordia University Oregon in Portland.

Coincidently in 2007, Larson Newspapers’ sports reporter position opened and Bergner was hired to cover sports for our three publications, the Sedona Red Rock News, The Camp Verde Journal and the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

In spring 2009, Bergner was varsity assistant coach for both boys baseball and girls basketball in the winter 2009-2010 season.

Bergner swims daily at a local gym and also plays summer league softball in Sedona for the A Day in the West team. But coaching kids is where his passion lies.

“I love working with kids. They’re growing up, becoming men,” Bergner said. “We had some kids graduate this year I’ve known since seventh grade.”

“When you see them outside, off the court, and you see who they’ve become, it makes you proud,” he said. “That’s what spurred my last [From the Cheap Seats] column — how athletics produces good citizens.”

With the summer heat in full swing the Sedona Swim Team will stay cool, participating in several swimming meets during its annual summer schedule.

Sedona Swordfish Swim Team Head Coach Brandon Hancock high-fives some of the younger members of the team during practice at the pool (above).Swordfish Head Coach Brandon Hancock, who is entering his second year at the helm, is excited to get things going, especially this summer with plenty of new faces to go around.

“I’m happy to see some of the old faces around here but it’s great to see new kids join our club,” Hancock said.

The Swordfish kicked off the summer with the Beat the Heat Classic at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff from June 4 through 6 and did quite well with several swimmers finishing near the top of their age divisions.

According to Hancock, one of the more exciting meets coming this summer is actually taking place this weekend at the Sedona Community Pool in West Sedona.

The Sedona Splash will play host to several club swimming teams Friday, June 11, through Saturday, June 12.

Since it’s only one of two home meets this summer, the Swordfish and their head coach are very excited.

After the Sedona Splash, the Swordfish head to the Bullhead City Invitational on Saturday, June 19, and Sunday, June 20.

On Saturday, June 26, through Sunday, June 27, the Swordfish are scheduled to compete in the Sparky Invitational at Arizona State University, then will take a couple of weeks off before returning to the water to compete at the Senior State Invitational held at Brophy College Preparatory.

Senior State takes place Friday, July 9, through Sunday, July 11, and is for kids ages 15 and up.

After regionals in Kingman in the middle of July, the Sedona Swordfish will return home to host the Sedona Mile, one of the more popular swimming meets during the summer.

The Sedona Mile usually consists of not only Swordfish swimmers, but community members as well in an effort to raise funds for a good cause.

The Swordfish return to ASU to participate in the Age Group State Meet for swimmers 14 and under, then will wrap up the summer Saturday, July 31, at the Verde Valley Championships in Cottonwood.

Some of the top swimmers for the Swordfish are back in the pool this summer including 17-year-old Evan Decker and his brother, 15-year-old Jacob Decker.

Of course, we wouldn’t want to forget about 13-year-old Tristan Decker, the youngest of the three brothers.

The Decker brothers usually dominate the pool every summer, making it one of the best brother trios to come through Sedona.

Fourteen-year-old Laura Clark returns to the water this summer as well while 15-year-old teammate Olivia Luyckx continues to improve every year.

Other notables include Molly [7], Jessica [10] and Michael Wiseman [17] to go along with 12-year-old Valerie Luyckx and 13-year-old Christopher Gibson.

Coming off three straight successful basketball seasons where the Scorpions made the state playoffs in each, claimed two regular season 3A West region championships and had two MVPs playing for them, summer 2010 presents new challenges.

For now, 42-year-old Tina Hawes has taken the Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team in a part-time role.

Sedona Athletic Director John Parks has not officially named a successor after previous Head Coach C.J. Sells resigned in March, but Hawes seems to have a good handle on things.

Sedona girls basketball interim Head Coach Tina Hawes, center, gives pointers to incoming sophomores Tiana Hatler-Stefick, left, and her sister, Sierra, during workouts at Sedona Red Rock High School on June 3.  “I want to make it fun. I want to make it interesting for the girls. I don’t want them to lose interest in playing basketball just because we don’t have an official coach yet,” Hawes said after practice earlier this week.

Hawes is currently the head coach for the girls basketball team at Big Park Community School, but that may change after the summer is over.

Hawes was approached by Parks in an effort to at least have someone on duty to run the girls basketball program during the summer schedule while the search continues for a new head coach.

When asked if she would consider taking the job herself if she was asked to, her answer was honest.

“At first, I would have said no right away, but the girls have been trying to talk me into it so I’m weighing it over,” Hawes said.

Born in Denver, Hawes was quite the basketball player herself at Arvada West High School, claiming several awards including first team All-Conference and even an All-America selection.

Hawes was a point guard in her days and after graduating from high school in 1985, she had several scholarship offers from colleges wanting her to lace up the shoes for them, but she decided to call it quits and attend Colorado State University.

“I was burned out, ready to move on,” Hawes said.

Her athletic prowess didn’t end with basketball. Hawes was an excellent volleyball, softball and soccer player as well and even played in the Norway Cup as a 16-year-old.

Hawes graduated from CSU in 1989 and received her masters degree in 1993 from Arizona State University and is a freelance biologist, working with governmental and nongovernmental contracts, mostly handling environmental assessments and endangered species.

Hawes lived in Washington, D.C., before moving to Sedona in 2007 and is married to Rem Hawes. The couple have two children, 10-year-old Xan Hawes and 14-year-old Morgan Hawes.

Sedona girls basketball  interim Head Coach Tina Hawes watches her team practice June 3 at  Sedona Red Rock High School. Hawes is the current head coach of the Big  Park Community School girls basketball team.Morgan, the oldest daughter, will be a freshman this fall at Sedona and is a point guard, just like her mom was all those years.

In her spare time, Hawes likes to hike, explore and travel a lot but more recently has had a difficult time doing the things she loves.

Around the time Hawes and her family moved to Sedona, she was diagnosed with a bone marrow disorder and is currently receiving chemotherapy.

For someone giving everything she has to be a good mom, a good wife and a good coach, not to mention her job as a biologist, Hawes is always in a great mood despite her health issues.

“I’m doing fine. Things are going great. I love my life and I’m responding well to the treatments,” Hawes said with a big smile.

Spoken like the truly special person she is.

In the end, Hawes may return to her job as the Coyotes girls basketball coach, but for now,  Scorpion blood is running through her veins and the girls at Sedona have never been so lucky.

With school out and the summer in full swing it’s time for the kids to put away their sports needs for a moment and let the grown-ups play.

Play ball, that is.

Mike Hughes of Rotary swings hard during opening night of the Sedona Recreational Summer Softball League at Posse Grounds Park in West Sedona on Thursday, June 3. Thursday’s games were the first of 10 weeks of softball action under the lights with the playoffs beginning Thursday, Aug. 5. Four teams play two games each every Thursday.The newest edition of the Sedona Recreational Summer Softball League got under way Thursday, June 3, with four team vying for a chance at a title.

Three of the four teams from last season return looking to take home the 2010 championship trophy.

With 10 weeks of action getting under way last week, this summer’s softball season for adults is sure to be exciting with 40 games on the schedule, four each week until the playoffs begin Thursday, Aug. 5.

A Day in the West returns to defend its 2009 title, having gone 17-3 last summer and defeating PJ’s Village Pub in the championship, 14-13.

A Day in the West began its 2010 season with two victories Thursday, and will look to run the table this summer to claim a second straight championship.

“It’s great to be out here and play; the guys all have fun and we enjoy these nights of softball,” A Day in the West team captain Pedro Ortega Sr. said.

Top players for the defending champs include Ortega, pitcher Angel Betancourt, center fielder Pedro Ortega Jr., third baseman Matt Moran, second baseman Jason Bruce, outfielder J.P. Laws and first baseman Will Alldredge.

PJ’s Village Pub is the only team not to return this season and was replaced by newcomers Sedona Sunrise.

The Other Team is back in uniform and much improved in their third year playing for the Sedona Recreational Summer Softball League.

The Other Team finished the season fourth overall last summer with a 5-15 record but the boys in red and white look to be much better this season.

Also returning is Rotary, which finished 6-14 overall last season, good enough for third place.

The boys in gray gave The Other Team quite a game Thursday, barely defeating them 12-11 en route to their first win.

Rotary is 2-0 so far along with A Day in the West while Sedona Sunrise and The Other Team are both 0-2.

summer_softball_6-9Top players for Rotary include Nate Hansen, John Bradshaw and Rick Wesselhoff, who will look to lead their team to the championship, dethroning A Day in the West.

A Day in the West is scheduled to face Rotary on Thursday, June 10, at 7 p.m.

The early matchup between these two teams that are 2-0 could be a preview of the championship game in August, but it’s certainly too early to tell.

Sedona Sunrise faces The Other Team at 7 p.m. Thursday while A Day in the West takes on Sedona Sunrise at 8:20 p.m.

Rotary and The Other Team will be the other game at 8:20 p.m.