The Verde Valley School girls soccer team continued their winning ways Tuesday, Oct. 13, winning their fifth in a row by beating Monument Valley High, 7-2.

The victory against Monument Valley improves the Coyotes’ record to 6-3 [6-3, 1A-3A West] overall on the season and clinches a 1A-3A state playoff berth for the second time in as many seasons.

Verde Valley will receive the No. 2 seed out of the 1A-3A West when the state playoffs roll around at the end of October. Desert Christian Academy will be No. 1.

VVS-girls-soccer-10-16“We’re on a five-game win streak and I think that’s great. The girls have begun to gel as a team and at the right time too,” first year Verde Valley Head Coach Catrien Van Assendelft said.

The Coyotes were 1-3 in the month of September to  begin the season but the month of October has been very kind to Verde Valley as they’ve posted a perfect 5-0 mark.

Verde Valley finished the 2008 campaign with a 6-6 [6-4, 1A-3A West] overall record which included a 4-1 first round loss to Show Low

High in the school’s first girls soccer state tournament appearance.

It is the best season on record for Verde Valley so far, although Verde Valley might extend it further against Chino Valley High on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The last regular season match against the Cougars gives the 2009 Coyotes girls soccer team a chance at seven victories in one season which would be a school record.

“Our girls have worked hard and they deserve to be one of the best teams Verde Valley has seen,” Van Assendelft said on the sideline after Tuesday’s match.

Against Monument Valley, junior Audrey Young scored in the 13th minute to put Verde Valley up 1-0 and the Coyotes wouldn’t look back.

Verde Valley, easily the best team on the field, created all sorts of trouble for a winless Mustangs soccer team.

Junior Jing Liao scored in the 16th minute to make it 2-0 which probably felt like 10-0 to a Monument Valley team that had scored only two goals all season.

Of course, Verde Valley senior players would not let the match end without making it known that it was their day, the final home match in their high school careers.

Senior Breezy Binder made it 3-0 from 15 feet out in the 19th minute while senior teammate Hannah Ahlers scored three minutes later to make it 4-0 and the rout was on.

In the 39th minute, senior Jazz Campbell scored to make it 5-0, then put the game away for sure in the second half, scoring her second goal of the match in the 61st minute to make it 6-0.

“I’m really proud of how we played. We did a good job of attacking Monument Valley and making sure we got this victory,” Campbell said.

Monument Valley did manage to score a goal against Verde Valley in the 76th minute against senior goalkeeper Emmy Davis and her defense but the Coyotes would answer.

Senior Cassi Kovac put tennis out of her mind for a few minutes and kicked the ball from 18 yards out, scoring her first goal of the season with two minutes to go, making it 7-1.

“We wanted all the seniors to try and score today. We knew it was possible and it was great to see some of them score,” Van Assendelft said.

The Mustangs did happen to score with 30 seconds left but the celebration had already begun on the Verde Valley sideline in their sixth victory of the season.

Fans, parents and teachers formed a tunnel for the players to run through afterward, congratulating them on a job well done. Even a young man playing a guitar gave his congratulations with a short melody.

Verde Valley will use the next week of practice to focus on beating Chino Valley because 7-3 looks a lot better then 6-4 heading into the state playoffs.

The scheduled start time for the Verde Valley-Chino Valley match is set for 1 p.m. in Chino Valley.

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.


In their last home meet of the season the Sedona Red Rock High boys swimming team dominated the competition, improving to a perfect 9-0 on the season Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Cottonwood City Pool.

Sedona played host to Scottsdale Christian Academy and Wickenburg High on Thursday, beating each team by more than 60 points.

The Scorpions claimed first overall, scoring 93 points, while Scottsdale Christian was second with 31 points and Wickenburg was third with 30 points.

SRRHS-swimming-10-14“There really is no competition for us in this conference. I’m proud of our boys. They continue to work hard every day, and that is why they have success,” first year Sedona Head Coach Roger Svensson said.

The girls, on the other hand, struggled to find their way Thursday and finished third overall with 35 points.

Wickenburg took gold with 64 points while Scottsdale Christian wound up in second place with 39 points.

For the Sedona girls, sheer numbers is usually their downfall; for every meet they attend, the Scorpions are outnumbered two to one.

Top performances for the boys include Evan Decker who finished first overall in the 200-yard freestyle event with a 1:57.62 time.

Decker also claimed first in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 59.27 time.

In the 200-yard individual medley, Seth Syvertsen took first with a 2:16.21 time while teammate Jacob Decker was right behind him in second with a 2:16.96 time.

Syvertsen was first in the 100-yard butterfly event with a 1:01.32 time as well.

Michael Wiseman took first overall in the 50-yard freestyle event with a 25.20 time while Decker took first in the 100-yard freestyle at 54.07.

In the 500-yard freestyle event Alexander Mayer was first with a 6:41.72 time and in the 100-yard breaststroke, Nate Sweet took third with a 1:24.05 time.

As for the relay events, Sedona placed first in all three, winning the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:49.54 time, the 200-yard freestyle relay with a 1:40.37 time and the 400-yard freestyle relay with a 3:51.93 time.

For the girls, only two swimmers took home a first place prize Thursday in Cottonwood.

In the 200-yard individual medley, Olivia Luyckx finished first overall with a 2:50.17 time and was first in the 100-yard freestyle with a 1:02.37 time.

The other Scorpion to finish with a gold medal was Alyssa Millar who took first in the 500-yard freestyle event with a 6:42.70 time.

Millar took third in the 200-yard freestyle event with a 2:28.35 time.

Other top performances for the Scorpion girls included Lydia Aitken who was fourth in the 50-yard freestyle event with a 32.89 time.

McKenzie Moore took second in the 100-yard butterfly with a 1:41.08 time and was fourth in the 100-yard backstroke event with a 1:29.90 time.

In the relay events, Sedona was second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a 2:07.43 time and was third in the 200-yard individual medley relay with a 2:23.19 time.

“Our girls have steadily improved,” Svensson said.


With the regular season out of the way for Sedona, all swimmers patiently wait to hear the news on senior team captain Tyler Gavigan who could be ineligible for the upcoming 1A-3A state meet.

Assuming all goes well and the Arizona Interscholastic Association grants Gavigan eligibility, the 1A-3A state meet is scheduled to begin Friday, Oct. 16, and end Saturday,

Oct. 17.

The 1A-3A state meet will be held at the Kino Aquatics Center in Mesa.

Preliminaries are scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. while the finals are set for Saturday at

1 p.m.


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.


Even a student dressed like the comic book superhero Batman could not save Sedona Red Rock High from Chanel Brown and her top-ranked Valley Christian Academy Trojans, who defeated the Scorpions, 3-0.

A good crowd on hand witnessed one of the best volleyball teams, and players, in the state Wednesday, Oct. 7, as Brown took over when needed to help her team go to a perfect 10-0 on the season.

Brown, a senior for the Trojans and outside hitter, signed a letter of intent to play volleyball for Gator Nation at the University of Florida in the fall.

SRRHS-v-ball-10-9The division one prospect certainly showed her talent Wednesday, simply taking over the match against the Scorpions whenever she wanted.

“I thought we did a nice job against her actually. She’s a great player and we saw why Wednesday,” Sedona Head Coach John Parks said.

Although Valley Christian is ranked No. 1 in the 2A conference, and is probably a top five team combining all leagues, Sedona stuck with them.

In game one Wednesday, the Scorpions trailed 13-18 but rallied to make it 16-18, giving the Trojans something to think about.

A full gymnasium continued to cheer as the Scorpions tried to make a run, but a 7-0 run thanks to Brown gave Valley Christian a game one victory, 25-16.

“We need to keep working on cutting down our mistakes, and play more as a team,” junior libero Chelsea Strong said.

Strong led the team with 11 digs on the night to go along with one ace serve.

Game two was a different story for the Scorpions, who took an early 6-3 lead before Valley Christian decided to go on a 7-1 run to force a Sedona time-out, 10-7.

Sedona tied it 13-13, and stayed with the Trojans for most of the game until the very end, losing 25-21.

Valley Christian recorded 29 kills Wednesday against Sedona, including 10 ace serves.

The Trojans did commit 16 attack errors against the Scorpions, maybe helping Sedona’s cause for an upset bid.

Sedona senior captain Logan Reilly and her match-high 15 assists still wasn’t enough in game three as Valley Christian won to complete the sweep, 3-0.

Several Scorpions had decent matches including senior transfer Kiki Wilson who had six kills and two digs on the night.

“We need to stay positive and keep our heads up. Volleyball is a game of momentum and when you lose that momentum, it’s tough to get it back,” Wilson said after the match.

Wilson went on to name a few mistakes she and her team made against Valley Christian, pointing out that if the Scorpions could clean that up, they may give the Trojans a better run for their money.

Sedona committed 11 attack errors and had 12 ball handling errors against Valley Christian, not helping their cause against one of the best teams in the state.

Standouts Wednesday included senior Katie Adams who finished the match with six kills, sophomore Katie Furlong who had seven kills and two ace serves, and senior Shelby Brekke who had five kills and one solo block. Junior Rachel Cook had two kills, one assist and one ace serve as well.

With the loss, Sedona drops their record to 9-2 [10-8, tournament play] overall on the season and should certainly stay a top five team in 3A conference power points.

Next up, the Scorpions will take a few days off and rest up for the Phoenix Christian Academy match Tuesday,

Oct. 13.

Official start time is 6 p.m.

The next two home matches for Sedona will come Thursday, Oct. 15, against Wickenburg High, and Tuesday, Oct. 20, against Williams High.

It is the last two home matches of the season. Both are scheduled for 6 p.m.


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.


As I drove along on a cool Saturday evening, thoughts raced through my mind like, “What is this roller derby about? Can it really be as popular as people say it is? And, will there be hot dogs?”

The long, curvy road took me past a town called Dewey-Humbolt, then past the exit for Chino Valley and on into Prescott.

Hours seemed to pass when they were actually only minutes. The excitement running through my veins slowed time.

Photo Courtesy Greg Davis

A new sport to cover: It’s like opening an unread mystery or novel that’s been stuffed away in some box for several decades, only to discover it by chance.

Pulling up to Pioneer Park, one of my questions was immediately answered. The parking lot was full of cars like there was a U2 concert going on.

As I walked up to the gate, bright, white lights began to emerge and actually lit up the sky slightly, turning it a dark shade of red.

Several Harley Davidson motorcycles were parked near the gate, lined up like it was some biker bar in the middle of the desert.

Outside the rink, people circled the area, trying to sneak a peek at the action about to take place.

Inside the rink, two dozen ladies dressed in “Rocky Horror Picture Show” type costumes, raced around the designated oval, warming up for the bout to come.

A blue, smurf-turf looking thing that was to be the battle arena was covered with people waiting anxiously.

In a few minutes, these roller derby athletes were about to make history as the first match in Northern Arizona was about to take place.

It was also the first match in club history for the Dirty Verde Roller Derby team out of Cottonwood.

They were paired against the Whiskey Row-llers of Prescott, and both teams looked ready to go as the crowd cheered with anticipation.

A group of roller derby players from both teams gathered tightly together. Ten feet behind them was one player from each team called jammers who would start a few seconds after the main group.

The whistle blew and the ladies were off, then another blew and the jammers were off to the races, looking to score points for their team.

A punk-rock sport that is traced back to as early as the roaring 1920s, roller derby has arrived in Northern Arizona.

Every person in and outside the rink stood and cheered. The ladies remained focused, determined to give the crowd a good show.

Out came the elbows, knees and body checks and up went the feet with roller skates attached. These ladies were serious.

Time after time, girls wearing pink fishnet tights, short skirts and wicked-witch-of-the-west socks went flying through the air. Each time, the crowd cheered louder and louder like they were at a prize fight in Atlantic City.

Once a jammer reached the crowded mess of roller derby players and got past them cleanly, another whistle blew signaling that she was now the lead jammer.

The group ahead from the other team did their best to block the lead jammer out, but each was determined to get past the other team’s skaters to score points.

As a strategy to keep the other jammer from scoring, the lead jammer can tap her hips with both hands to signal the end of the jam.

After 25 minutes of this in half No. 1, each team gathered together to talk strategy as the Whiskey Row-llers of Prescott had taken a 62-27 lead over the Dirty Verde Roller Derby team.

Half No. 2 was just as exciting with several body checks that sent girls on skates sliding into the boards like a hockey game.

As time began to wind down in the second half, the ladies had probably taken several thousand trips around the oval rink.

When time expired, fans again cheered their hearts out from both sides, giving a hand to the ladies on a job well done.

The Whiskey Row-llers might have won this bout by the final score of 118-86, but in the end it didn’t matter as both teams hugged each other with smiles from ear to ear.

Cottonwood resident Ashley Nichols, or “Too Bad Nickle” on the Dirty Verde Roller Derby team, was excited to see how well her team did.

“I’ve only been skating four or five weeks with them and I think we did great,” Nichols said.

When asked what her favorite part was about roller derby, Nichols had this to say:

“Contact. The contact is my favorite part. It’s also great to get a chance to meet new people and have a new experience,” Nichols said.

Another Dirty Verde Roller Derby skater, 33-year-old Elissa Ballew, was also please with how the night went.

“I loved it. Every minute of it. It was kind of freaky to come out here but once we got going it was fine. I heard about it through some friends and wanted to give it a try and I think it’s worked out quite well,” Ballew said.

Her “Maxine Velocity” nickname fit quite well since Ballew’s style of play consisted of flying around the track like a rocket most of the night.

As fans and skaters left for the after-party, a quick glance by many skaters from both teams looked like they were taking a mental picture, giving themselves a memory to hold on to for the rest of their lives.

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.


For the first time this season the Sedona Red Rock High football team struggled to do anything offensively, and defensively, well, the score speaking for itself as they lost to rival Camp Verde High on Friday, Sept. 11, 42-0.

“Defensively we were in gaps all night and just didn’t make the tackle. We killed ourselves with penalties as well and many of our players didn’t come to play,” second year Sedona Head Coach Rob Lezcano said on the field after the game Friday.

If the scorekeepers kept a statistic on penalties the Sedona-Camp Verde game Friday would be one of the most penalized games this season. Over 20 penalties between the two teams were called, pushing the game to over three hours in length.

SRRHSFootball_031-9-16Offensively, the Scorpions managed only 129 yards on the night, 102 of them on the ground as senior Dylan Watkins had a decent game, carrying the ball 11 times for 75 yards.

Watkins also led the team in tackles against Camp Verde with 15 on the night.

Sophomore quarterback Jack Johnson completed two passes for two yards and senior Pedro Ortega Jr. completed one of three passes for 25 yards under center.

The bigger problem for the Scorpions was the defense who seemed lost at times on the field in front of a packed home crowd Friday night, allowing 541 yards of total offense.

Camp Verde ran it 41 times for 361 yards and five touchdowns while senior Ty Wantland led the way with four carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns.

Wantland caught three balls for 30 yards and a touchdown as well. For a senior who hasn’t reached 5-foot, 5-inches tall yet, it would seem he could be called the engine that could.

“It’s important that we tackle better in the future and keep our penalties down or this kind of loss is going to happen more,” sophomore safety Bradley Cox said.

At the beginning of the game Camp Verde won the coin toss and elected to receive. Lezcano tried a little trickery with an onside kick but it faltered, leaving the Cowboys with good field position.

Less than four minutes later, Camp Verde punched it across the goal line for a score, making it a 6-0 game before Scorpion players could blink.

The methodical offense that was Camp Verde struck two more times in the first quarter as Sedona fans looked up when the period expired and it was 21-0.

A three-touchdown lead is nothing new to the Scorpions who have given their opponents that type of lead in their previous two games but were able to come back.

Sedona did step up in the second quarter, not allowing Camp Verde to score as they found themselves still down 21-0 at halftime.

The Cowboys came out in the third quarter determined to put the game away and did so on a fourth and 15 play on Sedona’s 20-yard line.

Senior quarterback Mike Boler found wideout Jake Spleiss in the open and hit him for a 19-yard strike. Cox actually had two hands on the ball but Spleiss came down with it, giving the Cowboys first and goal at the 1-yard line.

Two plays later, Boler marched in for a score and it was 28-0 Camp Verde. All the air went out of the Sedona players on the sideline, realistically ending the game with 4:21 to go in the third.

“We came out confident the last two games and this week we got down by three scores again, but this time we couldn’t pull closer to give ourselves a chance. We just have to brush it off and keep working hard,” senior center Colton Langmack said.

The Scorpions will get their chance Friday, Sept. 18, to correct some things when they take their 0-3 [0-0, 3A-West] overall record to Estrella Foothills High to open region play.

The Scorpions’ next home game will be homecoming Friday, Sept. 25, against Parker High.

Kickoff for both games is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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.


When 17-year-old Sedona resident and student Brad Lenzen began his high school sports career at Sedona Red Rock High, fellow students and coaches wouldn’t give the young man a chance.

Standing nearly 6-feet, 4-inches tall, Lenzen is a gangly fellow, or a steel string bean one might say.

At first glance, one might not think this kid is a football player, or any kind of athlete all together.

Chris-Brad-LenzenHis interesting, if not quirky, personality and his heart make up the player his teammates see today. Although he isn’t the fastest, the strongest, the quickest, or the most talented, Lenzen’s big heart is the one thing that gives him a chance to succeed.

Always the first to show to practice and last to leave, Lenzen worked his way through the laughter during his freshman year.

“No one accepted me because they didn’t think I was good enough,” Lenzen said.

At the time, Lenzen was hobbling around like one leg was shorter than the other as he broke his leg during a skateboarding accident while with friends at a skate park.

Refusing to quit, Lenzen still tried to go out for the basketball team at SRRHS but had to painfully stop and let the leg heal. He tells the story that not being able to play basketball pained him more than the leg ever did.

By his sophomore year, Lenzen made his way onto the baseball team but received minimal playing time, if none at all at the varsity level, but was an outfielder on the junior varsity.

Still, this young man wouldn’t quit.

During his junior year, Lenzen tried out for the Scorpion football team just to see what it was like.

Throughout the season, Lenzen showed up every day to practice, played harder than anyone and gave more effort than one can imagine on a team that finished the season 2-8.

Lenzen rarely played, but his spirit began to grow in football and it quickly became the one sport where he felt, well, not so out of place, he admitted.

During the spring and summer of 2009, Lenzen put in countless hours on his own, training, getting ready for his big senior season.

On any given day during the tail end of the school year, Lenzen could be seen running and sprinting his heart out on the dirt back fields of SRRHS.

Every step he took was one step closer to making sure his senior year was going to be a good one.

“I wanted to make sure I was strong enough, and in shape enough, to make it through a tough football season. I just wanted to play the game and have fun, and I thought I needed to show everyone that I could,” Lenzen said.

Working tirelessly in the weight room and even sharpening his tackling skills on his own using an old football dummy found lying in the weeds behind SRRHS, Lenzen began to feel he was prepared for the 2009 football season.

Lenzen even worked on his catching skills with sophomore quarterback, and friend, Jack Johnson, running routes until the light in the sky no longer allowed him to do so.

“I wanted to be ready for any position, but more importantly I wanted to not let my team down. I want to win a state championship and I don’t want to hold my teammates back because I can’t do something on the field,” Lenzen said.

A 3.10 GPA student and fan of playing the drums, Lenzen walked into the first day of practice back in August ready to go, quite possibly more ready than anyone else on the team.

Since that time, Lenzen has done enough to earn the respect of his teammates and his coach, Rob Lezcano.

“I can’t tell you how amazing it is to see this kid grow. He’s opened up more than any kid I’ve known in the last two years. He’s worked so hard and he deserves success,” Lezcano said.

During the first two games of the football season this last month, Lenzen has been on the field almost every play, starting at left tackle on offense and on the defensive line.

Against Williams High on Sept. 4, Lenzen shed his blocker and made his way to the Vikings quarterback and sacked him, dropping him to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

Over the loud speaker, Lenzen was given credit for the sack and fans immediately cheered as Scorpion teammate Champion Max Boehm Reifenkugel raised Lenzen’s arm right there on the field like he just won some heavyweight prize fight.

“I saw all the people cheering and clapping and I knew then it was all worth it,” Lenzen said.

Lenzen’s story is one of heart, determination and pure will which is why the young man has been nominated for the inaugural High School Football Rudy Awards.

Everyone’s seen the movie “Rudy,” a tale about Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who went through difficult times to make a college football team at Notre Dame University.

According to the Web site, “Rudy stands for ‘Dream Big, Never Quit’ and ‘Always have a Positive Attitude.’”

The award is based on not the most gifted player, or the best stats, but rather it is a search for gridiron athletes who demonstrate what Rudy calls “The Four Cs”: character, courage, contribution and commitment. Passion, inspiration, and motivation are other qualities the award stands for.

In the last two months, Lenzen and his parents have gone through the paperwork, and he has made a few cuts and is one of the last remaining candidates in the country to be in the running for the award.

“I’ve seen the movie and I consider myself lucky to even be mentioned in the process. Rudy did all that work and never played until that last play. It

was an amazing story,” Lenzen said.

Three finalists will be chosen and the winner of the High School Football Rudy Award is given a $20,000 scholarship to his college of choice and gets to meet the real Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger at the awards ceremony Saturday, March 6, 2010.

“In the end, I’m just here to play football and have fun. I’m pleased to be a part of something so special here in Sedona,” Lenzen said.

That attitude is what just might win Lenzen this award.


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.


If Sedona Red Rock High head football coach Rob Lezcano could pass a law stating his Scorpions need only to play the second half, skipping the first half entirely, he probably would do so.

For the second straight week, Sedona football fans watched their team fall behind early, this time to rival Williams High. The Scorpions couldn’t recover as they dropped to 0-2 [0-0, 3A-West] on the season, 27-24.

Sedona kicked off to Williams and the Scorpion defense held the Vikings offense to three-and-out, forcing them to punt.

srrhs-f-ball-9-9On Sedona’s first play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Pedro Ortega Jr. pitched it to junior wideout Troy Loparco for what looked like a sweep play.

Williams overplayed it as Loparco was ready for it, firing a rocket 30 yards downfield to wide open senior receiver Ben Fazekas.

If Fazekas caught the ball it was 6-0 Sedona, but unfortunately he dropped it, and instead the Scorpions had to settle for second down with 10 yards to go.

“I knew they would overplay that sweep play because we ran it a few times last week with success. I called the right play and Troy [Loparco] made a great throw but Ben [Fazekas] just dropped it. Ben is a great player for us and will catch many touchdowns for us this season, just not this time,” Lezcano said after the game.

The play shifted the entire course of the game as Williams went on to take a 20-0 lead at halftime as the Scorpion defense had trouble stopping the Williams offensive attack which totaled 155 yards in the air and 170 yards on the ground.

“It’s like we come out hesitant to play football in the first half. We know what to do, we just don’t do it,” senior tailback Dylan Watkins said.

Watkins certainly brought his “A” game against Williams on Friday, Sept. 4, carrying the ball eight times for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

He caught two balls for 13 yards, had a punt return for 11 yards and had two kickoff returns equaling 50 yards, not to mention he led the team in tackles with 16 on the night.

The mood is certainly different in the second half around the Scorpion bench this season, making it one of the more enjoyable Sedona football teams to watch in recent years.

Watkins gave Sedona its first score with 6:05 remaining in the third quarter to make it 20-6, Williams.

The score rejuvenated a Scorpion team looking for something positive and the boys took it from there.

Watkins’ name again would pop up to begin the fourth quarter as the senior back scampered 70 yards for a touchdown on Sedona’s first offensive play of the quarter to make it a 27-12 game.

Senior kicker Ryan Cadigan was nowhere to be found on the sidelines, forcing Sedona to go for two for the second time on the night. The two-point conversion was no good, keeping the score at 27-12.

It was not reported where Cadigan was, but he was not in uniform for the entire contest against Williams.

Missing their best kicker hurt the Scorpions in the long run as they did their best to come back against Williams in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns in the period.

The Scorpions would recover a fumble on the ensuing Williams possession as sophomore safety Bradley Cox fell on top of it to give Sedona the ball back with 11:32 remaining in the game.

The halfback pass from Loparco to Fazekas was called again by Lezcano and worked to perfection this time, giving Sedona another score to make it 27-18 with 11:22 to go.

“They were all worried about the fumble they just had and we didn’t wait to go for it all,” Lezcano said.

With 4:16 to go and Williams driving, trying like crazy to put this game to bed, senior Dylan Shugrue intercepted a Darius Brown pass and returned it 55 yards to give Sedona another chance.

Ortega and his offense took advantage as Ortega hid the ball well on a handoff and walked into the end zone on the left side to give Sedona another score, making it 27-24.

Sedona again failed the two-point conversion, making them 0-4 on the night which ended up being the difference in the game.

The Scorpions would get one more last gasp at a victory as Ortega set Sedona up with a 37-yard broken play run with 46 seconds remaining.

“This group of players we have here have worked so hard to get here and it shows with our determination. It’s the best football team I’ve been on here and I think we’re ready to start winning,” Ortega said after the game.

Ortega had eight carries for 88 yards on the night including the touchdown and completed two of seven passes for 11 yards.

With 18 seconds to go, sophomore Jack Johnson was called upon to heave the ball into the end zone, but didn’t have much time in the pocket, throwing the ball too early.

As it landed near the end zone without a Sedona receiver within 10 yards of it, the air went out of the stands as Williams needed only to down the ball to end the game.

“We were prepared so well for what Williams was going to do. We just didn’t make the plays when we needed to. The boys were in position to do it, and they didn’t, and that’s why we lost,” Lezcano said.

Next up for the Scorpions will be another home game, this time against rival Camp Verde High on Friday, Sept. 11.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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.


In dire need of a winning season, the Sedona Red Rock High football team went to work this last month with lunch pail and hard hat in hand.

Second year Head Coach Rob Lezcano began his interview stating this August was the hardest training camp ever assembled in Scorpion football history.

He was happy to report most of the boys made it through the gauntlet and now await a team to take their aggression out on.

“Although this is only my second year as head coach of the Sedona program, I have worked with a few other head coaches here throughout the years and I’m sure this pre-season was one of the most difficult things these kids have been through,” Lezcano said.

SRRHS-football-action-8-26Lezcano and his coaching staff are adamant about their players being in shape this season and getting ready to take on a full 10-game schedule. With only 27 players on the roster, they’ll need to be.

Losing has become the norm for the Scorpions, having posted a 13-37 [9-19, 3A-West] record since the 2004 campaign.

The last three seasons have been brutal however, with a 4-25 [2-16, 3A-West] overall record since the 2007 campaign. To make matters worse, the team was 3-11 at home in that time span.

Last season the Scorpions did double their win total from the previous year by going 2-8 [1-5, 3A-West] on the season but scored only 148 points and gave up 443, making the margin of loss almost 30 points a game.

Lezcano, however, is one of the more positive men a person could ever meet, and he admitted doubling their win total last season was his goal, and this year, doubling up again is his newest goal.

“I knew coming in we were going to struggle, and two wins was what I thought we could manage. This season, I would like to get four wins. Now obviously, winning more games than four is what we want, and maybe we can do that if we keep the mistakes to a minimum this season,” Lezcano said.

As always, these young players will work hard regardless of the score. Give them credit for that. Lezcano said the mistakes must be kept to a minimum this year, and they must hold on to the ball more if they are to be successful.

With 27 players on the roster, Sedona has only 11 coming back from last season and 16 new faces to work with.

Thirteen players graduated from last season including top performers Sammy Holeyfield, Chris Kamas, Travis Bernard, J.P. Laws, Keith Thorne, Max and Luke Keckeis and Carter Jones.

While Holeyfield rotated in at quarterback last season, Bernard put up big numbers on the ground with 166 carries for 886 yards and seven touchdowns.

Jones was also dominant for the Scorpions having led the squad defensively in tackles with 80.

This season, top returners include senior tailback Dylan Watkins, senior center Colton Langmack, senior defensive end Champion Max Boehm Reifenkugel, senior guard Zach Saxman and senior quarterback and linebacker Pedro Ortega Jr.

Each of these players will play a pivotal role this season for the Scorpions if they are to be successful.

“I think we can be successful this season. We just have to continue to work,” Ortega Jr. said.

Of course Sedona has a few young and talented players including sophomore quarterback Jack Johnson, sophomore linebacker Andrew Rippy and safety and wideout Bradley Cox. All are expected to start, with Johnson getting half the snaps this season under center.

Other top returners include senior wideout Ben Fazekas, senior tackle Chris Brad Lenzen and sophomore guard Jason Marcy.

“I’m excited for this season to start. I love football and I think we can win a few games this season,” Fazekas said.

As for those new faces, the Scorpions have 16 of them, one of which played as a freshman, moved away, then came back for his junior year in Troy Loparco.

The top newcomers include junior wideout and corner Jamison Cunningham, sophomore guard Jordan Pickett, sophomore wideout Soren Johnson and sophomore tight end Colton Trcic.

Also, Sedona soccer player Ryan Cadigan is expected to be the kicker this season for the Scorpions.

The freshman roster this year includes Keenan Crans, Rawlin Carpenter, Zane Saxman, Josh Serin, Ryan Ramirez, James Gould, Alex Riccobene and Kade Gallegos.

“We don’t have much experience out there right now but we do have the talent; it’s just a matter of getting these kids playing time,” Lezcano said smiling while at practice Aug. 19.

The Scorpions will travel north to open their season in Flagstaff on the campus of Northern Arizona University on Friday, Aug. 28.

Sedona is paired with Page High in the Walkup Skydome with an official kickoff time of 5 p.m.

Kickoff was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. but was moved to 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, according to Sedona Athletic Director John Parks.

The first home game for Sedona will come against Williams High on Friday, Sept. 4.

Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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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