Spelling bee champ Reinhart to represent Higley school district at regional contest

  With a district runner-up spelling bee title in 2017, Devin Reinhart of Cortina Elementary School put a goal in place for this year. She wanted to be the Higley district champion. The Queen Creek sixth-grader did just that in January. Now she will represent Higley Unified School District along with Elena Jones from Coronado […]

Kindergarten round-up to be held Feb. 4 in HUSD

Parents of children who will enroll in kindergarten in the 2016-17 school year are invited to attend the Higley Unified School District Kindergarten Round-Up. Two sessions will be held at all the elementary schools 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Feb. 4. During the events, parents can meet the principal and hear about curriculum at […]

Early days of Hunt Highway

“When our auto turned at the Higley end of this new highway and started for Florence, the driver shifted onto the high gear and made the 35-mile home run in one hour and five minutes,” Arizona Blade, February 1913.

Just six months prior to this 1913 report, an automobile party composed of the Honorable Lamar Cobb, State Engineer; Jas. A. Parker, assistant state engineer; Geo. H. Binkley, of the Mesa Improvement Co., Chandler; Geo. T. Peabody, secretary of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce; L.H. Sarey, postmaster and merchant at Higley; and Oris Holdren, arrived in Florence from Higley by way of the old Silvestre ranch. The route skirted the foothills of the mountains, a range we now refer to as the San Tan Mountains; “…lying south of Webster station and north of Sacaton.” The party returned to Higley by the road that follows along the Arizona-Eastern railroad tracks.

The purpose of the trip was to acquire knowledge of the topography of the country between Florence and Higley and the character of the surface material with a view to locating the most feasible route for the state highway between Phoenix and Florence. Mr. Higley proposed that if the state would locate the road directly from Higley to Florence, and clear the right-of-way, he would put on his teams and completely grade the road-bed from Higley to the Pinal county line without cost to the state.

And in February of 1913, another auto party left Florence for a run to Higley over the new state highway that was just receiving the finishing touches, aside from the culvert work, which would be held in abeyance until a standard for state highway culverts could be decided on.

Higley High School Athletic Hall of Fame inaugural induction held

With Higley High School embarking on its 15th year as a school, the administration announced the creation of the Athletic Hall of Fame. The inaugural class was recognized prior to kickoff of the homecoming game on Sept. 18. The evening started with a 5:45 p.m. reception in the media center.
More than 60 members of the Knights Athletic Program have been invited to be included in this special event. Twenty-eight individual state champions and four championship teams will make up the population of the first induction class. Each student-athlete will be presented with an individual picture commemorating the accomplishment.
Following the events, plaques donated by sponsors for each individual and team will be on display at the school.

Points of Pride students recognized at board meeting

The Higley Unified School District recognized a student, volunteer, teacher and employees with Points of Pride awards during the Aug. 26 governing board meeting according to a press release. Representatives from Coronado Elementary School and the district’s Human Resources Department honored were:
•Student: Aloriea Bounds
•Teacher: Sunni Braaksma
•Classified employee: Billie Jean Welzien
•Volunteer: Judy Selesky;
•Human resources employee: Tammy Navarro.

Queen Creek High golfers lose to Seton, beat Higley

The Queen Creek High School boys golf team ended the month of September on low and high notes.

On Sept. 29, the Bulldogs lost by five strokes to Chandler’s Seton Catholic Preparatory while competing at Las Colinas Golf Club in Queen Creek.

Individual medalists for the event were Seton’s Matt Schwab and Alejandro De Zavala, who both shot 36, according to the school’s website. Queen Creek was led by Gabe Salvanera with a 37 and Jarrett Fultz with a 39.

On Sept. 30, the Bulldogs beat Gilbert’s Higley High by four strokes at Seville Golf and Country Club in Gilbert.

Gabe Salvanera shot a 38 for the Dogs and Bryce Negaj, in his final match for Queen Creek, and Bryson Gwilliam shot 39’s to lead their team. Freshman Chris Heath shot a career best score of 37.

The Bulldogs are ranked 10th in the state and are sitting in a good position to qualify for the golf championship tournament Nov. 2-3 in Tucson.

Rivalry is three way for some Queen Creek high schools

Rivalry is as much a part of football as pep rallies before the game. But for some Queen Creek schools, they don’t have one traditional rival, they have at least two, sometimes more.

The first time Queen Creek played Higley High School was the 2004-5 season and the rivalry has stuck. During those years, Higley and Queen Creek were both single high school districts.

“Higley has been a rival with Queen Creek for a lot of years and it has just continued,” Queen Creek coach Travis Schureman said. “Part of it was that it was the closest school to Queen Creek for a long time.”

Higley’s Eddy Zubey is in his fifth season as head coach.

“It started from what I know, when the school opened and they started playing varsity football,” Zubey said. “Higley’s varsity team has only beaten Queen Creek’s varsity one time in the 12 years of its existence.”

Even though Queen Creek has dominated the varsity games against Higley, there is still a rivalry, Zubey said.

“Our players grow up with these kids, they go to the same church, they play youth sports together,” he said.

While Higley may not have beaten Queen Creek at the varsity level in some time, they have won games against the freshman and junior varsity teams. This is the first team that are all Zubey’s players. And Higley played Queen Creek on Sept. 25.

“This is our best opportunity to beat those guys (Queen Creek) while I have been head coach,” Zubey said during an interview the week of the game.
Then Williams Field opened in 2008.

“I would say Queen Creek has been a little more balanced of a series,” Williams Field coach Steve Campbell said.

Williams Field played Queen Creek on Sept. 18, bringing the series to a three game tie.

“They won the first couple then we won one then we beat them in regular season and they beat us in the regular season,” Campbell said of Queen Creek.

Queen Creek and Williams Field started playing each other in the 2011-12 season. Queen Creek won that game 22-20.

“For the most part all of the games have been really close,” Campbell said.

Schureman said his team looks forward to playing Williams Field.

“We play a similar type of football,” Schureman said.

When Queen Creek and Williams Field started playing each other the games were always at the end of the season to see who was going to be section champions, Campbell said.

“They ended up not in our section now,” Campbell said. “But I don’t think it took anything away from the rivalry and how much it meant in last week’s game.

During the 2013-14 season, Queen Creek and Williams Field played twice. Williams Field won the regular season game, and Queen Creek won the semi-final playoff game.

Wide receiver Justis Stokes makes a run for Williams Field. Williams Field won the game 17-14 over Queen Creek. (Courtesy of Gwendolyn Flake)
Wide receiver Justis Stokes makes a run for Williams Field. Williams Field won the game 17-14 over Queen Creek. (Courtesy of Gwendolyn Flake)

“It seems like we’re always playing those guys,” Schureman said.

Higley has never beaten Williams Field at the varsity level.

“It’s a goal of ours every year,” Zubey said. “Just as beating Queen Creek is a goal of our football program.”

Higley and Williams Field are only three miles apart. Higley will play Williams Field at home on Oct. 2.

But competitiveness isn’t the only thing that factors in to the rivalries, Campbell said.

“We have families that are divided,” Zubey said. “We have brothers and or sisters going to Higley and their brother and or sister goes to Williams Field, for various reasons.”

Now that the Arizona Interscholastic Association has changed the divisions, the schools are playing schools they have never played before but are closer proximity than their historical rivals.

“As we change conferences, this year we played Campo Verde, which is two miles away and we played Gilbert, which is right down the street,” Campbell said. “It’s the same kind of thing, a lot of our kids grew up and played each other.”

Campbell said the conference changes were not getting rid of the rivalry but actually adding more.

“If you look at attendance when we are playing these teams, we have had great attendance at every game so far,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he felt the increase in attendance was due to the schedule changes of playing closer schools.

“Just because there is an interest side to it, that there are so many schools so close together, that a lot of people on the campuses know each other.” Campbell said. “They played youth football together or travel baseball, there’s just a lot of cross over.”

Queen Creek is the farthest rivalry school.

“The ironic part is that out of all those schools Queen Creek is one of the furthest schools and our kids have very little cross over with Queen Creek,” Campbell said “But because competitiveness of our games and what has been on the line, it has created the rivalry.”

Schureman said it adds to the high school experience.

“It’s just great for high school football to have a rival,” Schureman said. “It’s what you play high school football for, these are the things that kids will remember for the rest of their lives.”

News Services Assistant Arianna Grainey can be reached at 623-445-2717, via e-mail at agrainey@newszap.com or on twitter at

Higley Unified School District students partner with Gilbert Chamber

Students taking film and television production at Higley Unified School District’s Williams Field High School recently partnered with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce to create a video, according to a press release. The chamber is working with member companies to create videos that describe the jobs available within their industries and the education needed to […]

Chandler Gilbert honors Teal & Silver Award winners

Chandler-Gilbert Community College honored its 11th Annual Teal & Silver Award recipients during a breakfast event at the college’s Williams Campus on Tuesday, May 12 at Bridget Hall. Nine award recipients were recognized for their dedication and support of CGCC students, employees, programs, services and the college community. The 2015 Teal & Silver Award recipients […]

Students win Friendship of the Library scholarships

Cortney Monroe of Higley High School and Amanda Alibrandi of Williams Field High School were among those selected to receive a 2015 Friends Place Community Volunteer Scholarship. The students were selected based on their academics and community service. The scholarship was awarded by Friends of the Southeast Regional Library, a volunteer group that promotes literacy […]