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.

U-Knighted Kingdom paints at Higley High

More than 100 students, parents and staff volunteers painted Higley High School’s gymnasiums last month in the first “Pride Project” for the campus, according to a press release.
The U-Knighted Kingdom, a group that formed this year to support the school, organized the event.
“I think the biggest thing is just to come together as a community,” said Misty Trendler, a Higley mom and founding member of U-Knighted Kingdom, in the release. “The students have so much pride in their school.”
Britt Booher, another U-Knighted Kingdom mom, attended.
“U-Knighted Kingdom is more than a name. We want to unite the community and our district,” she said.
Superintendent Mike Thomason and Dr. Michael Fowler, the district’s director of facilities, operations and athletics, put the first paint on the walls. Several school and district staff members also volunteered.
“I think it’s good that the students saw the district there. They know they’re cared for,” Mr. Trendler said.
Both gymnasiums were painted. The district supplied paint and brushes. Dunkin Donuts provided breakfast and 3M donated tape.
“The kids had a great time. I had people come and ask to do more. There was so much excitement,” said Caroline Lamoreaux, another U-Knighted Kingdom mom.
Principal Roselyn Hood was greatly appreciative of the group and the effort.
“This was an amazing event with tremendous support and participation,” Ms. Hood said.
“This was the first project,” Ms. Booher said. “Committees are looking at the needs of different areas. Some are looking at the hallways, press box, the exterior. Some are looking at the media center and the office. We are looking for ways to improve those areas to have Pride Projects for the whole community to be involved.”
The next event will be in October.
To learn more and get involved, check out The U-Knighted Kingdom Facebook page or e-mail the group at uknightedkingdom@gmail.com.

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
ariannagrainey.

Higley High teacher selected as Teacher of the Year

Higley High School math teacher Shawn Cook was selected as the District Teacher of the Year. The seventh annual Teachers of the Year dinner was held May 7 to recognize some of the best teachers in the district. One teacher from each school site, as well as the preschool system, was selected to be honored […]

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 […]