Queen Creek district camps provide summer options for students

The Queen Creek Unified School District offers summer camps that include activities from badminton to swimming. The Youth Athletic Program is a district initiative that provides year-round sports camps and clinics for students in grades K-12. All interested students are welcome and do not need to attend a Queen Creek district school to participate, officials stated in a release. Instruction […]

Casteel Junior High School students breaking down stereotypes in wrestling

Less than six months after Becca Longo made national headlines for signing her National Letter of Intent to Adams College, two more Chandler Unified School District students are breaking down more gender stereotypes in sports. Camry Carter and Alexis Peterson, eighth-grade students at Casteel Junior High School, 24901 S. Power Road in Queen Creek, are […]

2016-17 was an award-winning year for Heritage Academy sports

Heritage Academy-Queen Creek participates in the Canyon Athletic Association which is made up of other charter, private and public schools throughout Arizona. Our school won state championships in cross country, flag football and two in basketball during the 2016-17 school year. Two of these state championships came from teams who went undefeated and had perfect […]

Heritage cross country team wins state in its division

Heritage Academy Gateway in Queen Creek is home of the Canyon Athletic Association, (charter school) Division I, boys junior high cross country state champions. In its inaugural year, the team showed tremendous determination and improvement throughout the season. By mid-season the runners became more consistent as a team and took first place at both the […]

San Tan Valley, Queen Creek high school sports schedule for March 16-22

The following is a list of sporting events that will happen in the Queen Creek and San Tan Valley area. All the sporting events listed below will happen at the home team’s venue. The home team is listed first. For more information on the event check the home team’s website. Times are subject to change; […]

American Leadership Academy advances to Division IV semifinals

American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek pulled off a 56-55 upset over No. 3 Buckeye Union High School on Feb. 25. American Leadership will advance to the semi-finals against No. 2 Phoenix Country Day on Feb. 26 at the Prescott Valley Event Center. Above, Jelani Pogues of American Leadership dribbles the ball down court during a divisional game vs Globe.

QCHS softball falls to Apache Junction during tournament

The Apache Junction softball team set the tone for the game early in the first inning when Denae Preuhs walked, Kendra Pettis-Miller brought her home with a single.  The Lady Prospectors beat Queen Creek 2-1 during the Dobson-Westwood softball tournament, at Dobson High School. “This is the farthest we’ve ever gone in this tourney,” Apache […]

Queen Creek High School Spiritline clinic information

  Queen Creek High School, 22149 E. Ocotillo Road, is hosting its Spiritline Clinic from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 18. Children 4-14 can participate in the clinic. Participants do not have to reside in the Queen Creek Unified School District boundaries. The participants will also perform at a varsity basketball game […]

San Tan Cardinals flag football championship in their bracket

The San Tan Cardinals fought hard in November to emerge as champions of the 2015 GridIron Flag Football season. Their effort and persistence led them to complete the season not only as champs, but also as the only undefeated team in their age group. They battled each week challenging and competing against other strong teams within the GridIron league.

GridIron Flag Football League is an athletic association that allows kids to both learn and compete in the game of football. GridIron has many leagues in various cities throughout the state of Arizona including one based out of Queen Creek. These leagues offer co-ed options for children ages 7-15 and present a safe and healthy environment for them.

The GridIron philosophy is, “To deliver a positive youth sports experience through better coaching, better player development, and keeping families excited about youth sports,” according to its website: Gridironflag.com. The league is open to kids of all levels and requires no previous experience. Priding itself on a realistic atmosphere, GridIron games are complete with five-on-five competition, a four-down system and other simplified aspects of the game that help keep the children challenged yet engaged.
All coaches are volunteers and are provided with a code of conduct used to protect and benefit the athletes. Coaching is an option to all parents provided that they follow the set guidelines and attain their coaching certification through the GridIron league.

Brian Almond, coach of the Indianapolis Colt’s team of 7- to 8-year-olds, is a prime example. He says his main focus for the team is to encourage good sportsmanship and to help the kids grow as young men and women.

In the playoffs, the top teams from both the Queen Creek and San Tan leagues competed against each other for the title of champion.

In the 9-10-year-old age group, the final games commenced on Nov. 14. The four most successful teams advanced to the semi-final games where the undefeated San Tan Cardinals played the San Tan Colts whose record was 4-4. Both teams played fiercely but ultimately, the Cardinals speed and long passing ability led to a 48-26 win over the Colts.

In the other bracket, the 6-2 Queen Creek Cardinals took on the 5-3 Queen Creek Titans. The Cardinals took an early lead scoring a touchdown at the start and continuing to dominate the game. But the Titans stayed focused and began a comeback that brought the score within one touchdown.

The Cardinals ability to run the ball with great speed was too much to handle for the Titans. The Cardinals made a full field run to score a touchdown and win the game 26-19.
The championship game took place later that day as the Cardinals of Queen Creek took on the Cardinals of San Tan. The game was expected to be a head-to-head battle as both teams had played very hard throughout the season and were prepared for the final game.

Both teams were very skilled in scoring. Because the San Tan team was dangerous from the quarterback position and the Queen Creek team was able to run the ball quite well, the game would ultimately come down to defense. The game began with touchdowns from both teams. Then, an interception by Queen Creek gave them possession of the ball. But San Tan quickly intercepted the ball right back and capitalized for an easy touchdown.

At halftime the score was close with the San Tan Cardinals leading 44-31. The teams regrouped and began the second half. It continued to be a back and forth battle as the teams competed for the top spot. But the San Tan’s passing excellence proved to be disastrous for Queen Creek. Slowly, they began to widen the lead and with about a minute, sealed the deal with one last touchdown. The San Tan Cardinals emerged as champions with a final score of 70-50.

During the season, home games are held locally on Saturdays at Desert Mountain Elementary School, 22301 S. Hawes Road in Queen Creek, while away games are held at South Valley Junior High in Gilbert. Spectator admission is free and is welcome to all.

The next season begins in the winter and registration is open and can be completed online at Gridironflag.com. There is a one-time fee of $129 per player. This is fully inclusive of a reversible uniform and flag belt. Players must supply their own mouth guard to play. Cleats are recommended but not required. After the payment is completed, players will be assigned to a specific team within their appropriate age category and will receive more detailed information such as information about practices, schedules and game times etc., as dictated by their coach. Parents do have the option to request a specific coach.

Any further questions can be answered by visiting the website at GridIronFlag.com.

Editor’s note: Micah Wilson is a student writer from San Tan Valley who is interested in a career in sports journalism.

Queen Creek Swim and Dive: Ready to put in the work

he Queen Creek High School swim and dive team is in full swing this year and looking to qualify as many of its athletes as possible for state at the end of the season.
The team faced its fair share of challenges to start the season, having to deal with a smaller turnout and a tough schedule against multiple Division I teams.
However, head coach Heather Solomon feels the athletes they do have are ready to put in the work.
“We have a very small team this year with not as much depth or heavy hitters as we’ve had in the past,” said Solomon. “Swimming is a marathon sport. It takes many years to develop an individual and with fewer kids participating in swim year round, we don’t have the ‘in season’ potential we always hope for. With that being said, the kids we do have are a great group and are ready to work hard.”
Leading the Bulldog swimmers are Maria Reynolds (200 IM and 100 breast), Gavin Turley (200 IM, 100 breast, 100 back), Tyler Rezneick (100 back, 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 free) and Kadin Keith (50 free, 100 free), while senior Dylan Duran and junior Madi Richardson highlight this year’s dive team.
“Our goals this year are just to have personal improvement for each of our swimmers and divers in technique, strength and speed,” said Solomon. “We are hoping to have as many individual and relay events as possible to qualify for state.”
So far the team and coaches are seeing significant improvement from meet to meet.
“We are averaging a 41-50 percent personal improvement in every meet so far this season,” said Solomon. “While we’ve only had one win (boys against Desert Ridge) this season, we are confident that several of the athletes wwill make it to state.”
The Bulldogs’ upcoming schedule includes the Saturday Night Fever Invitational Oct. 10 at Chandler High School, 350 N. Arizona Ave. in Chandler.
The next home meet is 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, against McClintock.
State pre-qualifiers are: Madi Richardson, dive; Dylan Duran, dive; Tyler Reznicek, 200 free; Kali Huffman, 50 free and 100 free; Kadin Keith, 50 free and 100 free; Zach Durrant, 100 fly; Maria Reynolds, 200 IM and 100 breast; and Hugh Jones, 100 free.
Automatic state qualifiers are: Gavin Turley, 100 IM, 100 breast; and Tyler Reznicek, 100 back (fifth place finish).
For more information, visit our website at http://qchsathletics.org.
Editor’s note: Jamie Morris is the staff news writer for Queen Creek High School.