Jan. 19, 2005 - AHEAD OF THE GAME: Estevan Nanez of Mountain View is taking aim at the top. The senior wrestler at Mountain View High School has jumped out to a 20-0 record on the year, improving on his 18-1 start from last season. In 2003-04, Nanez finished the year with a 45-5 mark. As Nanez mows through competition, his focus is directed at returning to the state playoffs and facing an old nemesis. Nanez's season ended last season in the quarter final of the state meet with a loss to Hamilton High School's Kareem Abdullah. The Mountain View senior gave Abdullah, who was ranked No. 2 in the state at the time, a spirited fight but eventually fell short. Nanez was ranked No. 4.
"I'm looking to get back at him," said the senior of his goal to face Abdullah one more time. The Class 5A state wrestling tourney will be held Feb. 18 and 19 in Phoenix.
The fall high school sports season may have ended two months ago, but volleyball continues throughout the Northwest and Tucson metro area. More than 100 Juniors Volleyball teams will take part in the 11th Annual Kaepa Cactus Classic hosted by Club Cactus Juniors Jan. 15 and 16. The tourney is considered to be Southern Arizona's largest annual indoor sporting event. The 114 teams competing in this USA Volleyball sponsored event will feature close to 2,000 players playing in age brackets from 12 to 18 years old. Teams will come to the Tucson region from throughout Arizona and neighboring states. Mountain View High School will be the Northwest host. Other sites include the University of Arizona.
There is a buzz in the air at Mountain View High School. The steady whirring emanating through the halls of the school is the sound of hype for the upcoming boys volleyball season. The Mountain Lions expect to challenge for the state title this season behind potential Arizona Player of the Year Matt Vanzant. Two years ago, the senior was given the option by his mother, get a job or play a sport. Vanzant opted for the latter, choosing volleyball. Three seasons later, the outside hitter is inspiring a whole new crop of players, who believe they can be the next Vanzant, a player who initially joined the team with no prior volleyball experience. Head coach Rick Ellis is expecting a large turnout for this year's squad. The spring sports season will set and spike into action Feb. 7.
Bragging rights will be on the line Feb. 4 at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road, when Ironwood Ridge High School looks to defend its Northwest golf title. Players representing IRHS and Canyon del Oro High School will face off against one another at the Second Annual Oro Valley Cup Golf Tournament. The tourney is open to all golfers, who are asked before they play to choose which school they are competing for. All revenue raised from the event is donated to both schools' Project Graduation, an all-night safe celebration after graduation. The trophy from last year's Oro Valley Cup currently resides in the lobby at IRHS. For more information or to play call 544-1905.
SPRING IS ALMOST SPRUNG
There may be snow on Mt. Lemmon, but its already time to start thinking of warm weather sports. Sportspark, 6901 N. Casa Grande Hwy., is looking for teams and players for its upcoming Adult Softball League. Leagues are for men's, women's and coed teams.
Play will begin Jan. 31, registration will be 7 p.m. Jan. 26. On Jan. 29, the park will host its Super Bowl One Pitch Softball Tournament. For more information call Sportspark at 744-9496.
RELAX AT DOVE MOUNTAIN
For those avid work-out-aholics, Dove Mountain has a place for you.
Located across from the Gallery Golf Club, 14000 N. Dove Mountain Blvd., its new private recreation center features indoor and outdoor activities including four tennis courts, a large recreational and lap pool, outdoor sand volleyball and basketball courts and a large lawn area for bocce ball and croquet.
Inside the 12,000 square foot facility is a cardio-strength room, two locker rooms (complete with steam rooms), a group exercise studio and two treatment rooms for massages and facials. Special discounted rates are available through the end of the month.