July 20, 2005 - For the second straight year, the Pima Community College baseball program has lured away one of the Northwest's and Foothills' top baseball coaches. Catalina Foothills High School head coach Jason Hisey has signed on at PCC to become the program's pitching coach. Hisey, who has led the Falcons to Class 4A state runner-up in three of the past four seasons, did so on strong, deep pitching rotations.

"He's taken a lot of average pitchers and made excellent pitchers," said PCC head coach Edgar Soto. Soto believes that, by adding Hisey, Pima will be able to further intensify its efforts to land local talent. Hisey will replace former Aztec pitching coach Bob O'Donnell, who left the squad after the 2005 season.

In 2005, PCC starters amassed 28 wins against 16 losses. When Hisey takes over next season, he'll have several arms to work with on a staff Soto refers to as having a "high ceiling" for how good it can be. Among those pitchers are former Mountain View High School hurler Lee Taylor and ex-Marana star Ryan Perry.

Last summer, it was Canyon Del Oro High School's Keith Francis who walked away from a highly successful Dorados program to become the infield coach for the Aztecs.

National Treasure

The Club Cactus Boys 181 finished 21st overall in the open division at the National Club Volleyball tournament July 6 through 9 in Louisville, Ky. The 181 won the Flight No. 1 bracket, finishing the tourney 7-4. The Riptides 18 Orange, the team Club Cactus beat in January in the SoCal Classic in Anaheim, won the National tourney. Former Club Cactus player Tyler Hildebrand coaches the Riptides.

NW digs the long ball

The ball was leaving the yard at a fevered pace

during the minor league all-star break July 11 through 13, and a couple of ex-Dorados were

responsible. Two former Canyon Del Oro High School sluggers showcased their power with a barrage of dingers in the home run hitting contests in both the Triple-A and the Double-A All-Star games.

On the Triple-A level, Ian Kinsler of the Oklahoma RedHawks (Texas Rangers) was out-dueled by Mitch Jones of the Columbus Clippers (New York Yankees) July 11 at Raley Field in West Sacramento, Calif. Down to his final out, Kinsler connected for three straight homers to pull within one homer of Jones before flying out. Jones won 11-10.

It would appear that the Bronx Bombers have plenty of sluggers in their farm system if the Double A All-Star Home Run Derby is any indication. Former Dorado and ex-University of Arizona standout Shelley Duncan won the Western Union Home Run Derby, held before the Double-A All-Star game at Hadlock Field in Portland, Maine. Duncan, who plays for Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees), followed his performance up with a home run in the All-Star game.

"Z" Aztecs

The Pima Community College athletic department has unveiled its new logo for it sports programs. Pima's new look features the word Aztecs written in a blue-and-white script style with the emphasis on the letter 'Z.' The logo was created by the school's media production and publications staff. Pima's sports teams include baseball, football, softball, volleyball and men's and women's basketball, cheer, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field.

Sad day in the AIA

Coming this fall, our high school football records may not be as complete or as detailed as in years past. Barry Sollenberger, who was literally the face of Arizona high school football stats, passed away June 23, on his 60th birthday, apparently of a heart attack. Sollenberger, who worked for AIA Media Relations, was the

creator and proprietor of the Phoenix-Metro football magazine, the second oldest of its kind in the United States. I wish I could have saved the message about Mountain View High School football that Sollenberger once left on my answering machine at home (left at 11 p.m. on a Friday night). It was classic Barry and seemingly lasted 11 minutes. Barry, you shall be sorely missed.

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