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Phillip Steward is chiseled out of stone and is all the more imposing with the polo shirt that he apparently has painted on before each game. The Marana football coach patrols the sidelines from start to finish of the game—exhorting, cheering, teaching—as his surprising Tigers display, week …

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Fifty-three years ago last Saturday, American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos got up on the medal stand at the Mexico City Olympics and did the Black Power salute. It’s legendary now, but back then, it was infamous. Brent Musberger, who would later become a famous announcer for CBS Sp…

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Allison Birtcil has the weight of legacy on her shoulders. She and fellow senior, Isabella Lang, both have older sisters who were part of the powerful 2018 Ironwood Ridge High volleyball team that was perhaps the best in Southern Arizona. As often happens with outstanding athletic programs, …

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Sam Hala’ufia is a big guy. His dad was born in Tonga, which is an entire island nation of big guys. Oddly enough, his name is pronounced just like it’s spelled. The first half is Holla (like Gwen Stefani sings in “…Back, Girl.”) Then, it’s ooh-fee-uh. The Mountain View High senior has used …

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When I was growing up in The Projects in Southern California, living in the other apartment of our duplex was my friend, Bobby Chacon. He and I played multiple sports together, but when he got out of high school, he became a professional boxer. He was also going to college at the time, so th…

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Among Hanna Hartzell’s duties as a team manager for the undefeated Marana Tigers football team are: Clean the uniforms, get water for the players, supervise pre-game meals, supervise post-game meals, serve as a timer during practice, set up equipment needed for drills, and a bunch of other s…

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OK, so the University of Arizona football team is 0-4 and possibly heading for its second straight winless season (that’s actually hard to do). Wildcat basketball is on the horizon, but they have a new, untested coach, some serious NCAA punishment headed its way, and a lineup  consisting of …

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Ryan Torres can’t believe how quickly it is going. The Flowing Wells senior has only a couple weeks left in his prep career. This weekend will be the Southern Arizona Invitational at Dell Urich and then next weekend is the Flowing Wells Boys Invitational and then that’s that. (Other fall spo…

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It has been a long, strange journey for Amphi junior Boe Reh (pronounced Bo Ray), but it’s going quite well right now and should be even greater in years to come. Boe and his family are Karenni, an ethnic group from Burma (now Myanmar) that was the subject of attempted genocide. Many Karenni…

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Igot an email from a dad of a girl I coached in basketball a few years back. I have to say that he came close to being the perfect sports parent. He would show up to the games, root for his daughter and her teammates, not say anything to or about the refs, and never forget that no matter how…

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I grew up in Southern California in the late '60s and early '70s. I’ve always considered myself having grown up in poverty, thus learning to appreciate what’s really important in life, and to have attended schools with a very high percentage of minority students, allowing me to grow up witho…

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For high-school senior athletes, the spring of 2020 was the absolute worst of times. Seasons abruptly canceled, dreams crushed, a permanent cloud of what-might-have-been hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives. They certainly got the worst of it, but for those who followed behin…

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Earlier this year, as long-empty sports stadiums finally started letting fans back in, Mexico was forced to go in the other direction. The national soccer team is known as El Tri (the tricolor of red, white…and green, as Martin Lawrence said in “Blue Streak”). Well, it seems that the many fo…

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Because I am cursed with a pretty-good understanding of mathematics, I don’t gamble. I almost never have. I’ll bet on myself to make a free throw or win a tennis match, but gambling in a casino is a sucker’s bet. (Next time you feel like placing a bet in a huge, lavish casino, stop and try t…

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A Town of Oro Valley lifeguard is building a name for himself in the mixed martial arts community after winning his second professional match in the first minute of the opening round while fighting for an international MMA promotions company.

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My friend Rob and I have been doing basketball stuff (camps, leagues, reffing, playing) for more than two decades. He was a stud athlete in high school and played some ball in college. After college, he got into coaching. He and I actually coached against each other twice. My Amphi Freshman …

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Like many Phoenix fans, I was certain up to the very second that the final horn blew in Milwaukee that the Suns were going to win the first NBA championship in franchise history. Instead, we fans suffered through three straight coulda/shoulda games in which the Suns were down two in the last…

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It’s 5:47 a.m. on what will be another blazing-hot summer day, but for some crazy reason there is a flurry of activity on the Amphi High School tennis courts. At the center of it all is a stud athlete who was born in Scotland back when Harry Truman was president of the United States.

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A year ago at this time, some people were out spreading the virus, but a lot of us were staying close to home, making Netflix ridiculously profitable. (It’s true that Blockbuster Video, at the start of its downward slide, could have bought Netflix for only $50 million.)

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has declared that the pandemic is over. In relative terms, that’s better than some other governors who are now claiming that it never existed. Things are indeed heading in the right direction, but there are people in our society who are dragging their feet, making us …

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No one was really sure how it would turn out or even whether there would be an “it.” Every high-school sports year is full of hopes and dreams, but this past sports year was more one of fear and disappointment. In the end, we got through it in pretty decent shape, although, for the schools i…

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It was the 1993-94 school year and Arizona Wildcat sports fans were flying high. Three giants of the Arizona coaching ranks each had one of his greatest seasons ever, with conference and national championships abounding. Two of those legends have since passed away; one was actually fired fro…

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Around 25 years ago, Isaiah Roebuck’s dad, Sean, was a standout athlete in three sports—football, basketball, and baseball. It was around that time that club teams began emerging from the shadows and specialization in one sport (year-round) began to take hold. Back in the mid-1990s, it wasn’…

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Last year at this time, we were fingers-crossed hopeful that the pandemic would flatten out and maybe run its course in (or maybe even because of) the heat of the summer. A lot of us are again hopeful as we head into June. However, it’s not a matter of “fool me once, shame on you; fool me tw…

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It seems like forever ago that we entered the start of the 2020-21 school year, hopeful that the pandemic could be kept sufficiently at bay, enough to allow some semblance of normalcy for high school student-athletes, and, at the same time, fearful that an entire year would be lost, one for …