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Back in the late 1990s, I was coaching girls’ basketball at Amphi High. We were in the midst of a championship season (as it turns out, the only one in that particular sport in the school’s history), and I was feeling pretty good about things. I happened to mention to the athletic director t…

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It only took a couple hours for six months’ work to come crashing down around Dezmen Roebuck and his Marana High School football teammates. Just a couple weeks earlier, the Tigers seemed like a sure bet to make it to the state tournament. They sat in the 10th spot in the Arizona Interscholas…

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Just last week, the Tommy Lloyd Era of University of Arizona men’s basketball began. I was going to go—just as I had gone to Lute Olson’s first home game and Sean Miller’s first game in McKale—but when I saw that the opponent was NAU, I got the equivalent of the journalistic yips. It can’t h…

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Trek Bicycle in Oro Valley is hosting the Thanksgiving themed food drive for those with two wheels from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday Nov. 21. The event is being put on with the support of other local businesses to benefit the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. 

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Navine Mallon comes from an athletic family. Her older sister, Karena Garcia, was a multi-sport athlete at Flowing Wells. Garcia just graduated from Smith College, where she had competed in cross country and basketball for four years. Navine (pronounced Nuh-veen) also has a brother, Talon Fi…

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The casual observer would have declared last Saturday’s Arizona-Cal football game to be uglier than Steve Buscemi’s Less-Attractive Brother. But to the members of the Wildcat football program and all of their die-hard fans, it was a work of art. It was the Mona Lisa sitting near Monet’s Wate…

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So, for a high-school athlete, what could be greater than winning back-to-back state championships in the sport that you love and at which you excel? The answer is going back-to-back-to-back and grabbing a third consecutive state crown. And, to sprinkle a little extra Awesome Dust all over t…

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You know how we all tend to think of professional golfers as pampered little babies? They have the best equipment and the top caddies and they stay in the best hotels and, occasionally, they make a nice shot. But the rest of the time, they complain. 

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There is a moment in every defensive back’s career, one that brings forward a mix of deep clarity and sheer terror. The other team’s star running back is carrying the ball. He’s running laterally, seeking to reach the edge of all the turmoil involving the two teams’ linemen. If he reaches th…

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All great coaches will, from time to time, speak in clichés. They know what works and they want to share it with their players in a manner that is most succinct. It’s something they’ve been doing for years—or even decades—so, until someone invents a new language, they’re probably going to us…

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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 …