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Highland football enters summer with redemption on the mind

The Highland Hawks football team navigated through one of the state’s toughest schedules during the 2020 COVID season with few wounds from top programs.

The Hawks fell to Open Division champion Chandler, runner-up Hamilton and a Queen Creek squad many believed to be a contender in the state’s premier playoff bracket. Highland entered the 6A playoffs as the No. XX overall seed and went on to knock off Casteel and Boulder Creek in thrilling fashion to make the championship game. 

But that is where the Hawks’ run came to an end against Chaparral in a 24-14 loss. Now six months later, the sour taste from that loss in the title game remains. But head coach Brock Farrel believes their internal lo...

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Gilbert seniors help teams contend for state titles

The 2020-21 school year presented an opportunity to achieve redemption for many Gilbert senior athletes after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the spring season in 2020. 

Leading into the fall season, when COVID-19 case metrics reached a high last summer, the focus of many athletes shifted from their what they would do once they get on the field or court to whether they would be able to play at all. The Arizona Interscholastic Association ultimately gave the green light for all sports to go on in condensed seasons, and athletes took advantage.

Mesquite senior Eric Lira was searching for an opportunity after Phoenix Union and Central High School’s football season was initially cancele...

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Gilbert schools well represented at state meet

The 2021 track & field state championships saw the emergence of future powerhouse programs and a star on one of Gilbert’s best teams year in and year out. 

Overall, Gilbert schools were well-represented on the championship podiums, with Highland and Williams Field’s girls placing second overall in their respective divisions. But there were plenty of individual honors also handed out during the two-day event. 

“I think I’ve only scratched the surface of my potential,” Highland sophomore Lainey Jones said. “It was super cool to be able to compete and I think I will only get better.”

Highland’s track & field program competes for a state championship on a regular basis ...

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Mesquite wins 4A title behind the arms of 2 stars

Backs against the wall on several occasions during the 4A baseball championship, Mesquite head coach Jeff Holland never lost faith in his pitching staff. 

Junior right-hander Sebastian Granillo started on the mound for the Wildcats while senior right-handed pitcher Luis Morales came in for the save in midway through the top-half of the sixth frame. Both found themselves in jams throughout their outings, but they both delivered. 

Behind the arms of both Granillo and Morales, second-ranked Mesquite held off No. 4 Salpointe Catholic 2-1 in a rematch of the 2019 4A title game Monday night at Tempe Diablo Stadium.  

“It was déjà vu all over again,” Holland said. “(Salpointe Cath...

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Perry wins nail biter for volleyball championship

It wasn’t long ago that the future of high school sports in Arizona was still up in the air. 

Fast forward to May 15 and the gym inside of Skyline High School was near full capacity for the 6A volleyball championship between top-ranked Perry and No. 2 Sandra Day O’Connor. Students packed the stands, sporting smiles for all to see and created an electric atmosphere that made Saturday’s title game feel like a “normal” sporting event.

The two had faced off earlier in the year, which Perry won with some ease, 3-1. However, the Pumas, who are the top-ranked team nationally, were forced to rally from a deficit to capture the program’s first-ever state title in the decisive fifth set over the Eagl...

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Seton Catholic to create eSports team beginning next school year

Seton Catholic Prep announced Tuesday, May 4 its plan to create an eSports team beginning next school year. 

The team will compete in the eSports league hosted by the Arizona Interscholastic Association, which hosted its inaugural season in 2020 and continues to grow. 

“We have a rich history at Seton Catholic of providing these opportunities for our students and them rising up to participate in multiple things,” Seton Catholic Principal Victor Serna said. “No matter your interest, you can find something at Seton for you. This is a wonderful opportunity to invest in our students and give them a well-rounded Catholic education.”

The start of the eSports program is in respons...

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