Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

Members of the baseball team warm up before their home game against Maricopa Wells on Aug. 30. (Photo by Jaden Miner)

Members of the baseball team warm up before their home game against Maricopa Wells on Aug. 30. (Photo by Jaden Miner)

By Kylee Demauro
Cougar News Blog

     The Cactus Canyon softball team took its first loss in four years to Benjamin Franklin Charter High School. Despite the loss in the season opener on Aug. 25, the team has high hopes for the season.
     Entering the season, the Cougars had won 40 consecutive games and four straight league championships. The team has started a new three-game winning streak, but players don’t feel there is pressure to continue the title run, although it is the Cougars’ goal.
     “The pressure isn’t that bad,” said eighth-grader Elizabeth Cardenas. “You just have to have a positive attitude about everything.”
     The baseball team has started its season with a record of 4-0 and believe they have a chance to win the championship this season. Cactus Canyon has won the Desert Middle School Athletic League two times and their goal is to go back and win for a third time.
     “(My goal this season is) to win the championship and have an undefeated season, ” said Jaden Unise.
     Softball coach Bill Wilson and baseball coach Ramon Figueroa have worked to get players prepared for the season. Coach Wilson says his team needs to work on self confidence. He explained that his group of girls have, “a great attitude and will be fine.”
     “I prepare by making sure that we run drills that help the talent level that we have,” said Coach Wilson. “I expect us to win the league and tournament.”
     Many of the eighth graders on the softball and baseball team are excited to be leaders. They now get to teach the seventh graders a few things to help them through the season. The student athletes are excited and the eighth graders are ready to help out who they can. The two teams have their goals, but are still learning how to reach them.
     “I feel good because I can help the seventh graders to be better next year,” said Brian Favia.

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IMG_5662By Jessica M.
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyon Junior High’s softball and baseball teams both won Desert Middle School Athletic League championships this fall; thanks to all their hard work and practice.
     Both teams practiced very hard and the athletes learned many lessons for the game and in life. Playing the sport made the students more confident and taught them that winning requires a lot of serious practice and effort.
     “The girls learned how teamwork is so important in life in general, not just in softball, and that it takes hard work to get where you want to be,” says softball coach Bill Wilson.
     For the Lady Cougars, this is the fourth year in a row they have been victorious. The girls learned a lot from their experience and practiced very hard for another win this year.
     Eighth grader Lauren Powell says, “A lot of preparations went into winning the championships and going with an undefeated season such as always hustling while at practice and being serious during practice.”
     The teams will continue to be confident in what they do, while putting a lot of hard work into everything. They also gained discipline, a good work ethic, and realized how important their hard work can be. The students have impressed their coaches with their preparations, effort, and dedication.
     “Boys worked hard and I can’t wait to see them on my high school team,” said baseball coach Ramon Figueroa.
     The softball team hopes to keep their streak of wins going and their coach has confidence in the team, for next year.
     “We should be very good, next year and win it all again,” says Coach Wilson.

Photo by Talon Izbicki

Photo by Talon Izbicki

By Jaden Erschen
Cougar News Blog

     As the Cactus Canyon baseball team moves toward the finish of the regular season, the players hope to bring a Desert Middle School Athletic League championship trophy back to CCJH.
     The Cougars have mindsets of champions and hope that they can make a title run in the 2015 season. They made it to the final game last year but couldn’t bring home a win and suffered their only loss of the 2014 season.
     “My goal is to go back to the championship and take home a win this time,” said eighth grader Trevor Fahrenbruch.
     Many student athletes have been working extra hard his season by doing extra batting and throwing.
     “A lot of batting and throwing, also cut-offs” said Thomas Duarte.
     The team has shown many strengths, including pitching and infield, throughout the season while posting a 9-1 record. Coach Ramon Figueroa said there are always ways to improve.
     “Pitching seems to be our strength,” said Coach Figueroa. “But we need to go over fundamentals and knowledge of the game. They have talent but they need to become students of the game.”
     The Cougars host their first playoff game at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1. With a victory, they will host the title game on Saturday.

The Cactus Canyon baseball team received $1,000 from the Arizona Diamondbacks to purchase new uniforms.

The Cactus Canyon baseball team received $1,000 from the Arizona Diamondbacks to purchase new uniforms.

By Chris Munro
Cougar News Blog

     For six years the CCJH baseball team has been running, swinging and sliding in the same jerseys. There will be no shabby-looking uniforms this season, however, because in July, the Cougars received $1,000 Play Ball grant to fund new jerseys.
     The Play Ball fund is basically an Arizona Diamondbacks program that allows organizations to get baseball equipment or jerseys by opening an application that includes a a summary of why they it is needed. Each month, 10 applications are selected to receive the grant.
     Athletic Director Chad Cantrell said that CCJH had to apply by writing a brief summary of why CCJH needed the grant.
     “I don’t know how many groups applied,” he said. “The grant is open to schools, leagues and organizations.”
     Baseball player Seth Peterson says that he thinks the team will look more professional in the new jerseys, but it doesn’t mean the team will win more games.
     “I don’t think it will affect how I play baseball,” said Peterson.
     Mr. Cantrell stated that the new jerseys are button-up, short-sleeve, red Nike jerseys and that he hopes the grant helps students see that members of the community believes in them.
     “I want them to recognize the whole world of support out there for them,” he said.

Photo by Kaileah Goucher

Photo by Kaileah Goucher

By Hannah Wolfe
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon Junior High is swinging back into baseball season. The new coach for the Cougar baseball team, Allen Liebau, has many of goals for this season, but his ultimate goal is to bring his team together and win the championship.
After opening the season with a win over Mountain Vista, players on the team say that they think the team will do well this season, but they do have some strong parts and things they need to work on.
“The strongest points of our team at this moment are defense and leadership,” said Coach Liebau. “We have a lot of returning players that have a strong leadership role on the team. But, team needs to come together as a team and work toward the common goals.”
While a winning season is important, the coach said he especially wants his Cougars to improve as players and people.
“They will learn how to work together to achieve a common goal, how to be a better teammate and how to enjoy playing baseball,” said Coach Liebau.
A total of 37 athletes tried out this year, with 17 making the team when tryouts took place Aug. 11 through Aug. 14. The team has been practicing throughout the week since. Liebau expects the returning baseball players to be role models that lead the team toward success.
“My favorite part about baseball season is that I get to do what I love, and also help the team that I love win,” said eighth grade student John Christensen.
Games will start at approximately 4:15 pm. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Home games will be played at Apache Junction High School’s baseball field, and visiting games will be played at different middle schools around Pinal County.

By Mario Duran
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon Junior High is striking out gender barriers with its brand new addition to the school baseball team.
Hailli Wilson made her debut as an infielder and the first girl on the Cougars baseball team this year. The team has always been entirely made up of boys up until now.
“I like to think that I am treated like one of the guys,” said Wilson. “We have always been a team with a common goal.”
Wilson follows the same procedures as the rest of the boys on the team, but she has to change into uniform in the girls locker room.
“The daily routine hasn’t changed,” said Gage Stenhouse, one of Wilson’s teammates. “The team seems to treat her no different than anybody else.”
Even though this is her first year on the school team, Wilson has been playing ball since she was 6 years old. She plans to remain in baseball for as long as she is able. There have been girls on other school sports teams including wrestling and football, but this is the first for baseball.
“I have never considered switching to softball,” said Wilson. “I will continue to do my very best and go as far as I can.”
Although the baseball team finished with a .500 season, Wilson has no regrets of choosing it over the softball team, which had a perfect season.
“They [softball team] work very hard and deserve the reward that they work for,” said Wilson. “I will root for them all the way and wish them luck.”
Wilson was put in to catch during the last inning of the last game of the regular season, which meant she had limited game time during the season. She plans to practice on weekends during the offseason to be ready for next season.
“[Next year] I will be 200 percent better,” said Wilson. “I am out at the field working my heart out to be the player I want to be.”

By Cassidy Hoxeng
Cougar News Blog

This year the Cactus Canyon baseball team had more than 40 students tryout. Unfortunately, they had only 19 spots open.
Head coach Carlos Acosta said it was very difficult to choose the final squad.
“We had two grades tryout out for one team and that’s tough. I had to cut kids I truly care for,” said Acosta.
After going undefeated last season, Acosta has high expectations for his team. They are very confident about making it back to the championship game.
“We expect to win and stay undefeated, but with 14 seventh graders and only five eighth graders, we will take it one game at a time,” he said. “Our plan is to bring home another banner to CCJHS.”
The Cougars have been preparing to work hard on their skills and weaknesses for the new season. In addition to making his team better baseball players, the coach wants his to grow as people.
“I expect the team to experience what it takes to become a respected athlete,” said Acosta. “We will not only build baseball players we will build respectable young men. We focus on fundamentals and attitude throughout the year.”
The players said they have been working hard to prepare for the season.
“I have been working on my bat speed and base running and they seem to be improving,” said eighth-grader Gage Stenhouse. “The key to baseball is confidence.”
There are many people that need to be thanked for the success of the baseball program.
“(I) want to thank the administration for helping us turn last year has pushed us to the next level,” Acosta says.
The Cougars first game will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at Mountain Vista. The game will start at 4:15 p.m.

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By Sam Collins
Cougar News Blog

Cactus Canyon Junior High brought home two championships during the first sports season, the first for baseball and softball. Both teams came out undefeated the entire season.
At the championships, both the lady Cougars and the boys went against Mountain Vista and dominated. The softball team won 19-2 and the baseball squad won 14-1.
The softball team trained and played just like a family, and that’s one of the main reasons they were so successful. Baseball players worked hard and never gave up, that was their strength. Coaches of both teams said they were very proud of the way the teams played and represented CCJH.
“The girls had a great season, they never gave in,” softball coach Bill Wilson, said. “They hustled and ran the bases very aggressively, learning how to avoid the tag and working together as a team.”
Most of the seventh graders plan to return to the team next year. Eighth graders want to try out for the high school teams next year. All the players want to continue playing for a while, hopefully as one big happy family.
“We didn’t get our victories because we were good,” softball player and captain Brittany Gadberry said. “We pulled out these amazing victories by being a family.”
One day, two victories.
The CCJH baseball team swept Desert Winds in a sort-of doubleheader on Thursday. The first game was a continuation of an earlier contest that had to be stopped early due to darkness. That game left off in extra innings with the teams tied at 3-3, but continuation did not last long as the Cougars quickly scored to win 4-3.
Nick Mohn’s single drove in the winning run and Prescott Horn pitched two shutout innings for Cactus Canyon.
The Cougars made sure the second game wasn’t as close, scoring five runs in the first inning on their way to an 8-4 win.
Moises Rascon had three RBIs for CCJH, while Cody Uhl had two. Justin Anderson was the winning pitcher and Nick Mohn made a diving catch in center field to stop a bases-loaded threat in the final inning.
“We’re playing good baseball,” coach Carlos Acosta said. “CCJH baseball has really stepped up and is coming together as a team.”
The CCJH baseball team defeated Hohokam 17-2 Tuesday in Apache Junction.
The Cougars were led at the plate by Moises Rascon, who hit a home run and added four RBIs. Ian McIntyre, Nick Mohn, and Prescott Horn each added two hits.
“Our bats got going early and never stopped,” said coach Carlos Acosta. “This was a complete team effort with 15 out of 19 players contributing.”