May 4, 2005 - Ironwood Ridge and Catalina Foothills high schools have both been honored with the Class 4A award for excellence in athletics from the Arizona Interscholastic Association. The awards are given annually to one school from each of 4A's six regions based on region and state titles, as well as for placing as state and region runner-up. The award, similar to the collegiate Sears Cup, is based on performances of athletic teams from January through December. Besides winning the award in the Kino region, Foothills also took top honors among all Class 4A schools.
USA Today ranked Canyon Del Oro High School's softball squad among the top 25 in the nation in its first Super 25 Softball Rankings on April 27. The Dorados are 22-3, 11-1 on the season and sit atop the Class 5A Southern Region. CDO's lone region loss came against Sahuaro High School on April 5. After a first-round bye, the post-season will kick off for the Dorados on May 4 in the championship game of the region playoffs. Game time will be 6 p.m. at Cherry Field on the campus of Tucson High School.
Marana High School was well represented as the recent Tucson Rodeo of the Arizona High School Rodeo Association. Held at the Pima County Fairgrounds, April 23, the rodeo is part of a traveling circuit that competes throughout the state. On the boys' side, Mike Allison and Ryan Alexander of Marana rode off with first place finishes in bull riding and calf roping respectively. Marana senior Erin Parsons did not win any events but did place third in goat tying, seventh in the barrel race and 12th in breakaway roping. Overall for the season, Parsons, who will attend New Mexico State next fall, is first in girls' cutting and second in goat tying. The high school rodeo season has one more meet in May before the finals, which will be held June 10 through 12 at Apache Gold Casino in Globe.
The 9-year-old squad of the Knickerbocker Baseball Academy, based in Marana, is starting to make some noise in Arizona and beyond. The squad, which plays against 10-year-olds, is currently ranked No. 1 in Arizona and No. 19 in the Far West Power Polls. The academy is not affiliated with any local organizations, and plays in tournaments in Arizona and neighboring states. Recently, the team finished second at a Las Vegas tourney. Among the many goals of the academy, the ultimate road trip the organization is attempting is a chance to represent Arizona among the 80 teams in next year's tournament in Cooperstown, N.Y., the mythical birthplace of baseball and home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Soccer with an accent
The Canyon Del Oro Charlton Athletic US Soccer Academy will hold open trials May 7 and 8 at Riverfront Park, 551 W. Lambert Road. To launch the new academy, Steve Gritt, a former first team coach and director of the English Premier League, will bring in coaches from England to assist in the academy's creation. More information can be found at www.cafcussa.com/tucsonhome or by calling Paul Topping at 390-2202.