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Retirement hasn’t stopped Lauren Robinson from living for her students in the pool.

Rock Shrimps Swim Coach Lauren Robinson, with Joshua Hart, Skyrah Wilmer and Acacia Widmer, from left, before classes at the Sedona Community Pool.
In fact, the Southbury, Conn., native, who moved to Sedona in 2006 after 31 years as a swimming coach, physical education teacher and middle school administrator, hopes to see more local swimmers gain experience at the Sedona Community Pool.

“I think we’re going to have, for sign-ups, definitely eight,” Robinson said prior to the first practice of the Sedona Rock Shrimps, the new summer recreation team for children 5 to 8 years old. “I have one boy — hoping to pick up some more.”

Beginning Monday, May 4, home-schooled swimmers as well as students from local charter and public schools will practice Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the Rock Shrimps from 4 to 5 p.m.

“We concentrate on a lot of endurance — kicking, swimming, doing laps,” she said. “We’ll see what happens after the month of May.

“There’s a wide range of ability right now — from West Sedona, from charter schools, from Big Park Community School.”

For the full story, more photos and summer pool schedule, please see the Wednesday, April 23, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Seniors Emily Aitken, Sophie Copenhaver and Kristina Schindele will be going out on top in front of their home fans Friday, April 24.

freshman Nikki Zielinski pops up the pitch for Sedona Red Rock High School in a 4-2 loss April 10 at Camp Verde High School. The Scorpions have won four in a row going into their final home game Friday, April 24, against Combs High School.
The three seniors, four-year veterans of the Sedona Red Rock High School softball program, have built it to its highest Arizona Interscholastic Association ranking — 10th — since beginning Division III play in 2008.

They, along with Ghanaian exchange student Khardijah Yussif, will be honored with their parents and head coach Mike Keider at Senior Night against Combs High School.

Although the eighth-ranked SRRHS baseball team won’t be sending off its six seniors until Wednesday, April 29, head coach Craig Eagle’s Scorpions also are enjoying their loftiest Division III perch in a generation going into their stiffest road test of the season: The sixth-ranked Coyotes, in the San Tan Valley, on April 24.

To the victor of the next five days will go the spoils: A bye to the second round of State and second place in the most competitive section in Division III.

Senior Scott Moker, the staff ace for the SRRHS baseball team, will also be tested in his start at Combs.

For the full story, please see the Friday, April 24, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

An experienced group of six Sedona Red Rock High School athletes will take the tennis court in the final postseason for boys head coach Duane Edwards beginning Friday, April 24.

Junior Peter Hoyle strokes a volley at a recent Sedona Red Rock High School practice. The Scorpions as a team did not make State, but Hoyle will join senior Victor Gomes in the doubles tournament, while senior Max Hauserman will open State singles play Friday, April 24.

While no postseason awaits either Scorpions tennis team, seniors Victor Gomes and Max Hauserman will join junior Peter Hoyle in Phoenix at the Paseo Racquet Center for the Division III boys singles and doubles tournaments.

“Victor’s a senior, he’s really improved,” Edwards said. “When you think of how far Victor’s come, it’s extraordinary. At the beginning of the year, he hadn’t swung a racket.”

It’s the final postseason journey for Edwards, who will be moving with his family to the Washington, D.C., area over the summer.

 “It would be nice to be able to get to that second weekend,” Edwards said. “That would be an optimal goal, even to get to the second day.”

On the girls’ side, senior California transfer Sam Muellner will represent the Scorpions in singles, while more veteran seniors Keely Miller and Yvesche Schlee will handle doubles.

They will shoot to advance to the Division III quarterfinals.

Girls head coach Phil Kovac will take over coaching responsibilities for both teams.

Sophomore Fernanda Valencia reaches down to hit a forehand return during serving drills at a recent practice. Senior Sam Muellner will play singles in the girls tournament while seniors Keely Miller and Yvesche Schlee will handle doubles.

For the full story, please see the Friday, April 24, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

After a surprise Verde Valley League tournament title last season, the West Sedona School baseball team will be the favorite heading into the postseason tournament Friday, April 24.

Eighth-grader Nate Ross trots to first base after working a walk during a game at West Sedona School against Mayer Elementary School. Ross, the Wildcats’ second baseman, will help top-seeded West Sedona attempt to repeat as Verde Valley League tournament champions. The two-day tournament begins Friday, April 24, in Mayer.

A 17-16 comeback win April 9 over the Clarkdale-Jerome School that clinched the top seed for the Wildcats had a surprise hero. With eighth-graders Angel Betancourt and Bradley Howard in scoring position, it was seventh-grader Trevor Zarlingo whose line drive ended the game with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Wildcats down a run.

“It was exciting for the last home game,” said Wildcats head coach Pedro Ortega Sr. “We were over our two-hour time limit. It was a kind of wild, kind of crazy game.”

Zarlingo’s two-RBI single came after shortstop Evan Favorite was intentionally walked by the Mingus Rams to load the bases.

“It surprised me a little that they walked Favorite,” Ortega said. “Maybe they were thinking double play? I don’t know.”

The comeback win came just two days after the Wildcats [9-1] avenged their only loss to Camp Verde Middle School, 9-0. Howard, son of WSS assistant coach Brad Howard, was in control on the mound April 7 after a 9-8 loss March 5 at CVMS.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 23, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

Ask Dennis Mobley, head golf coachof Sedona Red Rock High School, how good the Scorpions are this spring, and he will tell you:

"This may be the best golf team in school history."

Senior Savanah Cooper hits her approach shot out of the rough on the third hole at Seven Canyons Golf Course during the Scorpions’ April 9 win over Northwest Christian. Cooper, daughter of assistant coach Monty Cooper, won the River Valley Invitational women’s division Tuesday, April 14, in Needles, Calif., finishing 15th overall.

That was the sentiment after SRRHS [11-1] enjoyed a five-day period in which it avenged its only loss at Seven Canyons Golf Course, then broke the all-time scoring record to win the River Valley Invitational in Needles, Calif.

"Our team is hitting on all cylinders,” Mobley said. “Statistically, they are very comparable to the 2002 group that went on to win their state championship by 36 strokes."

The guiding force behind the emergence of the Scorpions as one of Arizona’s best high school golf teams, according to Mobley, has been assistant coach Monty Cooper — whose daughter, Savanah, shot a 158 Monday and Tuesday, April 13 and 14, to win the women’s division in Needles.

"He doesn’t receive the credit he deserves," Mobley said. "[He] has fine-tuned this group to perform what I consider to be magic on the golf course."

For the full story and more photos, please see the Friday, April 15, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

The Verde Valley Vipers wrapped up their spring soccer season with second- and third-place finishes in two tournaments over fields totaling 20 teams.

Jordan McCabe, left, of the Verde Valley Vipers, power kicks the ball away from a Lake Havasu City Lions defender Saturday, April 11, in Bullhead City. The Vipers, composed of local American Youth Soccer Organization players ages 10 and under, shut out the Lions to open the River Daze Open Invitational. They would end up in third place.
After a controversial clock extension lost the championship of the Far West Classic for the local American Youth Soccer Organization team, consisting of boys from Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek ages 10 years old and under, the Vipers rebounded by finishing third Sunday, April 12, at the River Daze Open Invitational in Bullhead City.

“I thought they played really well,” said head coach and Village resident Jason Metzger. “They just ran into a very skilled team from California.”

The Vipers dropped their second game, 5-2 to the Striking Chivas, a team from North Torrance, Calif., on Saturday, April 11. They opened the tournament with a shutout of the Lake Havasu City Lions, 5-0.

For the full story, please see the Friday, April 15, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

The competition for the Verde Valley’s best track and field thrower has heated up at Sedona Red Rock High School.

Senior Marisa Carrara has emerged as the leading discus thrower for Sedona Red Rock High School. Her throw of 112 feet,  7 inches is the second best in Division III.
While sophomore Hannah Ringel is the up-and-coming Scorpions shot put star, senior Marisa Carrara has emerged from relative obscurity her junior year to take three discus gold medals by the halfway point of the SRRHS schedule.

“We both have our events we’re really good in,” said Carrara, practicing her throws for a seven-team invitational at Mingus Union High School on Friday, April 17. “We just motivate each other to throw farther. She’ll tell me what I can fix with my technique.”

Carrara threw the discus an inch over 107 feet to win the event April 4 at the Red Rock Invitational, with Ringel’s 101-foot, 5-inch throw right behind her in second place. Only Show Low High School senior Sayge McKrill has thrown the discus farther in Division III this spring than Carrara.

“I’m still waiting to compete with the other girl at Show Low, because I can use that to motivate me,” Carrara said. “I’ve never competed against her, so it’s kind of hard.”

In the shot put, the finishes were reversed April 4, as Ringel finished second and Carrara third with throws of 37 feet, 2 inches and 30 feet 9 inches, respectively. They would have finished first and second in the event, but Camp Verde High School senior Viola Logston threw 39 feet, 9 inches — the best shot put in all of Division III this spring.

Carrara hopes to throw the shot put 35 feet by the time she travels to Mesa Community College for the Division III state championships Friday, May 8.

 For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 15, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

The edge in confidence can be found on the diamonds at Sedona Red Rock High School.

Senior Emily Aitken pitches for Sedona Red Rock High School softball Friday, April 10, at Camp Verde High School. After allowing the first three runs she faced to score, Aitken gave up just one run the rest of the game in a 4-2 loss.
The Scorpions, behind the pitching of seniors Emily Aitken and Scott Moker, have shaken off early-season errors to climb into a top-16 playoff seed in the Division III state tournament.

After a home-and-away matchup Tuesday, April 14, with Chino Valley High School, the Scorpions will remain on the inside track for the last at-bat in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Saturday, May 2, in Phoenix.

Were it not for the 13 strikeouts pitched by Camp Verde High School senior Madison Garcia, it would’ve been a clean sweep for SRRHS of its cross-Valley rival Friday, April 10.

While Moker threw his second shutout of the year at the Cowboys in a 5-0 triumph, Garcia coaxed a Scorpions lineout and a groundout with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning to preserve the 4-2 softball win.

Senior Scott Moker got two hits and batted in two runs in a 5-0 win April 10. He threw 61 pitches in the complete-game, two-hit shutout of the Cowboys.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 15, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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