It may seem like the Sedona Red Rock High School girls tennis team is struggling to those not familiar with the Scorpions, but these young ladies have improved drastically over the course of the 2010 season.

Although their record currently stands at 0-11 overall after getting swept Thursday, April 15, by visiting Northwest Christian Academy, Sedona Head Coach Tom Cadigan sees the improvement.

“It’s been really cool to see these girls improve like they have. It’s been a fun team to coach,” Cadigan said Thursday after the match.

Out of 12 girls on the tennis team for the Scorpions, five of them are sophomores and the rest are freshmen.

Yes, freshmen.

There’s no doubt the growing pains are taking their toll, but Cadigan believes these kids can get through it.

In meet one of a doubleheader Thursday, sophomore Katie Furlong and her sophomore doubles partner Gem Boehm-Reifenkugel defeated their Northwest Christian opponents in No. 2 Lauren Bell and Caty Martina, 10-7.

The doubles victory wound up being the only win for Sedona in meet one, with the Scorpions losing 8-1.

Meet two of the day, the second of the doubleheader, was most of the same as the Scorpions lost

8-1, winning a doubles match once again.

Furlong and sophomore Mckenzie Moore teamed up to down Northwest Christian’s

No. 1 doubles team, defeating Alissa Cerahlo and Desi Concepicion, 8-3.

Going back to meet one in singles play, Sedona’s No. 5 freshman Savannah Heit gave her opponent fits but eventually lost, 10-6.

abby_perellaAt No. 3, sophomore Abby Parella lost 10-4, while No. 1 Furlong lost her match, 10-2.

In doubles, Parella and Moore teamed up but suffered a tough 10-6 defeat, then watched as Heit and sophomore Sarah Brown lost an even tougher match, 10-8.

In meet two, Moore was the No. 1 tennis player and came up short, losing 8-4, while Heit’s match at No. 5 ended with the same result, losing 8-4.

“I know the scores don’t show it, but slowly but surely these girls are getting better and it’s exciting,” Cadigan said.

The Scorpions have only two meets left on the schedule with Phoenix Christian Academy coming to town Monday,

April 19. Results were unavailable at press time.

Sedona will end the regular season with a meet against Bourgade Catholic High School on Thursday, April 22, in Sedona.

Official start time is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Boys on a Roll

The boys tennis team for Sedona got the day off Thursday since Northwest Christian only has a girls team, but that shouldn’t stop any momentum built by the Scorpions this season.

Through 10 meets, Sedona is 9-1, having lost only to Mingus Union High School at the beginning of the season.

Players like juniors Keaton Cross and Jade Lewis carry the Scorpions while sophomore Ian O’Heir, junior Nate Sweet and freshmen Steven Sunburge and Cody Chartier continue to improve.

“Our boys look real good. It will be interesting to see what happens when regionals and state come around,” Cadigan said.

Sedona did play Monday against Phoenix Christian, but results were unavailable at press time.

The Scorpions will host Bourgade Catholic tomorrow, pairing with the girls in the season finale.

The golf team at Sedona Red Rock High School seems to steadily improve every week the dual match against Bagdad High School on Tuesday, April 13, was no different.

sedonagolf4-16-1Bagdad wound up winning the dual, shooting a 386 [+98] in 18 holes at Oakcreek Country Club while the Scorpions took second, finishing with an even 400 [+112].

“Most of our kids played some good holes out there and we continue to improve,” Sedona Head Coach Steve Livingstone said.

Scorpion senior Scotty Thompson shot a 44 on the front nine and a 45 on the back to finish the day with an 89 [+17], tieing Bagdad’s Zach Allen for the lead, who shot an 89 as well.

Sophomore Danny Bunker came in second for Sedona with a 94 [+22].

“Danny [Bunker] played very well going into the course, he was nailing all his shots,” Livingstone said.

In third for Sedona came Gabe Greenfield, who shot a 106 [+34], while Zac Johnson came in fourth with a 111 [+39].

“I still think the biggest surprise of the day was Gabe [Greenfield], who was hitting fantastic shots out there. He’s going to be something special,” Livingstone said.

sedonagolf4-16-2Also included was Brooke Biermann, who was fifth overall for the Scorpions with a 116 [+44].

For Bagdad, Austin Buchanon took third overall, just beating out Bunker with a 93 [+21].

Nick Mckillop from Bagdad was fifth overall with a 95 [+23] and Katie Ruiz was seventh overall with a 109 [+37].

The Scorpions will now look forward to the White Mountain Invitational, which is scheduled to take place Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, at Show Low and Snowflake courses in a 36-hole tournament.

The slugging Scorpions at Sedona Red Rock High School made quick work of visiting Phoenix Christian Academy on Tuesday, April 13, defeating the Cougars, 14-1.

Sophomore catcher J.R. Henry got things started in the bottom of the first inning after lead off batter Tyler Hollmann and center fielder Jimmy Grossi reached on singles, doubling in a pair of runs to make it 2-0.

srrhsbaseball4-16After Pedro Ortega Jr. was struck by a pitch — the seventh time that’s happened this season — surprise senior designated hitter Josh Dibiasi singled, scoring Henry to make it 3-0.

“Josh [Dibiasi] has really hit well these last few weeks,” first-year Sedona Head Coach Rob Henry said.

Since the win against Camp Verde on March 30, where Dibiasi hit a towering home run to help ignite a rally, the first of his high school career, Dibiasi has 10 hits and is batting nearly .400.

With a quick 3-0 lead, junior starting pitcher Troy Loparco was able to settle in quickly, pitching three solid innings, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out six Cougar batters with only 41 pitches.

After Sedona took a 10-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning by scoring seven runs, Loparco was pulled after three innings to help save his arm for the Wickenburg High School game, which takes place Friday, April 16.

The Scorpions managed to keep piling on the runs Tuesday, scoring two more in each of the third and fourth innings to take a 14-0 lead heading into the fifth.

Phoenix Christian scratched across a run in the top of the fifth but after three outs were recorded, the umpire called the game due to 10-run mercy rule.

With the victory, Sedona improves to 8-13 overall on the season and currently sit at No. 19 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Thursday, April 15.

Standouts at the plate against Phoenix Christian include Henry, who was 2-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored while Loparco was 2-3 with a big three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to get the seven-run inning started, helping put away the Cougars.

Also a contributor was nine-hole batter Arley Leyva, who was 3-3 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs.

Leyva, or “Big Papi” as his teammates called him, started the season 4-25 at the plate but in his last 28 at bats he has 15 hits, bringing his average above the .300 mark.

The Scorpions have won three of their last four games and will look to continue their winning ways at Wickenburg on Friday, with a first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Scorpions are ranked No. 19 in the state, and are No. 6 in the 3A West region. It is possible the Scorpions can jump to the top 16 in the state and maybe No. 4 in the region if they win their remaining three games on their schedule.

“We would like to play well heading into the region tournament. I think we’re starting to gain momentum,” Henry said.

If the Scorpions stay at No. 6 in the West region, they would more than likely face River Valley High School in the first round of the 3A West regional tournament which is now scheduled to start Saturday, April 24.

The second round of the regional tournament will be Wednesday, April 28, and the championship game will be held Saturday, May 1.

In preparation for the 3A conference state meet, which is a little over four weeks away, the Sedona Red Rock High School track and field team held their second Sedona Invitational of the season, giving runners of all abilities a chance to show their stuff.

“This meet was more for the visiting coaches and ourselves to get a lot of their younger kids some experience. We had junior varsity and varsity runs separate,” Sedona Head Coach Harry Schneider said.

This meet did not keep team scores, but instead kept individual times only. High school track participants were able to qualify for state at the Sedona Invitational on Saturday, April 10, depending on what times they ran.

For the Sedona boys, senior Kevin Cox had a big day, taking first in the 100-meter dash [11.41] and the 200-meter dash [23.45].

srrhstrackandfield4-14In the long jump, Cox’s 20-foot, 4.5-inch leap was only good enough for second place and a good foot off his school record.

Others having a good day Saturday were distance runners Jesus Rivera and Garrett Debs, both seniors.

Rivera finished first in the 800-meter run [1:57.97] and helped the 4x400 and 4x800-meter relay teams take first overall.

Debs took first in the 3,200-meter run [10:11.60] and was on both 4x400 and 4x800-meter relay teams like his teammate Rivera.

Sophomore Chris Oestmann had a solid day himself, finishing first overall in the 110-meter hurdles [16.38] and was second in the high jump with a 6-foot, 1-inch leap.

Also for the boys, A.J. Garnello took first in both the shot put and discus with senior Zach Saxman taking third in both as well.

On the girls side of the track, it seems freshman Mykala Seresun has become somewhat of a phenom, breaking records left and right to the total of seven high school records so far.

Her most recent feat came Saturday in the 3,200-meter run where she broke fellow teammate Sophia Zeno’s record, taking first overall with a 12:23.69 time.

Zeno didn’t feel half bad, however, helping Lydia Mosley, Seresun and Rachel Lillie take first in the 4x800-meter relay event with a 10:32.99 time.

Nyomi Mosley took first in the shot put with a 34-foot, 7-inch throw, and Hope Goimarac took first in the pole vault, soaring 7 feet, 6 inches.

Next up, the Scorpions will have a Purple-White Intra-Squad in Sedona on Wednesday, April 14, with a start time of 3:50 p.m.

Sedona will travel south Saturday, April 17, to participate in the Valley Christian Invitational which is set to begin at 9 a.m.

The Big Park Community School softball team survived a close one Tuesday, April 6, defeating visiting Oak Creek School for their third consecutive victory, 12-11.

“That was a crazy game. We didn’t play all that well,” Big Park Head Coach Greg Aitken said.

bigparksoftball4-9Big Park seventh-grade starting pitcher Emily Aitken toed the mound Tuesday looking to shut down the powerful Oak Creek bats, but a few defensive errors caused Aitken to pull her in the fourth inning.

Leading 12-5 with one out in the fourth and Oak Creek up to bat, Aitken brought on eighth-grade relief pitcher Amber Rippy, who struggled with control early, but found her groove to get the final outs.

Aitken lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits while walking six and striking out seven batters.

Rippy pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks while striking out two.

Oak Creek found a way to put four runs on the board in the top of the fourth inning to cut Big Park’s lead and make it a 12-9 affair.

After Oak Creek scored two more in the top of the fifth inning to make it 12-11, Rippy and her defense locked it down, getting the final two outs at first base for the victory.

“We hit a lot better then we’ve done this season, but it was an ugly game. I’m not sure we played all that well,” Rippy said after the game.

Nevertheless, Big Park improved its record to 4-3 overall on the season, sweeping the season series with Oak Creek, two games to none.

Standouts at the plate Tuesday included Rippy, who was 3-3 with a home run, two RBIs, three runs scored, a walk and two stolen bases.

Setting the table was eighth-grade catcher Collette Costa who in the leadoff spot was 2-4 with a run scored and two stolen bases.

Hitting second was sixth-grade second baseman Ema Keider who walked four times and scored two runs.

Keider also turned a big double play in the third inning to help hold Oak Creek scoreless, the only inning the Roadrunners didn’t manage to get at least one run.

Other standouts included seventh-grade third baseman McKenna Woodford who was 3-4 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored while eighth-grade outfielder Yvette Schlee was 2-4 with two RBIs and one run scored.

“These close games are fun; I’m glad we held on,” Schlee said.

Also, we wouldn’t want to forget eighth-grade first baseman Katie Cea who was 2-3 with two RBIs.

The Coyotes were in action again Thursday, April 8, against crosstown rival West Sedona School. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, Big Park will return home to play Clarkdale-Jerome School on Tuesday, April 13. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

It’s been an up and down season so far for the Sedona Red Rock High School softball team but their 10-2 victory over visiting Chino Valley High School on Friday, April 2, may signal a winning streak.

“If we play like we did Friday, it’s possible we could run the table in our remaining games this season,” second-year Sedona Head Coach John Brown said.

With the victory Friday, Sedona improved its record to 9-8-1 overall on the season and is currently No. 16 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point polls, which were released Tuesday, April 6.

srrhssoftball4-7The offense came to play Friday as most of the Scorpion girls put aside pre-prom thoughts and were able to go out and perform well against a team that handed them a 6-2 loss March 23.

“It was probably the worst we’ve played since I’ve been here when we lost at Chino Valley so it was good to see our girls come out and play like they can the second time around,” Brown said.

Freshman Shelby Cordova toed the mound Friday, keeping the Cougar bats at bay with seven innings pitched, allowing only two runs, which were unearned, on five hits while striking out eight batters.

According to Brown, Cordova’s most impressive stat, however, was her ability to conjure up 12 ground ball outs and only two fly balls the entire game.

Players like sophomore third baseman Whitney Cooper, senior shortstop Jenna Diaz and freshman second baseman Hayley Davis were able to field the ball cleanly for most of the day while junior Paige Brackin had no problems at first base.

With the defense intact, the Scorpions were able to score three runs in the first and second innings to take a 6-0 lead out of the gates.

Chino Valley had a hard time getting a rally going and were only able to scratch across two runs in the top of the fourth.

Sedona added four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, which ended up being the score, 10-2.

Standouts for Sedona included sophomore catcher and leadoff batter Maria Micheli who was 3-4 with a stolen base, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Sophomore center fielder Ashley Haas was 3-3 with a double and two runs scored while Davis was 2-4 with three RBIs and a stolen base.

“I thought Hayley [Davis] had a great game Friday. She really played well,” Brown said.

Cooper wasn’t too bad herself, hitting a triple that just missed an opposite field home run by two feet to begin her day, then finished 2-3 with two RBIs and one run scored.

Cooper seems to be settling in at third base quite nicely with Cordova taking over the pitching duties for the most part.

Brown said Cooper will still get her chances to pitch this season but with the emergence of Cordova on the mound, Sedona is actually better with Cooper at third base despite her gaudy numbers during her freshman campaign.

Remaining Schedule

The remaining regular season schedule for the Scorpions includes the road trip to North Pointe Preparatory on Tuesday, April 6. Results were unavailable at press time.

Also included are two games against Williams High School, and one against Valley Christian Academy, Wickenburg High School, Northwest Christian Academy and Greyhills Academy.

The 3A-West regional tournament begins Tuesday, April 27, where Sedona may receive the No. 2 or No. 3 seed overall if they can win out like Brown suggests.

The 3A state tournament is scheduled to begin Friday, May 7.

Attending one of the biggest track and field meets in the Southwest region which included over 90 schools from six different states, the Sedona Red Rock High School track and field team did quite well.

The Chandler Invitational, which took place Saturday, March 27, at Chandler High School, is considered one of the best meets to participate in, according to Sedona Head Coach Harry Schneider.

srrhstrackdiscus“It’s a quality meet. Our kids get to see what the real world is all about,” Schneider said with a chuckle.

What Schneider means is many times small-school athletes dominate their field of competition but never get a chance to see the best of the best.

Well, that’s what the Chandler Invitational is all about.

Standouts included senior Kevin Cox who finished seventh overall in the 400-meter dash with a 50.66 time, shattering the previous school record which was held by Jesus Rivera.

Speaking of Rivera, the senior track star finished first overall in the open division 1,600-meter run with a 4:21.39, which is also a school record.

The 4:21.39 time would have placed Rivera seventh overall in the seeded event.

Rivera also placed fourth overall in the 800-meter run with a 1:56.76 time, only 0.62 seconds off his school record of 1:56.14.

Going back to Cox, the young man finished seventh overall in the long jump with a 20-foot, 9-inch try and was a part of the 4x400-meter relay team, which finished with their best time of the season Saturday, 3:32.70.

Rivera, junior Tristan Whittaker and senior Garrett Debs were Cox’s teammates in the relay.

“It was the last race of the night and it was a bit windy and chilly, and they still had the best time of the season,” Schneider said.

In his own race, Debs took fifth overall in the 1,600-meter seeded run with a 4:27.35 time.

Last but not least, junior A.J. Garnello finished 15th overall in the discus with a 130-foot, 7-inch throw and was 15th in the shot put with a 46-foot, 6-inch throw.

Of course there were a few girls in attendance at Chandler for the Scorpions as well Saturday, with two outstanding finishes by two athletes.

Senior Sophia Zeno finished seventh overall in the open division 1,600-meter run with a 5:34.06 time.

In the unseeded 1,600-meter run, freshman Mykala Seresun finished fourth overall with a 5:34.98 time, just missing the school record by two seconds.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Sedona Red Rock High School golf team finished second overall out of three teams Thursday, March 25, at the Sedona Golf Resort, showing improvement on the back nine toward the end of play.

“Our scores prove that we were better on the second half of the golf course, better than all three teams. The kids are improving and we’re glad to see it,” Sedona Head Coach Steve Livingstone said.

Bagdad High School took home the first-place team trophy with a 379 [+24] stroke score while the Scorpions took second with a 397 [+42] and River Valley High School came in third with a 403 [+48].

srrhsgolfthompsonThe overall winner, however, in Thursday’s 18-hole match was Sedona’s own Scotty Thompson who shot an 85 [+14] on the day.

Thompson, a junior, took a 47 into the back nine but finished strong with a 38 to wrap up his day.

In second came Zach Allen from Bagdad who shot an 89 [+18] while Bagdad teammate Nick McKillon was third with a 90 [+19].

River Valley’s Jared Lehman shot a 95 [+24] good enough for fourth place while Bagdad golfer Austin Buchanon shot a 95 [+24] as well to wrap up the top five.

For the Scorpions, sophomore Danny Bunker came in second behind Thompson with a 96 [+25] but improved by eight strokes coming out of the course after shooting a 52 going in.

Brooke Biermann finished third overall for the Scorpions with a 106 [+35] and improved by six strokes on holes 10 through 18 while teammate Zac Johnson finished fourth with a 110 [+39], improving by 12 strokes after he shot a 61 on the first nine and a 49 on the last nine.

Perhaps the most improved golfer of the day was sophomore Scorpion Gabe Greenfield who shot a 67 on the first nine holes but improved on the next nine by 21 strokes, shooting a 46 to finish with a 113 [+42] and wrap up the top five for Sedona.

“We made great improvement in the second nine and I think that’s a good sign that we are improving,” Livingstone said.

With the second-place finish, Sedona improves to 5-5 overall on the season.

The Scorpions were in action again Tuesday, March 30, when they traveled to Cornville and played host to Payson High School, Camp Verde High School and Wickenburg High School at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course. Results were unavailable at press time.

Next up, Sedona will host Chino Valley High School and Estrella Foothills High School in a three-way match at Oakcreek Country Club on Thursday, April 1.

Thursday’s match is a scheduled 18-hole event and tee time is set for 12:30 p.m.