Cactus Shadows Cheer going for gold!

By Andy Gesell | July 9, 2008

cheerCSHS – Thursday, July 10 the Cactus Shadows Varsity cheer squad departs for four days to the United Spirit Association “camp of champs” in Irvine, Calif. This will be the Lady Falcons first summer training camp experience at the Varsity Elite level. Only cheerleaders who have advanced to the finals at a national competition are invited to attend this camp, making this a challenging opportunity for the CSHS squad. With their Cactus Shadows Dance partners, cheer has won the A.I.A “Spirit Line” State Championship three consecutive years. At the March 6-8, 2008 “U.S.A.” National Cheer Championships in Anaheim Varsity placed an impressive second. Head Coach Rika Cuff encourages, “next March, our girls are vowing to bring home the gold!”

Being in CS cheer has always been physically demanding, but this summer, even more so. Practicing three days each week from 7-10 a.m. in what was formerly the BMES cafeteria, the team has been working with only floor fans for cooling. Not the most ideal place or time for serious training.

Senior Emily Johnson told Sonoran News that in spite of the difficult conditions, the team as progressed well. “We’re off to a good start, and to train for four days at the Varsity Elite level will definitely help us prepare for our 2009 season.

” Coach Cuff advised this writer that during the “camp of champs,” she and Varsity Assistant Coach Theresa Chung, for the second year, will select four captains for the 2008-2009 school year. Junior Varsity Head Coach Cindy Knuteson will do likewise for her group.

Photo caption: Seniors Emily Johnson and Jessica Gray (front, in white tank tops) are part of the Varsity cheer squad in training at the Black Mountain Elementary School cafeteria who will soon be departing for training camp in Irvine, Calif.
Photo by Andy Gesell

Arizona Big Game Super Raffle deadline is Sunday

Special hunt tags raise funds for wildlife conservation

PHOENIX – Want a chance at a hunt of a lifetime, for as little as $5? The Arizona Big Game Super Raffle has nine special big game tags up for raffle to raise money for wildlife in Arizona. The deadline to purchase tickets is this Sunday, July 13 by 6 p.m. (Arizona time).

The big game tags up for raffle include one each for pronghorn antelope, black bear, buffalo, Coues whitetail, desert bighorn sheep, elk, javelina, mule deer, and turkey. In addition, there will be a Swarovski optics package raffled, which will pay for the administration costs of the Super Raffle.

Launched in 2006, by a consortium of sportsmen’s/ conservation groups in cooperation with the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, as a way to raise money for wildlife habitat work the Arizona Big Game Super Raffle returns all ticket proceeds to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Every dollar raised for each species will go directly toward the management of that particular species.
Last year’s raffle raised $557,641.

Raffle tickets cost between $5 and $25, depending on species, and can only be purchased online at www.arizonabiggame The site is a Authorize.Net verified merchant site and they accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards.

The public drawing is Saturday, July 19 at 3:30 p.m. at El Zaribah Shrine, 552 N. 40th Street in Phoenix during the Arizona Antelope Foundation fundraising banquet.
Special big game tags are granted to qualifying nonprofit organizations, dedicated to wildlife conservation, by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission through a public application process each year per A.R.S. § 17-346 and R12-4-120.

Wildlife conservation and management of game animals by the Arizona Game and Fish Department is made possible by funding generated from the sale of hunting licenses, hunt permit-tags, and matching funds from federal excise taxes hunters pay on guns, ammunition and related equipment.

For more information visit