NOVEMBER 6, 2013

Fourth quarter rally lifts Falcons to 25-21 come-back over Arcadia

For Cactus Shadows, 6-4 regular season trumps no State Playoffs berth
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cshs football captains

“Cel-e-bra-tion time! Come on!” Postgame at “Senior Night”, Quad-Captains (l-r) Brad Souva, Nathan Brockman, Corey Harper and Tanner Buchert celebrate Falcon victory that capped their first winning regular season since 2010.  Photo courtesy Rika Cuff

Readers, how many times have you employed (or heard) the expression “Save the best ‘til last”? Well, at “Senior Night,” November 1, hosting the Arcadia Titans, the Falcons did exactly that! Trailing 10-21 at the end of three quarters, 1) the Falcon offense put up 15 points, 2) the “D-Rob Defenders” hung a 4th quarter zero on the Titans and 3) the homestaanding ‘Birds rallied to a 25-21 victory in their 2013 season finale.

The comeback win boosted the Falcons to a 6-4 mark, recording Cactus Shadows’ first winning season since 2010. Congratulations to Head Coach Greg Davis, his assistant coaches and, of course, to the Falcons, who fought through a series of season-ending injuries to key players. Beating #25 Arcadia kept the Falcons at #18 in MaxPreps rankings, a little short of qualifying for the Division II State Playoffs.

In this writer’s opinion, that should be a minor disappointment. With no higher than a #15 or #16 seeding likely, the Falcons, in the first round, would have faced – realistically – a predictable beat-down from either Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic  (a l-o-n-g bus ride from CSHS) or (gag!) Chaparral. Thanks, but no thanks. Better to stay right at home, enjoying their 2013 achievement – and the companion encouragement for 2014 and seasons beyond.

The Falcon’s 4th quarter rally was ignited by a touchdown pass from sophomore reserve QB Devan Norris to junior receiver Nick Bobelick. A Norris to Bobelick pass was successful for the two-point conversion. The go-ahead touchdown was scored on a rush by sophomore running back Antonio Marchica, who booted the P.A.T. to go along with his 2nd quarter field goal. The Falcons had led 10-7 at the half, then the Titans put up 14 unanswered points in the 3rd to lead by 11, before the Falcon comeback in the last 12 minutes. For their fans in the West Stands, it was an exciting finish to the 2013 season.

From early May’s spring practice to last Friday “under the lights,” it’s been a long road for these Falcons – a road with its share of unexpected obstacles and detours, but they kept on truckin’. As the familiar adage encourages, “All’s well that ends well.” This season most certainly did. Falcons, be proud!

Thanks are due to every person who helped make possible Sonoran News coverage of CSHS football. First, to Sonoran News readers: Thanks for your interest – and for considering my articles, at times, opinionated.

Close behind, to my Co-Publishers Don and Shari Jo Sorchych: thanks for allocating weekly space to my writing in your newspaper.

At Cactus Shadows, I have a long list: to Athletic Director Mike Siwek, for his accessibility and authorization; to Head Football Coach Greg Davis, Assistant Coach Jim Marando and the Falcons seniors for their generous “profiles” time and cooperation; to Spirit Line Head Coach Rika Cuff for her Game No. 1 and “Senior Night” photographic help; to Student Council faculty advisors Cameron Bender and Allison Zilka for their Homecoming 2013 input; and to Executive Assistants Peggy Back and Bonnie Nystrom, who, on no advance notice, often helped me with important names and class identifications.

To the Queen of Watermelon Margaritas, football parent Christine (Mrs. John) Leonard, who endured my weekend telephone calls for scores and highlights. Thanks for being my “eyes and ears.”

And last, but certainly not least, to my colleague, Rachel Karls-Gomes, Production Manager at Sonoran News. Her unfailing good humor and boundless patience kept me going – and on deadline!

Here’s hoping to “see” everyone next summer and fall, if not before. And a Happy Thanksgiving Season to all!

~ Pete Mohr

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

Spirit Line’s Coach Rika Cuff recognized at “Senior Night” Halftime

rika cuffMuch to her surprise, CSHS Spirit Line (Cheer, Pom & Dance) Head Coach Rika Cuff was deservedly recognized at the halftime presentation of senior honorees and their sponsors (listed in the right column, alphabetically, by team).

At the end of the current school year, Coach Cuff, who was named head coach of Cactus Shadows Cheer in 2005, will be moving with her family to Carrollton, Georgia, approximately one hour west of Atlanta. Four years ago, Cheer and Pom & Dance were consolidated into Spirit Line under Coach Cuff’s leadership.

From 2006 through 2013, the Lady Falcons won seven A.I.A. Spirit Line State Championships, a record that, in all likelihood, will never be equaled in Arizona high school sports. To offer that Coach Cuff will be greatly missed by all at Cactus Shadows is, hands-down, the understatement of the year!

As a going away present, this writer has given Coach Cuff the following slogan for her last A.I.A. Stated Championships at Tim’s Toyota Center (Prescott Valley) in early February: “Win Number Eight Is Gonna Be Great!”

To Coach Rika Cuff: wishing you and your family “smooth seas and following winds.”

~ Pete Mohr

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

Cross Country Runners head to State

cshs cross countryPhoto courtesy Jim Oswald

Coming off their winning performances in last week’s Sectional competition, (Boys, 1st; Girls, 2nd), Head Coach Patti Egan will take both squads (seven runners each) to Division II State Championships, Saturday morning, Nov. 9, at Cave Creek Golf Course (Greenway Road and 19th Avenue, Phoenix). Boys will be seeking to repeat as State Champions; Girls, another “Top Ten” finish. Boys race starts at 9:15 a.m.; Girls, 10:15. Best parking is off 19th Ave. across from the golf course. An early arrival is recommended.

Falcon runners competing are (l-r):
Front row seated:  Maddie Jones
Second Row (left to right):  Morgan Nollette, Abbey Roberts, Sandi Baker, Sloane Myers-Lenz, Lindsey Murphy, Jeri Glicksman
Back Row (left to right):  Jordan Hass, Kamal Nadesan, Trey Bagnall, Keith Durkin, Grant Sears, Erik Oswald, Max Solberg, Kishan Patel

Congratulations on 2nd Team All Section to Keith Durkin (8th), Lindsey Murphy (13th), and Sloane Myers-Lenz (12th).  First Team All Section to Erik Oswald (5th) and Jeri Glicksman (2nd).

Good luck, Falcons!

~ Pete Mohr