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Thursday, October 13, 2016


The Los Angeles Dodgers needed 5 games to defeat the Washington Nationals and advance to the National League Championship against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers advance with a 4-3 victory and they did it with the gutsy play of ace Clayton Kershaw.   Not only did he get over his playoff woes with the victory but he did it from the bullpen.

Kershaw entered the game in the 9th inning and recorded his first ever save to send the Nationals home.

Now the Dodgers will play the Chicago Cubs with a World Series berth on the line.  The series starts Saturday in Chicago

Saturday, October 8, 2016


This week The High School Highlight stays in the West Valley.  Down the street from University of Phoenix Stadium is Copper Canyon High School. A fairly new high school is already rich with tradition and pride led by head coach Shawn Kemmer.

Kemmer has turned around a team from being win less a year ago to being 3-3 before tonight's game.  Kemmer had done it with hard work and determination from players like this weeks High School Highlight Jayden Hall.

Hall is a senior running back and safety who loves playing the game he has played his whole life.  He carries a 3.17 GPA in the classroom and has goals of playing in the NFL and having a family.

Hall has been on varsity for 4 years and plays a major role in the team turning around their season.  Hall loves running the football but knows his success is do to his teammates.  He says without them "I can't do what I do."

Hall also had some advice to future high school athletes.  He says that you will miss high school and fly's by so fast, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, October 7, 2016


In case you missed it a legend called it a career this weekend.  To honor him here is a guest post from The Lion Star Blog.

I'm an Arizona Diamondbacks fan and have been ever since my hometown got the franchise. As a consequence, the Los Angeles Dodgers are major rivals and I have learned to have that special place in my heart for the Dodgers reserved only for other things I don't like, like molĂ©, macaroni and cheese, people who take too long to get to the point, people who talk too much, people who talk during movies, and the Dallas Cowboys. Just kidding, I don't hate anything as much as I hate the Dallas Cowboys. But, my dad was a lifelong Dodger fan and up until the day we got a franchise, I used to bleed Dodger Blue. I grew up in a great time to be a Dodger fan with a lot of great players like Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Pedro Guerrero and of course #34, the one and only, Fernando Valenzuela. We had Fernando Mania like you couldn't believe. Every Chicano kid that ever picked up a bat or glove in the barrio wanted to be Fernando. My kid brother would mimic his delivery for hours, only to get yelled at by my dad for being a pitcher and taking his eye off the plate. Real Dodger fans get that. The truth is we were hand-fed baseball since we were old enough to walk and for that entire time, Vin Scully WAS baseball too me. Whether it was crackling through the AM station on the radio driving around town with my dad, or coming out of the boom-box while my dad was under a car fixing something on a Saturday morning, Vin Scully's voice was what painted the picture of the game for us.  You could almost hear the color of the grass or the grit of the infield dirt in his voice. Dad couldn't really afford to take us to Chavez Revine for a ball game and a Dodger Dog, but we listened religiously, whether we wanted to or not. That silky, gentlemanly voice of Vin Scully was like a throwback to the ol' timey announcers of baseball days long gone. Back to Dem Bums from Brooklyn. We didn't understand that then, but I understand and appreciate it now. For a kid growing up in my generation, the best memory I have of Vin Scully is when he was calling the first game of the 1988 World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers. My father believed the most important Catholics on the planet were Pope John Paul II and Tommy Lasorda and certainly not in that order. Kirk Gibson was the soul of the Dodgers that year and hadn't been playing that game because he had to bum legs. And then 2 outs and the bottom of the 9th happened. The DH spot came up. Limping up the stairs with his bat in his hand was Kirk Gibson. "And look who's coming up!" Vin said. All of us boys and by dad, started cheering and making a raucous. The crowd at Dodger Stadium went crazy. And Vin did what any good broadcaster is supposed to do. He shut up and let the moment happen. Hearing the crowd lose it, only made us more anxious. "All year long they looked at him to light the fire and all year long he answered the demands until he was physically unable to start tonight with two bad legs." Vin had set up the at-bat. Did I mention Gibby was facing future Hall of Famer and one of the best closers of all time, Dennis Eckersley? Eck was working the outside of the plate, trying to prevent Gibson from having something he could pull. Gibson got behind 0-2 early and eventually battled back to a full count. "Gibson shaking his left leg, making it quiver like a horse trying to get rid of a troublesome fly" Vin explained about Gibson trying to get over a troublesome hamstring injury. Mike Davis had stolen second base during the at-bat and that meant the Dodgers didn't need a home run, they just needed a base hit to score Davis from second base. The tension was building to a crescendo. The payoff pitch was coming and Scully remarked, "Sax waiting on deck, but the game right now is at the plate." Eck started his wind-up and it was an outside pitch. Gibson was like a coiled snake unleashing, reached over the plate and made contact. The minute he started his swing, my dad went from sitting on the floor to jumping up and down. He'd seen enough baseball in his life to know even before Gibby made contact. CRACK! "High fly ball into right field...she is..GONE!" is how Scully called it. I have it memorized. I played it back in my head a million times. It was one of my most vivid memories of childhood. My dad was running around the living room exactly like Lasorda running out of the dugout. Gibson pumps his fist at waist level as he limped by second base. The crowd and the Abeytia boys all collectively lost their minds. And Vin Scully was masterful. Again, he didn't say a word after calling the home run. Gibson completely made his way around the bases and the team met him at the plate. Vin let you hear the crowd and just marinate in the moment. He didn't step on the moment by talking over the crowd. "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened." Scully summed it up completely in one sentence. So perhaps its fitting that calling his last game for the Dodgers turned out to be another walk-off home run. This time for the Dodgers to clinch the NL West. Turns out that was the last year that the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series. Throughout all the years, like a loyal Dodger fan, Vin Scully was there, painting the picture with his voice. Could this be the year that Dem Bums recapture a World Series? Probably not. They don't have the bullpen and bats to go too deep into the playoffs. But maybe, just maybe, spurred on by the retirement of the guy that has been their voice for so many years, they can come down with a little Dodger Fever in the playoffs. And maybe Dem Bums can do what Vin said back in '88 - make the impossible happen. Since my Snakes are out, and my youngest daughter is a rabid Dodger fan herself - just this once, this Diamondback fan will say something he hasn't said since he was in high school... Go Dodgers. Farewell Vin Scully, thanks for the memories!

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Today the Arizona Cardinals will travel to Northern California to face the San Francisco 49ers.  Both teams are 1-3 and with the high expectations placed on the Arizona Cardinals it is safe to say this is a must win game for them.

I know its only week 5 but a loss puts a huge dent on the Cardinals playoff hopes and here's why.

A loss puts them at 1-4 but more importantly it puts them 0-2 in a division and they still have to play Seattle twice.  They also have to Atlanta and Carolina and Minnesota.  Even if they split and go 3-3 that gives them 7 loses and they would still have other games that could be losses such 49ers, Rams and Redskins.

The way the NFC is playing this year the Cardinals may not get a Wild Card spot with just 9 wins.

So Cardinal fans get ready for a long season if the 49ers pull off the upset.

Friday, September 30, 2016


We are halfway through the High School football season and the great teams are starting to distance themselves from the good teams.  Kellis is one of those schools that is making a name for itself this season.

The Cougars are 5-1 and part of that is because or this weeks High School Highlight, Josiah Bailey.  Bailey is just a junior but has been on varsity for 3 years.  The receiver is a touchdown machine and is dangerous every time he touches the football.

Bailey has been playing football since third grade and hopes it helps him get a college education.  He plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice when he gets to college.  He plays football because he used to watch his brother play and was inspired by him.  Bailey has a 3.75 GPA and would love to play in the All America game.

Bailey is an inspiration on and off the field and says football "is a great life lesson teacher and is a gateway to a better life and education."

Saturday, September 3, 2016


It was another great night for high school football in Phoenix.  Alhambra, coming off an impressive victory two weeks ago at Carl Hayden, played host to La Joya in their home opener.

La Joya scored on its first possession and never looked back.  They jumped out to a 21-0 and it looked like it was going to be a blowout.  Then with 3:00 minutes to go in the half Alhambra finally got on the board and cut the lead to 21-6.

After a La Joya fumble the Lions scored again and cut the lead to 21-14 after the 2 point conversion with just 51 seconds left.  But the first half scoring wasn't over. Both teams traded touchdowns and La Joya had a 28-22 half time lead.

La Joya came out in the second half and continued where they left and held the Lions scoreless in the second half and cruised to a 54-22 victory.

Alhambra looks to bounce back next week when they host the South Mountain Jaguars.  La Joya goes to Mountain Ridge and is looking for it's second straight victory.


                      Photo courtesy of Laura Bautista

This week The High School Highlight profile North's junior fullback/linebacker Isreal Araiza. He is in his first year of varsity football and is already making an impact for the Mustangs.

Araiza has been playing football since he was 6 years old and even played for Team USA's 15 and under team.  He is a warrior on the field and just as impressive in the classroom.

He has 3.4 GPA and plans to go to college to get into sports marketing and training.  He also inspires to play football in college.  At just a junior he has already visited a few college campus'.

Araiza has goals of helping North turn in to a football school.  He also wants to average 12 tackles a game, a goal that is very reachable for the young man.

He has always wanted to play football and tells a story being 4 years old at his sisters cheer practice and crying because he was too young to play.  His dad had coached him since he started playing so football is a lifestyle to him.

Araiza is a perfect example of a kid whose love for something has spilled over to other parts of life and has made him an impressive young man.

Friday, August 26, 2016


This week's edition of The High School Highlight comes to us from St. Mary's High School, a school rich with history.

The tradition is so great that we profile out third Knight in the 3 years of this segment.  Jorden Blake is a senior Wide Reciever and Safety and has helped put St. Mary's back on the high school football map.  Blake is a fout year letterman and has started since his sophomore season.

Blake is a very intelligent young man who carries a 3.3 GPA and also plays basketball. Blake says his short term goal is "to finish out my high school career on a positive note.  St. Mary's has a long history of sports and academic excellence and I want to do my part to continue that legacy.  My plan is to excel in my academics and athletics to earn a scholarship to collage."

Just by the way Blake answered my questions I could tell he is a smart young man.  He says as a kid he always enjoyed watching football on TV but his mom wouldn't let him play.  Finally she let him play flag football.  The first time he touched the ball he scored and he has been hooked ever since.

Blake had an incredible answer when I asked him to tell me something about high school sports that people may not know.  He said that playing high school sports is a lot harder than it looks.  It takes hard work, time and commitment, but the reward os the relationships he has built with his teammates and the knowledge he has gained from his coaches.

"There is nothing like the joy of playing on Friday nights!"

Sunday, August 21, 2016


The high school football season didn't start out the way Carl Hayden wanted it to when it hosted Alhambra on Friday night.

The team has worked hard all summer and is poised to show the rest of the state how much they have improved.  They fell short losing 33-7 to a tough Alhambra team.

There were some bright spots for the Falcons.  Despite giving up 33 points the defense held their own against a team that primarily runs and ball and wears down defenses.

Offensively the run game showed some life, especially on a long touchdown run early in the third quarter that gave the Falcons life.

But the night belonged to the Alhambra Lions.  They played a great game and stayed in control throughout the game.  This game was a battle of first year coaches and the Lions George Medrano came out on top.

Friday, August 19, 2016


Guess what everybody?  The High school football season in finally upon us.  Tonight a handful of high schools start their season throughout the valley.  That also means it's time for The High School Highlight.

This season we start with a team that isn't know for football but under new coach Randy Gross there is a "new breed" roaming the halls of Carl Hayden High School.  A team that hasn't reach the post season since 1996 the Falcons look to change that this season. One of the young men that plans to make the change is senior lineman Fernando Monroy.

Monroy has been on varsity for 3 years and is very competitive on the field.  He says in order to excel in high school sports you must remain competitive and focused.  Monroy plays football becuse his older inspired him to play.  His brother is also an assistant coach on the team.

Monroy has plans for life after high school football.  He wants to go to college and start a family.

Monroy and the rest of his teammates have worked really hard off season to try and turn around a struggling program.  They had a successful summer with 7 on 7 and big man challenges.  They look to continue that success tonight when they host Alhambra is the season opener for both teams.