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Bernadette Russoniello
Bernadette Russoniello

By Bernadette Russoniello

Colleges and universities frequently use the terms “fit” and “match” to help students determine their best educational options. Match reflects a student’s eligibility and academic performance required for admissions; fit reflects the community and culture the school provides.

Arizona offers many respectable and desirable options for higher education. Take a trip with me across a few of our Arizona options.

Arizona State University

America’s largest public university and ranked No. 1 in Innovation by Forbes magazine, ASU offers students a diverse array of competitive, Research-I opportunities at four campuses around the Valley in a cosmopolitan urban setting. ASU also offers the most generous financial aid packages for lower-income families.

University of Arizona

Arizona’s oldest and original land-grant college, U of A offers students a more traditional college experience – red brick buildings, large commons, chiming clock tower and an infused sense of community and spirit in a college town. Diverse and eclectic, U of A blends the feel of tight-knit community at a large-size, Research-I school.

Northern Arizona University

The smallest of the three publics, NAU offers programs exclusive to Flagstaff, including dental, physical therapy and forestry. Bonus: four seasons, skiing, pine trees and hiking! NAU also offers the most generous academic scholarships – requiring minimal test scores and grades for scholarship test scores. A 3.0 earns $4,000 per year, a 3.5 awards $8,000 and full tuition for students earning all A’s and B’s.

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

ERAU offers a private, top-tier experience in aviation, aeronautics, engineering, software, cybersecurity and global intelligence near Prescott. During my campus tour, I was with three families who flew in from out of state. ROTC programs abound for students seeking a competitive degree in these fields. Small class sizes, simulators and one of the country’s largest planetariums are features at this niche school.

Grand Canyon University

GCU is a private Christian college recently returning to its nonprofit status. GCU offers an intimate, student-centered experience focused on academics, work opportunities, and faith-based gatherings and events. Free concerts and athletic events for all students and a contagious sense of belonging infuse this campus.

Yavapai Community College

One of five residential community colleges, Yavapai hosts tremendous CTE and vocational programs ranging from service dog and air-traffic controlling to radiology and viticulture (winemaking and agriculture) while offering dorms and a community performing arts center.

Coconino Community College

CCC offers apartments on the NAU campus and provides students with transfer support to NAU.

Advice when considering college options: Be aware of accreditation. Regional accreditation means other schools and universities will accept and transfer credit; national accreditation only works within that school system. Also, if your school is not on the FAFSA list for receiving financial aid, you may want to be cautious in further considerations.

Bernadette Russoniello is the Career and College coordinator at Maricopa High School. She can be reached at BRussoniello@MUSD20.org.


This column appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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MHS junior Saneya Cowing (4) goes for one of her four goals against Sunnyside. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Maricopa High School girls’ soccer team improved its record to 3-2 with a blowout home victory over Sunnyside, 10-0, Monday. Junior Senaya Cowing scored four goals, bringing her season total to nine. Junior Payson Hacker scored two goals. Also scoring were senior Bianca Olivares, sophomore Jezelle Magallanes and freshmen McKinley Hacker and Lexy Rowe. Tending goal, senior Mackenzie Ford had three saves. The Rams travel to Agua Fria (2-0) tonight for a 6 p.m. game.

The MHS boys were shut out by Sunnyside, 5-0, and saw their record fall to 1-4. Of the six goals scored by Maricopa this season, five were off the foot of freshman Kevin Vasquez. The boys host Agua Fria (1-0-3) tonight at 6 p.m.

Maricopa High School and Desert Wind Middle School choirs performed a winter concert Thursday to a packed house at the Performing Arts Center.

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The varsity basketball teams at Maricopa High School are having opposite fortunes during the young season.

After Thursday’s home loss to Notre Dame Prep 67-39, the boys’ team has a record of 2-7. The girls, on the other hand, defeated Notre Dame 63-51 to move their record to 8-1. The boys host Carl Hayden High School Friday while the girls play CHHS on the road.

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Band seniors get a selfie with director Ivan Pour at the end of the concert. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa High School’s bands performed the annual Pass in Review concert, featuring symphony, chamber orchestra and marching band playing music from their competitions this semester and tunes of the season. The department also honored its senior performers.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa High School Dance Department’s Performance Company presented its annual showcase Friday and Saturday in the Performing Arts Center, this year with the theme “Icons.” With numbers choreographed by dance students and Artistic Director Alexandra Biggs, they celebrated iconic musical artists from Elvis to Usher, and included a powerful spoken word piece by Maya Angelou.

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Senior Jene Brown backs Apollo under the goal in Tuesday's win. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Coasting to the finish, the Maricopa High School girls’ basketball team defeated Apollo Tuesday, 60-49, despite scoring only two points in the fourth quarter.

The Rams threw a little of everything at Apollo. They built a 19-10 score after one quarter to a 41-22 lead at the half. Overall staying aggressive through at least three quarters, the girls combined for a dozen steals.

Sophomore Shakira Gillespie led the Maricopa scoring with 16 points, and senior Jayla Johnson added 15. Senior Jene Brown scored 10, and sophomore Brooke Smith scored nine. Though senior Italy Brookshire scored six, the Rams lost her in the third quarter to a leg injury after a tumble to the hardwood. Maricopa shot 10-for-15 from the free-throw line.

The win put their overall record at 4-1. The Rams next play at Camelback on Thursday.

The girls started the season in the Scorpion Shootout, losing to O’Connor 42-37, but defeating Prescott 39-32, Shadow Ridge 43-25 and Gila Ridge 57-40.

Rashawn Calvert came to Arizona to take over the Maricopa High School girls' varsity basketball team, which starts its season Friday. Photo by Jim Headley

 

Maricopa High School’s new girls’ basketball coach will surprise you.

Rashawn Calvert has taken over the reins of the Maricopa team this year, but this first-year high school coach sports a master’s degree and even some head coaching experience at the college level.

Calvert, 24, is a physical education teacher at Maricopa High.

“I just moved here from McPherson, Kansas, where I was a grad assistant coach at McPherson College,” she said.

Calvert is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She played four years of basketball at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She transferred to NAIA Division II McPherson College while she obtained a master’s in health science from Fort Hays College.

“I am new, but I think I’m ready,” she said. “As a graduate assistant, I gained a lot more experience than you would expect.”

During her time at McPherson College, Calvert assumed the role of head JV basketball coach and first assistant for their varsity program.

“I had some experience actually coaching as the head varsity coach at the end. I was thrown in to do recruiting and coaching,” Calvert said. “A lot of grad assistants are paperwork and maybe a scouting report. You might help pass a ball now and then. I give a lot of thanks because I have a lot of experience – more than most people at my age.”

She admitted she is a little nervous to lead the team this year but she remains excited by the opportunity at the same time.

“If I didn’t think I was ready, I wouldn’t have applied for it,” she said.

Calvert said she is blessed with six seniors this season, including three returning starters and another senior with playing experience last year. As far as height on the team, Calvert added, “Yes, I have a couple trees this year. It’s exciting to see that we will have some post presence this year.”

As a PE teacher, Calvert said, “I have a lot of athletes that I am using to play basketball. They are hard workers and we get after it.”

The Maricopa team has been in practice three weeks and opens the 2018-19 season with the Scorpion Shootout, a Thanksgiving tournament on Friday against O’Conner at Desert Edge High School at 10:30 a.m.

“We scrimmaged last Thursday, and it went pretty well,” Calvert said.

A total of 14 players are on this year’s Maricopa High team. Last season Maricopa finished at 18-10.

2018-19 Roster
10 Italy Brookshire, Sr.
11 Brooke Smith, Soph.
12 Jayla Johnson, Sr.
13 Divere Brown, Sr.
20 Jene Brown, Sr.
21 Shakira Gillespie, Soph.
22 Tayler Coleman, Jr.
23 Katherine Gores, Fr.
24 Destinee Chavis, Sr.
30 Jade Placer, Sr.
31 Andrea Harker, Jr.
32 Edrianna Harry, Jr.
44 Yasmeen Hanania, Jr.
45 Evone Santiago, Soph.

Schedule:
Nov. 23-24           Scorpion Shootout, Desert Edge HS
Nov. 27                 vs. Apollo, 7 p.m.
Nov. 29                 @Camelback, 7 p.m.
Nov. 30                 vs. North Canyon, 7 p.m.
Dec. 4                    vs. Sierra Linda, 7 p.m.
Dec. 6                   @Notre Dame prep, 7 p.m.
Dec. 7                   @Carl Hayden, 7 p.m.
Dec. 11                  vs. Marana, 7 p.m.
Dec. 13                 @Independence, 7 p.m.
Dec. 18                 @Campo Verde, 7 p.m.
Dec. 27-29           Chandler Prep New Year’s Classic
Jan. 8                   @Williams Field, 7 p.m.
Jan. 11                  @Higley 7 p.m.
Jan. 15                  vs. Casteel, 7 p.m.
Jan. 18                  vs. Gilbert, 7 p.m.
Jan. 22                 vs. Campo Verde, 7 p.m.
Jan. 25                 vs. Williams Field, 7 p.m.
Jan. 29                 vs. Higley, 7 p.m. (Senior Night)
Feb. 1                   @Casteel, 7 p.m.
Feb. 5                   @Gilbert, 7 p.m.

Senior Jake Meyer (75) celebrates a touchdown by senior Isaiah Crawford (1) in the first round of the state playoffs, a 42-7 loss. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Maricopa High School football team wound up its season with a loss in the first round of the 5A state playoffs Friday.

The Rams (seeded 15th) lost at second-ranked Williams Field, 42-7, the second time this year they fell to the Black Hawks. But it was a different Maricopa team, missing its starting quarterback and go-to receiver. Sensing the vulnerabilities, Williams Field clamped down on other key players and limited the Rams’ effectiveness.

Junior Daxton Redfern stepped in as quarterback as senior Jordan Huddleston was still not cleared to play after a concussion last week. Senior Jacob Cowing left the game with an injury of his own after grabbing a 38-yard pass on the game’s second play from scrimmage. The Rams could never quite regroup.

“Dax played hard tonight, made some good plays and made mistakes that a lot of young quarterbacks make without a lot of experience,” head coach Brandon Harris said.

Maricopa’s bursts of momentum were often stymied by penalties or turnovers.

The Black Hawks (10-1) scored on each of their three possessions in the first quarter to jump out to 21-0 lead.

The Maricopa offensive and defensive lines showed cracks throughout the first half as Williams Field led 28-0 at the break. That became 35-0 as the Black Hawks scored on their first possession of the third quarter.

The Rams’ only score came on an eight-play drive that started on the 12 yard line in the third quarter and ended in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Crawford at the beginning of the fourth.

After the game, Harris pulled aside the senior players, who comprised more than half the team. He told the remaining underclassmen to ask themselves who was going to step up next season to fill the vacancies.

“I’m going to work with the guys who are there,” said Harris, who was ending his first season as the Rams head coach. “I’m not going to shake trees or go around neighborhoods and trying to get kids. Whoever shows up is who we get. We’re going to work with who we got and make it work for the best.”

Maricopa ended the season 5-6 overall.

Antonio Gonzales is Hook and Taryn Story is Peter Pan in the play to be presented by MHS Theatre Company Nov. 8-10.

One of the first curiosities Alexandra Stahl noticed on becoming the theater teacher at Maricopa High School this year is the affinity the MHS Theatre Company had with Peter Pan without producing the play.

IF YOU GO
What:
Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up
When: Nov. 8-9 at 7 p.m., Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Where: Maricopa High School Performing Arts Center, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.
How much: $5
Who: Taryn Story (Peter Pan), Genevieve Burno (Wendy), Antonio Gonzales (Hook), Simon Ty (John), Derek Blakely (Smee), Aidyn Curtis (Princess Tiger Lilly), Taya Johnson (Michael), Kjirsten Lemon (Mrs. Darling), Douglas Moulton (Mr. Darling), Brandon Korittky (Curly), Chief Great Big Little Panther (Nicholas Perez), Emma Schrader (Nana), Alexia Esquivel (Liza), Jae Luna (Slightly), Cannon Jones (Tootles), Julianna Goodrum (Nibs), Zephanie Coleman (Omnes), Hannah Panter (first twin), Alex Hurley (second twin), Kade Cruse (Gentleman Starkey), Tommy Dryden (Cecco), Miles Starks (Bill Jukes), Matthew Ferguson (Noodles), John Jackson (Cookson), Francis Trast (Skylights), Alex-Ann Velasco (Mullens), more than 50 others.

In past performances, company members have performed pieces from musical off-shoots of the J.M. Barrie story like Finding Neverland and Peter and the Starcatcher.

“They just seemed destined to do it,” Stahl said.

The troupe performs the play Nov. 8-10 as its fall production. It is not a musical but the play that originated in 1904.

Though it is her fifth year teaching (she was previously at Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley), this is Stahl’s first with MHS Theatre Company. She worked to get familiar with the program and the students during spring semester.

“Casting was a real process. These kids are insanely talented,” Stahl said. “I’ve never been so proud of a cast.”

Senior Taryn Story plays the title character.

“I really like how it’s written,” she said. “It’s written for kids, but there’s a lot that adults can take out of it.”

Aidyn Curtis is Princess Tiger Lily. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Junior Genevieve Burno, who just finished a production of Cabaret with Maricopa Community Theatre, plays Wendy, the eldest daughter in the Darling household.

“It’s timeless,” she said. “So much can be taken from it.”

Theater tech teacher Kevin Piquette brought in ZFX Flying Effects to mount rigging and teach four of the cast members how to “fly” and the tech crew how to fly them. All had to sign letters of indemnity.

“Logistically, it’s a nightmare,” Piquette said of soaring students, “but I don’t think you can do Peter Pan without it.”

The cave of the Lost Boys is part of the complicated tech for Peter Pan.

 

Theater teacher Alexandra Stahl talks to the cast during rehearsals. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.


 

The first Peter Pan, in 1904, was Nina Boucicault.

ACTORS WHO HAVE PLAYED PETER PAN
Nina Boucicault (1904)
Maude Adams (1905)
Zena Dare (1914)
Jean Forbes-Robertson (1927)
Eva LeGallienne (1928)
Mary Martin (1954)
Sandy Duncan (1980)
Cathy Rigby (1990)

Genevieve Burno goes up as flying director Wesley Miller of ZFX Flying Effects provides guidance during rehearsals for “Peter Pan.”

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Submitted photo

By Ivan Pour
MHS Band and Orchestra Director

Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, the Maricopa High School Marching Rams performed in Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association (ABODA) competitions at Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe and Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson.

The band finished in seventh place at Corona Del Sol with a score of 57.575. The band turned things around quickly at Ironwood Ridge, finishing in fourth place with a big one week jump in score to 64.313. The average of these two scores put the Rams into the top 20 bands in ABODA’s Division II. The Rams will advance to the State Marching Band Festival this Saturday, Nov. 3, at Hamilton High School. The Marching Rams perform at 3 p.m.

The band had its best performance of the year to date at Ironwood Ridge High School, highlighted by earning second place in the music caption and third place in percussion. They earned praise for good characteristic tone and balance and creating shape in musical lines. The band also posted significant gains in the visual performance caption. This performance truly showed off the hard work our students have put in this year.

We invite the Maricopa community out to the state festival on Saturday to cheer on the Rams! Admission to the event is $10 and children under 5 are free.

As always, we want to acknowledge our awesome, hard working parent volunteers as well as our staff – Roger Wagner – Assistant Director, Eliana Araiza – Colorguard, David Hales – Percussion Head, Stuart Delaney – Front Ensemble. Without these people, our success this year would not be possible!

In addition to ABODA State Festival, the Marching Rams will support the football team for their playoff game at Williams Field High School on Friday, Nov. 2, and they will perform in the Maricopa Veterans Day Parade and AzMBA Championships at Perry High School on Nov. 10.

We also have our “Pass in Review” concert in the MHS Performing Arts Center on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Thank you for your support of the Maricopa Marching Rams and the Arts in MUSD.

Submitted photo

Maricopa High School had a very physical game against Williams Field Oct. 5 and will play them again Nov. 2 in the state playoffs.

Maricopa High School’s football team has been pushed up to a 15th-place ranking in today’s state playoff bracket announcements. The Rams will play No. 2 Williams Field at 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

MHS previously lost to Williams Field, 34-21, on Oct. 5. Rams head coach Brandon Harris said he thought his team was a better team than Williams Field but had been outplayed in that game.

“We had a couple of guys stick around after that game,” he said. “They were like, ‘We know you guys lost the game, but we’ve never seen a team beat up our guys the way you beat us up that night.’”

Maricopa is coming off a 34-27 win over a 4-6 Gilbert High School team. The Rams finished the regular season 5-5. Friday’s game will be at Williams Field.
The top 16 teams in 5A will compete in the state bracket. Defending champion Centennial is the top seed.

A final game, Senior Night victory cemented Maricopa High School football’s place in the playoffs Friday. The Rams find out Saturday their bracket placement, but for now they are relishing the 34-27 win over Gilbert.

It was Maricopa’s only win in the tough 5A San Tan region. The Rams are 5-5 (1-4).

“We’re a better football team than our record indicates,” head coach Brandon Harris said. “Our kids are so good now they know our system. I can literally just call stuff, and they know where to go now. So we’re starting to put this thing all together.”

Senior quarterback Jordan Huddleston was hurt in the first quarter. Though he returned to the game, Gilbert took aim for him, sensing a vulnerability, and were even called for targeting him. Harris eventually pulled him for senior wide receiver Jacob Cowing.

“Jacob is Jacob. He’s a great football player and he carried us a lot. I thought he threw a great pass to Crawford early.”

That would be senior Isaiah Crawford, who scored Maricopa’s first touchdown of the night on a 47-yard reception. But that was after the Tigers had already scored and completed a two-point conversion pass. Gilbert’s Jayden Duran then kicked a field goal to put the Tigers ahead of Maricopa 11-7.

Cowing ran 16 yards for a touchdown to put the Rams in the lead. Maricopa never trailed again. Cowing later scored on a 61-yard run in the fourth.

Sophomore running back Mister Chavis, who was out of last week’s game due to injury, returned Friday and had more and more of an impact as the game progressed.

He scored from the 39 in the second quarter and then scored again in the fourth from the 26.

With seniors Tylen Coleman and Logan Taylor keeping pressure on Gilbert quarterback Will Plummer all night, the Maricopa defense kept the Tigers at bay. The Rams forced two fumbles, and senior Stefon Nelson intercepted a pass as part of a heady night.

“Our defense is spectacular. They got some takeaways,” Harris said. “Our kids are learning a different style of football, more traditional in terms of how to manage the clock and run the clock and get first downs and things. In this generation of spread football everywhere and rush, rush, rush, rush, I’m more pragmatic. I’m aggressive too, but we got to get more first downs on offense. We put our defense in some bad spots a couple of times, but I thought our defense played very, very well, and we’re proud of them.”

Unless the Rams move up in the rankings, Maricopa could end up facing undefeated Centennial in the first game of the playoffs on Nov. 2. Harris said Huddleston may be fit enough to return by them.

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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Maricopa High School football team dropped a region game to Casteel Friday after the Colt ran wild in the fourth quarter for a 42-21 final.

Before the game, Maricopa was ranked 16th in 5A. The top 16 teams at season’s end qualify for the state playoffs.

“They competed, they played hard, we’re still alive for the playoffs, believe it or not,” head coach Brandon Harris said. “We gotta win next week to be in. Nobody’s played a tougher schedule than we have.”

The Rams stuck with the fourth-ranked Colts, scoring first on their first possession three minutes into the game and ha the 14-7 lead by the end of the quarter on touchdowns by Kaireem Moreira and Jacob Cowing. Casteel scored on a quarterback keeper for a tied score at the half.

The Colts took the lead for good in the third quarter and then ran off with three touchdowns in the fourth. Maricopa could answer only with one score, a 24-yard pass hauled in by Cowing. The coach called the senior receiver, who also ran a series as quarterback, “spectacular.”

The Rams were without starting running back Mister Chavez, who was out with an injury, while other suffered injuries in the course of the game. Despite the runaway score late in the game, the Rams remained intense and were calling out each other for missed plays or talking back to the referees.

“I want them to police themselves, and when they do that, that’s when they become a championship team,” Harris said.

The result moved Casteel to 7-2 and Maricopa to 4-5. The Rams’ final game of the regular season, and Senior Night, is Friday hosting Gilbert. Game time is 7 p.m.

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MHS volleyball players celebrate a hard-fought win Thursday. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

It’s been an imploded season for Maricopa High School’s varsity volleyball team. Though staying upbeat, the girls had not won a match since Aug. 28 and had not even won a set since Sept. 18. After their first match of the season (the aforementioned win over Camelback), the Rams dropped 19 straight. So, there was more joy than usual in Thursday’s home triumph over Casteel, 3-2. After dropping the first set 19-25, Maricopa came back to win the next two 25-17 and 25-23. Casteel took the fourth game, but the Rams coasted in the fifth set 15-3 for the win. Maricopa (2-19) wraps up its season Tuesday at home with a Senior Night contest against Gilbert (18-20) at 6 p.m.

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Bernadette Russoniello

 

By Bernadette Russoniello

Career and Technical Education, known as CTE, is education’s best-kept secret.

CTE programs across the state and country focus on preparing students with a combination of academic knowledge, technical skills and work-based learning that prepares students for the next step in their career and education plan. CTE focuses on “soft skills” that industry and employers require and find lacking in many high school and college graduates.

All CTE programs must be primarily work-based; these requirements make the courses highly interactive and engaging for students while providing authentic experiences for school, community and industry-involved learning. Additionally, all CTE programs must lead to industry-recognized certifications or an industry-identified skill set to give students a boost in applying for and landing jobs.

Statistically, CTE produces results. Graduation rates for CTE concentrators (students who complete a two-year program) exceed 98 percent compared to 68 percent for all Arizona students. There’s also an alarming trend of disconnected youth – young adults with no career or educational goals – accounting for nearly 11 percent of adults ages 18-24. CTE programs help connect with these students before they leave public education without a plan.

Maricopa High School offers students a variety of Career and Technical Education options. Many courses are state and national award-winning programs, modeling innovative strategies and learning experiences for students. Programs offered at MHS include Air Force ROTC, automotive technologies, computer repair and networking, culinary arts, digital photography, graphic design, marketing, sports medicine and technical theatre.

Additionally, MHS students have access to additional CTE programs through Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology. CAVIT courses provide certifications and dual enrollment credits from CAC. These opportunities include cosmetology, dental assisting, fire science, law enforcement, massage therapy, medical assisting, nurse assisting and veterinary assisting.

At MHS, students who complete at least two years of Air Force JROTC enlist at higher rank in the U.S. armed forces. Automotive students earn student ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certifications. Computer repair and networking students complete the CISCO Academy and A+ Certification. Culinary Art students become ServSafe food managers in addition to recipients of the standard Food Handler card. Graphic Design students work to become Adobe-certified associates. Marketing students utilize Google Ad Words and Google Analytics certification in addition to regular work hours and sales experience through their student-based enterprise. Sports Medicine students certify in CPR and First Aid as well as Emergency Medical Responder.

Maricopa High School CTE programs seek the participation and involvement of local business and industry to advise program focus. If you have questions about the programs or would like to offer your expertise and guidance on program advisory boards, please reach out.

Bernadette Russoniello is the Career and College coordinator at Maricopa High School. She can be reached at BRussoniello@MUSD20.org.



This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

Deborah Kohls teaches English Language Learners in second grade at Maricopa Elementary School. Photo by Mason Callejas

By Michelle Chance


Deborah Kohls teaches second-grade English Language Learners (ELL) four hours every day at Maricopa Elementary School.

MES has four Structured English Immersion (SEI) classrooms that provide smaller class sizes and more resources for children learning a new language.

Kohls said the program is vital to the community. Kohls said she had a message to political leaders who’d like to see the tax pulled.

“One of the things that I think our country was founded on was a free, public education for everyone, and it was to make things equal for everyone. And if you’re pulling resources and money from us you’re not making that possible anymore,” Kohls said.

The majority of ELL students in Kohls’ class are Spanish speakers. The teacher instructs only in English and said children usually show immense progress by second quarter.

“When they’re amongst other kids who are growing at their same rate, their confidence is boosted,” Kohls said.

Photo by Mason Callejas
Deborah Kohls. Photo by Mason Callejas

SEI classrooms face challenges other than funding

The program at MUSD’s high school has its differences from the SEI classes at lower grade levels.

Emily Panter, fluent in English and Spanish, is the only SEI teacher at MHS and said she has trouble motivating older students to perform well on tests, adding many of them feel more comfortable with their friends in SEI and fear transitioning out.

“I really explain to them how it’s to their own benefit to put in the effort,” Panter said.

Additionally, she said the class often has an isolating effect on her students, who are separated for half the school day from mainstream classrooms.

And, though the program provides high schoolers more technology resources, Panter said the state needs to change requirements to ensure small class sizes.

“In order to have an SEI classroom, you have to have 20 students within three grade levels, which I’ve always had that, but not enough to make it two classes,” Panter said.

Of Panter’s 26 students this year, 23 are Hispanic. The biggest challenge in class, Panter said, is the majority of students speak the same native language – and continue to prefer speaking it in class over English.

Last year, the SEI class at MHS was split between ability levels, with 20 basic English learners in Panter’s morning class and six intermediate level learners later in the day.

“The afternoon class always did better because it’s easier to separate them,” Panter said. “If you’re going to have this structure, it really needs to be super small.”

Emily Panter is the only SEI teacher at MHS. Photo by Michelle Chance

How are students placed in SEI classes?

Students are required to test in instances when their registration paperwork indicates they speak a second language at home, Panter said. Other times, teachers will refer students to testing.

Based on results, students are labeled pre-emergent, basic, intermediate or proficient. The first two categories require four hours of daily SEI study; intermediate requires two.

Destiny Cruz and her classmate Graciela Brambila, 15, spend four hours every school day under Panter’s instruction. For the past four years, Panter has developed the curriculum based on state standards and what her students need to succeed.

They take lessons on writing, reading, grammar and listening and speaking in English. Panter’s instruction includes lectures and lessons through technology platforms.

“For me, it was very hard the first day. It’s difficult because I don’t understand everything,” Brambila said.

Brambila and Cruz help each other in their traditional studies, like math, outside of their SEI classroom, where teachers usually do not instruct in Spanish.

MUSD desegregation funding divisive issue



This story appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

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The other shoe finally dropped.

The football programs of Maricopa and Central high schools were given an official warning by the Arizona Interscholastic Association at a Monday board meeting, the result of an altercation between the head coaches after the Sept. 14 game.

The violations were self-reported.

Central reported its own coach, Jon Clanton, was the aggressor in the Homecoming night incident. The report stated Clanton pulled Maricopa head coach Brandon Harris into him during the post-game handshakes and yelled expletives at him after the Rams won 55-0. He then knocked off Harris’ visor as the Maricopa coach verbally engaged with him.

Clanton was placed on administrative leave, where he has remained.

As for Maricopa, it reported the situation was quickly put under control by the actions of students, assistant coaches and administrators. The school suspended Harris for one game.

According to AIA bylaws, a warning “places a school in jeopardy in that further violation of any rules or regulations may result in probation.”

At the same AIA board meeting, the MHS volleyball program was given “advisement” after it played a transfer student who had not sat out 50 percent of the season. Advisement is a word of caution.

Submitted photo

By Ivan Pour
Music Director/Fine Arts Department Chair

Oct. 8-11, the Maricopa High School Marching Rams held its first-ever Fall Band Camp. Using feedback from the Sept. 22 AzMBA performance, in 29 hours over four days we went in depth on improving music and marching technique, re-worked drill for about half of the show, added multiple new visual body movements, and incorporated moving props into our performance. Our students were awesome all week and created a professional rehearsal climate that allowed for creative collaboration and some really amazing adjustments to our field program – “Spirits of the Nile.”

On Saturday, Oct. 13, the Marching Rams braved the wet weather to show off our work at the AzMBA – University of Arizona Band Day. The band came in fourth place in the 3A class out of a crowded field of nine bands. The band overall improved almost 11 points from their previous score from Sept. 22. The band saw big increases in every caption area, topped their high score from 2017 AzMBA Championships and came in second place in the General Effect Caption – the result of our work on changing drill and added visuals. Our color guard also earned praise in their caption as well as the Visual General Effect Caption for marked improvement from their previous performance, with a big score gain of 15 points in the “excellence” sub-caption.

A big thank you to Assistant Director Roger Wagner, who came up with many of our new visuals, and guard Instructor Eliana Araiza for helping teach band visuals in addition to her awesome work with the guard. A shout-out to percussion Caption Head David Hales and Front Ensemble Instructor Stuart Delaney for their work with our percussion section where we have also seen significant growth this season.

We also want to thank our amazing band parents who constructed the awesome pyramid props to add another layer to our show.

In addition to our performance in Arizona Stadium, band students had the opportunity to interact with members of the University of Arizona “Pride of Arizona” Marching Band, and see and hear an awesome, albeit damp, performance by the UA Band prior to the awards ceremony.

The Marching Rams will be performing at the following events:

– Home Football game against Casteel on Oct. 19.
– Corona Del Sol  “Crown of the Sun” Invitational on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.
– Senior Night football game against Gilbert on Oct. 26.
– Ironwood Ridge Invitational on Oct. 27.
– ABODA State Marching Festival at Hamilton High School on Nov. 3.
– AzMBA Championships at Perry High School on Nov. 10.

If we are fortunate enough to be in the top 8 in our ABODA division, we will also perform Nov. 17 at ABODA Championships at Sun Devil Stadium.

As always, we will be having our “Pass in Review” Fall Concert at 7 p.m. in the MHS Performing Arts Center on Dec. 4. Admission is free.

Thank you for your support of the MHS Marching Rams and the arts in MUSD.

Submitted photo

Photo by Victor Moreno

Despite having several swimmers gone on fall break, the Maricopa High School swim team hosted Poston Butte for its final dual meet Thursday and finished second.

Two of the boys and one of the girls took first place in their respective races at Copper Sky Aquatic Center. The Rams’ final scheduled competition is Oct. 18 at McClintock. The team will know if it has state qualifiers by Halloween.

“Coach Megan and I are tremendously proud of our swimmers,” head coach Laura Logan said. “They have worked hard, learned a lot and improved immensely.”

In the boys’ competition, Poston Butte scored 110 points while MHS scored 58.

Freshman Connor Schrader took first in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:59.01, the 33rd-best time in Division II, and in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:02.1. Nolan Ford was first in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.5.

Ford was second in the 100-meter backstroke and was part of the second-place 200-meter medley relay with Joseph Lambert, Connor Schrader and Kian Carroll.

Rams finishing third were Rafe Scoresby in the 200-meter individual medley, Chase Woodhouse in the 500-meter freestyle, Joseph Lambert in the 100-meter breaststroke, the 200-meter freestyle relay team of Ford, Woodhouse, Carroll and Schrader, and the 400-meter free relay team of Scoreseby, Egan Packard, Victor Moreno and Woodhouse.

In the girls’ competition, Poston Butte scored 96 points to the Rams’ 54 points.

Olivia Byers won two races – the 50 free in 27.2 and the 100 free in 1:03.1.

Rams finishing second were Emily Hollingsworth in the 200 free, Eva Zavala in the 100 breast, and the 200 medley relay team of Paige Hennigar, Zavala, Byers and Mandy Carroll.

Third place went to Zavala in the 50 free, Malia Kealhoa in the 200 free, Katelynn James in the 100 fly, the 200 medley relay team of Emma Carr, Hollingsworth, James and Kaitlyn Crean, and the 400 free relay team of Crean, Hennigar, James and Emily Fauth.

The boys’ and girls’ Rams teams have won one meet this year, a home swim against Combs Sept. 27. The boys won 88-78 and the girls 82-79.

Jacob Cowing brings down a 25-yard pass near the end zone.

Laboring through what is arguably 5A’s toughest region, Maricopa High School’s football team fell at Williams Field, 34-21, despite an energetic effort Friday night.

“I’m real proud of them,” head coach Brandon Harris said. “That game could have gone either way.”

Williams Field came into the game with a 6-1 record and scored first. Maricopa tied the score 7-7 after a five-yard run by senior Jacob Cowing. However, the Black Hawks scored 11 seconds later on a 65-yard run.

The Rams then embarked on a 15-play, penalty-free drive that culminated in a five-yard run by senior quarterback Jordan Huddleston. Roberto Esqueda’s second of three successful PAT kicks tied the game again at 14-14.

Williams Field scored quickly in the third quarter, but the PAT bounced off the uprights. After picking off a Huddleston pass, the Black Hawks put together another scoring drive to go up 27-14. They added to the lead with a 23-yard pass midway through the fourth quarter and began pulling starters.

Harris said instead of hanging their heads as in earlier games, the Rams kept trying to score. The result was a fumble recovery Maricopa turned into an unlikely, sack-filled possession that included the conversion of a fourth-and-13 situation.

Finally down to the 15 yard line and with Huddleston continuing to play escape artist, the Rams capped off the game with a wild scramble of slipped tackles that ended in Huddleston connecting with senior Kaireem Moreira, who scored with 23 seconds left.

“If you quit a game on a Friday night, you’ll quit in life,” Harris said. “This is nothing compared to what life gives you sometimes, so you’ve got to keep battling and fighting and keep playing until there’s zeros on the clock. That’s how I coach.”

Maricopa had 333 total yards in the game. Huddleston threw for 112 yards and was the team’s leading rusher with 91 yards. Cowing had 56 yards rushing and 56 yards receiving.

The Rams’ record fell to 4-4 overall, 0-3 in 5A San Tan region competition. Williams Field rose to the top of San Tan.

Maricopa stays home Friday, Oct. 19, hosting Casteel (6-2) at 7 p.m.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Maricopa High School varsity football team lost its second league competition, a road game at Campo Verde.

The Rams held off the Coyotes for more than a quarter but lost 38-12.

“They’re a physical team and they’ve got a big quarterback and they run hard,” MHS head coach Brandon Harris. “But that doesn’t say much about what we did offensively. Our job is to move the football, and we didn’t. That’s on me and our offensive coaches.”

The Rams scored on their first drive, taking advantage of a Coyote fourth-down mistake in fouling punter Roberto Esqueda (not for the last time)and giving Maricopa a fresh set of downs. Four plays later, quarterback Jordan Huddleston passed 45 yards to Jacob Cowing for the touchdown.

Campo Verde didn’t score until there was 7:53 left in the second quarter, a 52-yard run.. A following 13-play drive by Maricopa, again extended by Esqueda getting roughed up, proved fruitless. Coyote kicker Jackson Passey nailed a 52-yard field goal to give Campo Verde the 10-6 lead at halftime.

“It seems to be the same old thing that’ biting us in the heel,” Harris said. “We have this great opening drive or opening series and then just have a stalemate or something So got to figure that out, and we will.”

Campo Verde scored twice in the third quarter while shutting down Maricopa. The Coyotes were credited with six sacks.

“They were doing some things to us on defense, and I didn’t feel like our sideline communication was where it should be,” Harris said.

The Coyotes scored twice more before Maricopa could get back on the board. It was another half-field pass to Cowing with 3:53 remaining in the game.

Maricopa’s record fell to 4-3 overall and 0-2 in San Tan play. The Rams next play at Williams Field on Friday at 7 p.m.

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Submitted photo

The Maricopa High School Marching Rams and the MHS Chamber Orchestra both performed before judges during the past week, both collecting strong feedback.

The Marching Rams performed Saturday at the Arizona Marching Band Association (AzMBA) Millennium Show in Goodyear and finished in second place in the 3A class. The band earned praise for establishing solid musical and visual performance fundamentals in the first part of the year, significant contributions from all sections of the band, and growth in percussion and color guard performance.

“We will be using this feedback to build the objectives for our Fall Band Camp for our students Oct. 8-12 and the band will return to competition on Oct. 13 at University of Arizona Band Day,” Director Ivan Pour said.

The band finished just ahead of a very good Verrado High School program and trailing Chandler Perry. Based on judge’s comments, the Marching Rams are off to one of their best starts in recent years.

Friday, the MHS Chamber Orchestra traveled to Campo Verde High School in Gilbert to participate in the ABODA (Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association) Fall Orchestra Festival. The orchestra performed well, receiving top-notch feedback from a judging panel including Margaret Schmidt, Ph.D., professor of music education at Arizona State University, Cayce Miners, director of orchestras at Tucson Magnet High School in Tucson, and John Haggard, director of orchestras at Mesa Red Mountain High School.

The orchestra received praise for their work in the classroom on musical interpretation, contrasting styles and dynamics. Following their performance, the orchestra enjoyed a 30-minute clinic with Arizona State University Associate Director of Bands Jason Caslor, Ph.D., where they worked on maintaining intensity in their musical performance and bringing out the main musical ideas in their repertoire.

In addition to their performance and clinic, the orchestra was proud to support the Desert Wind Middle School Orchestra in their first ever Fall Festival Performance.

“It was so great to see the huge DWMS orchestra take the stage and to hear these budding musicians perform,” Pour said. “We can’t wait until we see all of them as Maricopa High School Orchestra Rams.”

The orchestra will be performing in the MHS Instrumental Music “Pass in Review Concert” on Dec. 4 along with the MHS Symphonic Band and the MHS Marching Rams. The show begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free.

Submitted photo

A vague threat posted anonymously Monday night, apparently on Facebook, caused a larger police presence on the Maricopa High School campus this morning.

Maricopa Police Department cleared the campus overnight after parents used the department’s mobile app to alert them to the post.

MHS Principal Brian Winter sent a message to parents at 5:30 a.m. notifying them of the situation and noting that school would remain open.

“Although we are unable to determine the credibility of the threat, keeping you informed is our priority,” he stated.

The post used a 2012 evidence photo from the Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida, showing a hand holding a gun, an image from Martin’s cell phone. The superimposed phrase “MHS kids better not —- with me tomorrow” was followed by a smiley face emoji.

Winter asked students to leave their backpacks at home today. “Bags and large purses brought to school will be checked and stored with administration.” Students who stayed home were not penalized for the absence.

“We are still investigating this matter,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said. “We have reached out to FBI, the Mesa Fusion center and other intelligence-gathering agencies.”

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Isaiah Crawford

The Maricopa High School football team had a reversal of fortune Friday night against their toughest opponent yet. The visiting Higley Knights defeated the Rams 63-14 in the first week of San Tan region play. The Rams, playing without a head coach, went out in front early on a Jordan Huddleston pass to Jacob Cowing. In the second quarter, running back Mister Chavis bulled his way into the end zone, and Maricopa led 14-6. From that point, the Knights’ offensive and defensive lines locked in. As Higley reeled off 57 straight points, Maricopa could only occasionally get big yardage and eventually wore down. Higley also protected its quarterbacks well most of the game, though Logan Taylor still managed to collect enough sacks to give them the yips in the pocket. Most of Maricopa’s yardage came in the air, 195 of the 280 total yards. Higley took full advantage of Maricopa miscues, turning a fumble and an interception into touchdowns. Maricopa’s record moved to 4-2. Friday, the Rams travel to Gilbert’s Campo Verde, 5-1, for another San Tan contest.

 

 

Bernadette Russoniello

By Bernadette Russoniello

Are you applying for post-secondary education and need Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? The process is easier than ever.

 First, visit FAFSA.gov. You must create your FSA ID. You will need to have your Social Security number (SSN), full legal name, birthdate, current address and a personal email address. It is imperative students do not use their school Gmail address as it cannot receive responses from outside the organization. The process takes 5-10 minutes. A parent must create an FSA ID for themselves to electronically sign the FAFSA.

Once you have your FSA ID, create a new application. The FAFSA application opens Oct. 1 for the 2019-20 school year. You will need your parents’ SSNs and 2017 federal tax return. The best part about the online system is that when you enter your parents’ SSNs, the FAFSA automatically links to the IRS database and imports all financial information.

Complicated family situation? For the FAFSA, the “parent” is the legal guardian, biological or adoptive. If a student is living with an alternate family member or friend, information must still be reported for the parent. If parents are divorced, the student should report the parent who either they live with most or provides the most financial support. A stepparent income must also be reported.

Even more complicated? The financial aid offices of your applicant schools will work with you to help sort out the complexities of these situations. Unfortunately, for the federal government all students are considered financial dependents of their parents until the age of 24, regardless of living arrangements and reality.

What if my parent(s) are not legal residents? As long as you are a U.S. citizen, you can qualify for FAFSA. If your parents do not have an SSN, enter all zeros for the SSN.

Parents: How can you help? File your taxes on time so your child can be eligible for maximum support.

Be prepared with your applicant schools. On the FAFSA application, you can share your financial information electronically with up to 10 schools. You want to be intentional and purposeful in this selection. Once you confirm the schools have received your info, you can change your submission to 10 other schools. However, it can take the receiving institutions up to eight weeks to process your data, so be sure to prioritize.

The anticipated aid amount for the federal Pell Grant is $6,095. Federal grants can be used for community college, trade schools and universities, public or private. Grants are renewable up to four years if you pass all your classes and maintain full-time enrollment.

Once you submit your application, you will immediately receive an email from the Department of Education. This email is not a congratulations on completing the form; it is the confirmation letter with your anticipated aid. The letter will include your expected family contribution (EFC) and your anticipated aid. The EFC indicates the amount of money you are expected to contribute toward your college education.

Maricopa High School will host a community Financial Aid night Oct. 22 for families struggling with the process or wanting additional support.

Bernadette Russoniello is the Career and College coordinator at Maricopa High School. She can be reached at BRussoniello@MUSD20.org.


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Brady Stamps

Maricopa High School hosted a comprehensive college and career day for all 12th grade students Sept. 18. The day began with a College and Career fair.

Photo by Brady Stamps

More than 35 representatives from colleges, universities, trade schools, the armed forces, and local business hosted tables with information and takeaways for the students. Students then progressed into a rotation of events including: College Applications, FAFSA and financial aid support, interview tips and basic employability skills, as well as specialty workshops from various career presenters ranging from Insurance and City Government to careers in automotive technology and agriculture.

The following colleges and universities supported students with Application Day: Arizona State University, Northern University, University of Arizona, Grand Canyon University, Central Arizona College, Yavapai College, Prescott College, Universal Technical Institute, and New Mexico State University.

Community representatives included: Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Jamie Westmiller, Ahwatukee Realty with Shylo Carr, Courtny Tyler with State Farm, Tena Dugan and Napa Auto Parts, City of Maricopa, Maricopa Police Department, Maricopa Fire Department, Sandra Zires with CAC and the SUNDT trades program, Veronika Mosely with CAC Health programs, and Carrie Vargas with Miss City of Maricopa and Miss Arizona Scholarship Program.

The military was represented by recruiters from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corp, U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard, and U.S. Air Guard. Additional guests included Eastern Arizona College, University of Advancing Technology, Eastern and Western New Mexico Universities, Southwest University of Visual Arts, Ottawa University, the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, Benedictine University and Commercial Divers, Inc.

Students appreciated the opportunity to spend an entire day immersed in these highly relevant topics. Senior Anthony Morris appreciated the event: “I learned how to write a college [admissions] essay and a lot about FAFSA.” Senior Latayvia Ross would like to see more events including a job fair and “more days like this.”

 

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MHS head coach Brandon Harris (right) had a physical confrontation with Central head coach Jon Clanton Sept. 14. Photo by Jeff Hazlett

From the desk of Maricopa High School Principal Brian Winter: This is the response from Coach Brandon Harris regarding the events that transpired at the conclusion of the homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 14:

“Since being named head coach of our football program, I have been obsessive in my belief that our program should model behavior that is consistent with excellence, good character and high morals. This past Friday, some of my actions weren’t consistent with this. My direct supervisor (AD Jake Neill) instructed me to do certain things at the end of the altercation with Central’s coach, and I did not comply.

“After reflection, I realize that my actions are not consistent with what I have modeled for our coaches and players up to this point. I can’t in good conscience accept that this should be overlooked. I have suspended players this season and sat players – even just last week for conduct I felt was unbecoming. I am just a man, I am fallible, and I make mistakes. I made one last Friday.

“To not hold myself to the same standards I talk about wouldn’t be the right thing to do. I’m as competitive as they come, and I live for matchups like this Friday, because if you are a competitor you want to coach in big games against the best competition possible. So, this is as painful as it can be for me, but as much as it pains me, and the obvious jeopardy it will put our team in, some things are more important than wins and losses – I want to be remembered for how I lived my life.

“I am not going to coach in the Higley game this Friday because of the part I played in Friday night’s incident following the game. I am taking this opportunity to apologize to our Superintendent, Principal, Athletic Director, my colleagues in the greater good for teaching, along with my coaches, players and our city for my conduct. The last thing I want to do is represent us in a negative light.”

The Rams celebrate after a "fluke" touchdown by Logan Taylor (42). Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Maricopa High School football team routed Central, 55-0, in a shortened Homecoming game that ended with a brief brawl that was not instigated by the players.

The Rams scored eight touchdowns as a variety of players off the bench saw action throughout the night. Maricopa became the third team to score at least 50 points on Central High School, which is now 0-5. Maricopa’s record improved to 4-1.

The post-game handshake between coaches Jon Clanton (left) and Brandon Harris wasn’t really a handshake. Photo by Jeff Hazlett

After the Rams went ahead 21-0 in the first quarter on scores by senior Tylen Coleman and sophomore Mister Chavis, Marcopa had the game salted away by the half. Senior quarterback Jordan Huddleston scored on a 12-yard keeper. After suffering one of their worst drives of the season in the middle of the second quarter, Huddleston hit senior Jacob Cowing with a 77-yard pass.

When the Bobcats tried to punt on their next possession, Maricopa senior defensive end Logan Taylor grabbed the ball and took it in for a 10-yard touchdown to give the Rams the 41-0 lead at the break.

The Bobcats came close to getting on the board with a first-and-goal situation on the 4, but the Maricopa defense stopped two runs and two pass attempts.

After the odd sight of senior guard Trey Keel receiving a pass for a first down, backup quarterback Daxton Redfern tossed to Cowing for a touchdown and passed for a two-point conversion. That put the score at 49-0 with 4:38 remaining in the game.

In the last two minutes, Kaireem Moreira took the ball 78 yards for the game-ending touchdown.

But it wasn’t the end of the action, at least for Central head coach Jon Clanton. Eye-witness accounts of the post-game handshake indicated Clanton instead pulled Maricopa head coach Brandon Harris toward him, pushed him, yelled at him and knocked off his hat. Harris allegedly then punched the much-taller Clanton.

While players started shoving each other, the coaches were separated, and Maricopa officials sent the Rams to the locker room.

Clanton later said Maricopa’s actions in running up the score were “classless.” He acknowledged knocking off Harris’s hat, but said, “I don’t throw punches.” The incident will be reviewed by AIA.

Next week, Maricopa jumps into region play by hosting Higley (4-1). The game is Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Ram Stadium.

Coach Brandon Harris talks to his team after a win at South Mountain High School.

The Maricopa High School Rams won their third football game of the season, but the head coach wasn’t exactly happy about the way it all happened.

In a penalty-laden contest, MHS defeated South Mountain on the road, 23-18. The win improved their record to 3-1, but coach Brandon Harris called the effort “piss-poor.”

Along with missed assignments and inconsistent execution, flags for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct marred the night for Maricopa.

“Disrespecting the game, disrespecting the city of Maricopa, the school, not representing ourselves on the field well,” Harris listed his issues with what occurred. He said it came as a surprise to him and did not reflect the team’s preparations for the game.

The Rams scored on their first possession with a 31-yard run by sophomore Mister Chavis and never relinquished the lead. Maricopa scored again early in the second quarter on a 2-yard run by senior Kaireem Moreira.

The Jaguars turned a fumble recovery into a quick passing touchdown late in the second. After blocking the point-after kick attempt, Maricopa went into halftime with a 14-6 lead.

While the Rams relied more heavily on the legs of quarterback Jordan Huddleston than his arm, the Maricopa defensive line stymied South Mountain’s ground attack. Jags quarterback Roghon Arnold had the ball in the air most of the second half. That included a 16-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Cotton to edge close to Maricopa, 14-12, at the start of the fourth quarter.

Maricopa’s junior kicker Roberto Esqueda kicked a 31-yard field goal to create a little more breathing room. After a Michael Soliz interception near Maricopa’s 15, Chavis took the ball all the way down field to score again with 2:50 remaining in the game.

“Mister Chavis played well tonight,” Harris said. “He did a lot of good things for us.”

South Mountain capped off the game with a long drive that ended in a quarterback keeper for the final touchdown.

The win kept Maricopa on pace with the rest of the 5A San Tan Region, currently tied for third. The Rams return home this week for Homecoming against Central on Friday at 7 p.m. They then start region play with a home game against Higley Sept. 21.

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