Upscale Singers Award Scholarships to Area Youth

2014-12-14 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Pinnacle High School junior Mason Reeves and Gavilan Peak seventh grader Sophia Humbert were the top winners of the Upscale Singers eighth annual Vocal Scholarship auditions. Reeves took first place in the Senior High division, winning a $500 scholarship; Humbert won the Junior High division and secured a $400 vocal scholarship. Both winners will be featured soloists in the Upscale Singers’ annual Christmas show on December 14. Seven other students placed in the auditions and six honorable mentions were named, with a total of $3,200 awarded. For more information, visit ... More

Taste of Preschool

2014-12-12 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Children ages 2½ to 5 will have a fun morning meeting the teachers of Our Lady of Joy Catholic Preschool and making gingerbread houses during this open house event. 10 a.m. Free. Our Lady of Joy Catholic Preschool, 36811 N. Pima Rd., 480-595-6409, ... More

Boulder Creek Fall Sports: Splashes & Touchdowns

2014-12-11 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon   November was championship time for fall high school sports, with one sport after another coming crashing to its conclusion after months of competition. If there was a combination score (as in the Olympics), Boulder Creek High School might have won the title, as the Anthem high school finished near the top in several events.   The swimmers, who put in thousands of laps at the Anthem Community Center, were some of the top performers. You could say Krista Kolkebeck finished her BC swimming career with a splash. Led by her fourth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, the BC girls’ swim team finished sixth in the state.   Participating in perhaps the most competitive race in swimming, Kolkebeck faced the top water athletes in the state. The 100-yard freestyle is her strongest race and was her best chance to be one of the four who received medals on the podium.   “I set a goal to make it to the podium and after I touched the wall, I looked up at the scoreboard... More

MTA's Holiday Show

2014-12-10 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Musical Theatre of Anthem presents a concert-style performance filled with the sounds of the season, including classic carols and popular holiday music performed by youth ages 9-19. Check website for show times. $16-$19 per person. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, ... More

Lady Jags' Seniors Hope to Lead Boulder Creek to a State Title

2014-12-10 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
Writer Tom Scanlon     Rick Klein may be in his first year coaching the Boulder Creek High School girls’ soccer team, but you’ll get no coach speak from him, no, “I have a very talented team, we’re just going to play hard and take it one game at a time.”   Klein is fired up about these Lady Jags and is anxious to watch them tear up the playing field.   “Our team is stacked!” Klein exclaims. “We have eight Elite Clubs National League players and the rest are top level state league club players.”   Klein, taking over for previous coach Natalie Schmidtke, has a group of scholarship-winning stars led by Angela Boyle, Kyle Escobedo, Shelby Stewart and Natalie Stephens. Boulder Creek girls’ soccer was just an afterthought until the 2011-12 season, when these four talented players, then freshmen, stepped onto the Anthem playing field.   Led by the first-year kids, the Lady Jaguars doubled their win total from the year before, going from an 8-8 record to a sparkling... More

Another WILDE Ride Coming for Pinnacle Basketball

2014-12-05 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
Writer Tom Scanlon     Worry? Charlie Wilde?   After 24 years of coaching high school basketball, the last 15 at Pinnacle High School, Wilde’s not about to sweat over losing his superstar scorer, super reliable point guard and other top scorers to graduation.   So what if Dorian Pickens is draining three-pointers off the bench at Stanford University, instead of pouring in 25 points per game for Pinnacle? So what if Trey Ingram, the masterful point guard who ran the offense the last two years, has also graduated and gone off to college?   The Stockton and Malone of North Scottsdale, Pickens and Ingram led Pinnacle to back-to-back state championship appearances. Though his starting lineup has been gutted by the graduation of the two stars and three other frequent starters from last season, the veteran coach did not sound a bit worried as practice for this season began.   “We should not have a drop off at all,” said Wilde. “[This season’s team] is a great group. The... More

The Return of the Nutcracker

2014-12-03 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Rosalie O'Connor
Writer Tom Scanlon     It has been 122 years since choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov got together with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to adapt E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” The Russian ballet version premiered a week before Christmas of 1892 at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. “Nutcracker” didn’t get its United States premiere until a half century later, but slowly picked up steam and has now been a spinning part of the American Christmas tradition for decades.   It’s one thing to do “Nutcracker.” Thousands of versions of the Russian classic prance across stages every year, from school productions on up to the professionals. It’s another thing to do “Nutcracker” well. It can be underdone, it can be overdone; it can be a cynicized moneymaker, it can be a by-the-numbers snoozer.   Ballet Arizona has found a way to do it with zest, and they do it very, very well.   A Sugar Plum Fairy, dancing toys, a giant Mouse King... More

Look for Jake to take it to the Hoop

2014-12-03 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
Writer Tom Scanlon     Something is brewing in Cave Creek, and it’s not just espresso at the coffee shops. Inside the gym at Cactus Shadows High School, a powerhouse program is percolating.   Coach Jamal Scott has been there for three years and has delivered three winning teams that have gone to the playoffs. He thinks his fourth might be his best team yet, but if so, it will take a modest young man to bust out of his humble shell.   Some athletes think they’re better — much better — than they really are. Perhaps you know the type from pick-up basketball, the gunner who keeps firing up airballs, grumbles about fouls no one else can see and keeps chucking up bricks.   Over at Cactus Shadows, Scott has the opposite problem. He has to practically beg senior Jake Anastasi to let loose.   “I had to push him to shoot [last season],” says Scott of Anastasi’s junior year. “It’s absolutely been a struggle to get him to be aggressive.”   But Scott thinks the lightbulb... More

Starlight Community Theater Presents “Miracle on 34th Street”

2014-12-02 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Based on the book by Meredith Willson, this Christmas classic will entertain the entire family. Check website for dates and times. Starlight Community Theater, 1611 W. Whispering Wind Dr. #160, 623-252-6815, More

Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre Presents The Nutcracker Suite

2014-11-22 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Join Clara in her enchanting dream through the Land of Sweets as portrayed by local youth and professional dancers. Showtimes are 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Check website for ticket prices and to purchase. Boulder Creek High School Performing Arts Center, 40404 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy., 602-314-8033, More

Boulder Creek Visual Voice Club Communicates Through Good Design

2014-11-18 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Sam Paul
Writer Barb Evans     There’s a club at Boulder Creek High School whose job is to make the other clubs look good. If given the chance, they can help you look good, too.   BC’s Visual Voice Club creates eye-catching visual communications for the school’s various clubs and organizations. By using the principles and elements of good design, members produce materials such as posters, invitations, T-shirts, advertisements and anything else you can imagine.   “We act as a real design firm,” says Alex Khoury, the club’s vice president. “We learn how to run a business by figuring costs and deciding what to charge. The clubs are our clients.”   Club president Dan Paul adds, “That’s what’s awesome about us. We are the one club that gets to work with all the other clubs.”   So far this year, they’re busy.   Current projects include T-shirt designs for DECA and FBLA, posters and fliers for the theater club’s empty bowl fundraiser and posters for several sports... More

Golf is like a Box of Cookies

2014-11-13 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon     Golf is a solitary sport. It’s almost to the point of compulsive isolation; the ability to block out the outside world and focus on the task at hand is an absolute must.   Sure, in tournaments, you’re technically playing against opponents. The one with the lowest score wins — everyone knows that.   But unlike most other sports, there is no one playing defense against you. You line up at the tee, then (hopefully) on the fairway, then (eventually) on the putting green. No matter where you are, there is no one between you and the hole.   There’s no ferocious linebacker trying to tackle you, no towering center trying to smash your shot, no spiker at the net ready to shove the ball back in your face and not even a goaltender patrolling the front of the cup.   It’s just you and the hole; man or woman vs. course. Many times, it’s not the most physically talented golfer who wins, but the one who is most mentally tough: the one who says, “I know how to... More

Darby Deak: Horsing Around and Serious Modeling

2014-11-12 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon     “It’s always busy,” says Darby Deak, smiling inside her family’s lively Grayhawk home. “Busy, busy, busy.”   Darby is a senior at Notre Dame Preparatory. She has gratefully returned to life on the smaller campus after spending a not-for-me year at Chaparral High School, where her father was a star athlete before playing professional baseball. Many of her fellow students at Notre Dame are busy with traditional school activities such as football, volleyball, cheerleading, theater and other school clubs. But as a champion equestrian and budding beauty queen, her busy life happens away from school.   “Darby has been riding horses since she was 6 years old and has a passion for all things horse,” says her mother, Sherry, with a she-didn’t-get-it-from-me look.   She is a national champion in the Arabian country English pleasure class and a two-time national reserve champion in half-Arabian country English pleasure.   “Every horse has a... More