MTA Presents “Les Miserables”

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Musical Theatre of Anthem brings Victor Hugo’s famed novel to life with a cast of award-winning performers from New York and the Valley. Check website for times and ticket prices. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, More

Falcon Fans: Looking for a Playoff Home Run

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
The Cactus Shadows High baseball program is the equivalent of a well-hit fly ball, soaring off the bat, flying high, going deep, back, back - and, just as a towering ball has fans jumping to their feet to see if it will clear the wall for a home run, so this season has Falcons fans eagerly wondering if the team can go all the way.   The Falcons baseball team twice won the state championship, in 1998 and 2006, and was a runner-up in 1990 and 1996.   Can they go all the way again this month? After a 14-2-1 start in March/April, the baseball team looks like a strong threat to bring a title back to Cave Creek. If it happens, it will be an affirmation of the philosophy of the program’s leadership.   Cactus Shadows has a unique coaching staff, as two of the mentors have professional baseball experience. Head coach Guy Gianni was a fourth-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds back in 1988. The catcher-outfielder played four pro seasons before turning to coaching.   While Gianni can talk... More

Pinnacle Power: Baseball & Softball Teams Rev Up for Playoffs

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
The hotly contested playoffs of May should be a big month for Pinnacle High School, with boys’ baseball and girls’ softball teams jockeying to make runs at state titles.   John Casey averaged 20 wins in his first four seasons as Pinnacle High’s baseball coach, peaking at 23-10 with a trip to the playoffs last season.   After losing a big batch of seniors, it looked like this would be a rebuilding season for Casey’s baseballers. But, proving again that baseball is an unpredictable sport, such has hardly been the case.   The 2015 team got off to a flying start, going 14-7 through the first part of the season. “The pitching and defense have been the keys,” said Casey, who, in 1991, was a Division II 1st Team All American.   After his college career at Stanislaus State, he spent a few seasons in the minor leagues before moving on to coaching, first in New Jersey, later at Desert Mountain High. He has learned that, with young arms being carefully monitored, having a stock of... More

Hale Stewart Takes on New York

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Amanda Reif
Maybe in preparation for all the competitiveness of adult life, high school is growing increasingly competitive. Of course, there are all the sports, but now there are also debate, math, science and other academic competitions.   And, believe it or not, there’s the 2015 English Speaking Union Phoenix Branch Shakespeare Competition, with students challenged to deliver monologues and sonnets.   Sounds pretty dramatic, right? Well, the drama for Hale Stewart was nerve-wracking - and that was before he even stepped on stage.   It was only natural that Hale, a Notre Dame Prep junior, would enroll in the competition. He has been a natural since stepping on stage shortly after he enrolled at the North Scottsdale campus.   “My freshman year was when I really started,” he says, of his budding acting career. “The first few weeks of school, I was just going and getting accustomed to the new school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and heard about the drama club. I went there and... More

Lady Jags Make a Run for the Softball Playoffs

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

If your idea of softball is “beer league,” with slow arcing pitches tossed lazily toward the plate, there are two words that will shatter that impression: Brianna Binns.   Binns is the star pitcher for the Boulder Creek Lady Jaguars, and her blazing fastball and dropping curve are paving the way to a very big season. In high school girls’ softball, pitchers like Binns do deliver pitches underhand, but that is where the similarity to casual beer league and picnic games ends. The likes of Binns brings some serious heat; batters have split seconds to decide to swing the bat at the white blur or take the pitch, risking a called strike.   This season, the Lady Jags have been making all the right decisions, all the right moves.   Tori Bigelow is one of the senior stars leading this team. The slugging third baseman has signed to play with the University of California, Berkeley next season. “Can’t beat the competition,” she said of her decision.   But before starting her... More

Student Athlete: Former BC Star Talks About College Soccer

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

If you want to know what it’s like to play sports in college, ask Alex Elias.   Why her? Well, she’s good, no doubt about it, attending Northern Illinois University on a scholarship to play soccer. She can also give you some insightful, articulate answers, as she is smart: big-time, straight-A’s smart.   In her sophomore season at NIU, Elias played in all 21 games, starting 17 at center back. She was a powerful force on defense and was the first woman from her school in five years to make the Academic All-District Second Team. Her 4.0 grade point average also landed her on the Academic All-MAC (Mid-American Conference) Team. In 2013, she was named to the MAC All-Freshman women’s soccer team, becoming the fourth athlete in NIU history to accomplish the feat.   Her coach at NIU, John Ross, had this to say about the star from Anthem, who helped her team make the MAC tournament semifinals for the first time since 2007: “Alex is very composed on the ball and very skilled as an... More

BC Athletes Moving On to the Next Level

2015-05-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Sam Paul
Graduation is approaching like a chugging train that can be heard but not yet seen. For many Boulder Creek High School graduates, that train will take them off to college. And for 16 seniors honored at a ceremony in late February, college means not only higher education but also higher levels of athletics, as those 16 have signed agreements to play at the likes of Arizona State University; University of Arizona; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; University of Oklahoma; Texas Tech University and University of Utah.   “We think the excellent combination of academics and athletics at Boulder Creek is what makes so many colleges interested in our high-performing athletes,” said Scott Warner, BC’s athletic director. “Colleges don’t just want athletes, they want student athletes.” The girls’ soccer team leads the way with an exceptional six athletes signing to play in college. Word about Lady Jags soccer is spreading; a press release on Texas... More

MTA Presents “Wizard of Oz”

2015-04-20 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Follow the yellow brick road with a cast of 6-13 year olds as they discover what lies over the rainbow in this adaptation of one of the most popular stories of all time. Check website for times and ticket prices. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, More

Starlight Community Theater Presents “Peter Pan and Wendy”

2015-04-17 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Rediscover the magic of Peter Pan and his enduring friendship with Wendy in this faithful adaptation. 7 p.m., Fridays; 2 and 7 p.m., Saturdays. Starlight Community Theater, 1611 Whispering Wind Dr., Ste. 160, More

NDP Student Art Showcase

2015-04-13 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Notre Dame Preparatory’s artistic students showcase their best work in photography, computer graphics, ceramics, painting, drawing and mixed media. 3:30-5:30 p.m. Free. Vi at Silverstone, 23005 N. 74th St., 480-634-8200, More

New Italian Youth Opera Makes American Debut

2015-04-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Rebecca Zaner   “The Toy Factory,” a children’s opera composed and premiered in Italy, makes its American debut in Anthem this April. Based on the children’s book, “The Sword and the Stone,” “The Toy Factory” portrays an updated version of the classic tale through music and theatrical arts.   To debut the opera, Joan Yakkey, composer and librettist of “The Toy Factory,” will travel to Phoenix along with six of her young madrigal singers from the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole. The North American premiere takes place on April 23 and will run through April 25 at Boulder Creek High School.   In partnership with Boulder Creek High School choir students and director, Kirk Douglas, this performance features international as well as local young talent. Students from Canyon Springs Elementary School will also be featured in the program. Generously supported by Arts Council of the North Valley and its president, Mary Sue Hyatt, “The Toy Factory” is a highly... More

Tower To Casey - You are Cleared for Takeoff

2015-04-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
Writer Tom Scanlon     He’s not quite at the “Top Gun” level yet, but Casey Cooper is well on his way. The future is up in the air, literally, for this North Scottsdale resident who attends Notre Dame Preparatory.   At a time when many teenagers are playing video games that simulate flying, Casey is actually doing it; he made his first solo flight last year and in mid-February was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. He began flying when he was just 14 years old.   “My parents, John and Christy, knew that I wanted to fly and they purchased me an explorer flight for my 14th birthday to see if I enjoyed it,” he said. “I currently have nearly 30 hours of flight time. I need to get up to a minimum of 40 hours before I can receive my private pilot’s license.”   His passion for flying goes back to an even younger age, when he was around 8 years old.   “My grandfather flew Cessnas before I was born and I had heard some of his stories about... More