Youth

Calling All Applicants: Rotary Club of Anthem Scholarships

2016-03-11 | ImagesAZ | Youth


The Rotary Club of Anthem is now accepting applications for its 2016-17 scholarship program. Established to recognize the outstanding scholastic achievements of local graduating high school seniors, the program awards five scholarships of $1,000 each to support full-time enrollment at any accredited community college, four-year college or university, trade school or vocational school for the coming academic year. Beginning this year, all high school seniors living in the Anthem area are eligible to apply, regardless of which high school they attend in the region. For those not familiar with the Rotary Club of Anthem, current President Don Whitman says, “It is simply a group of community leaders that get together regularly to share ideas and take action to improve the surrounding community. We believe in education and assisting the youth in our community and each year provide $1,000 scholarships to five students within our area.”Applications are due to the scholarship committee by... More

MTA Casting Call: Disney’s “101 Dalmatians Kids”

2016-03-05 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Performers ages 6-10 can audition for this no-cut production of a fur-raising adventure about an outrageous villain who tries in vain to steal 101 Dalmatian pups for her new fur coat. March 12: general vocal auditions, 10:30 a.m. March 13: dance call, 2 p.m.; callbacks, 3 p.m. Audition preparation workshop available March 10 and 11, 4-5:30 p.m., for $35. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, musicaltheatreofanthem.org.... More

MTA Casting Call: “Mary Poppins”

2016-03-05 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Performers ages 11 to adult (no cut for ages 11-19) can audition for this musical based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film. March 12: general vocal auditions, 1:30 p.m. March 13: dance call, 9 a.m.; tap call, 10 a.m.; dance callbacks, 10:45 a.m. Audition preparation workshop available March 10 and 11, 6-7:30 p.m., for $35. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, musicaltheatreofanthem.org.... More

Boulder Creek Targets Tempe

2016-03-05 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Few things are more devastating in the world of sports than a batter swinging at an inside fastball and connecting — when it’s really, really cold.     It can make strong men scream in pain, and hardly incentivizes younger players to go out for a little pitch-and-hit in the dead of winter.This month marks the official beginning of professional baseball, with teams beginning practice around the Valley for the Cactus League (the other half of the professionals will begin Grapefruit League practices in Florida). In this instance, Anthem’s Boulder Creek High School players are far ahead of their big league idols, as they have already been at it for about six weeks.The third week of January, a ferocious blizzard dumped feet of snow across much of the country, with temperatures well below freezing and menacing winds. The only balls being thrown around in most states were made of snow, and a hit meant someone caught a snowball in the face.Here in Anthem, it was 72 degrees and... More

Calling All Applicants, Rotary Club of Anthem Scholarships

2016-03-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth


The Rotary Club of Anthem is now accepting applications for its 2016-17 scholarship program. Established to recognize the outstanding scholastic achievements of local graduating high school seniors, the program awards five scholarships of $1,000 each to support full-time enrollment at any accredited community college, four-year college or university, trade school or vocational school for the coming academic year. Beginning this year, all high school seniors living in the Anthem area are eligible to apply, regardless of which high school they attend in the region.    For those not familiar with the Rotary Club of Anthem, current President Don Whitman says, “It is simply a group of community leaders that get together regularly to share ideas and take action to improve the surrounding community. We believe in education and assisting the youth in our community and each year provide $1,000 scholarships to five students within our area.”   Applications are due to the scholarship... More

Anthem Youth Football

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Close your eyes and ponder the following phrase: Pee Wee football.   Are you picturing cute little tykes in oversized helmets, stumbling around, trying to remember which way to run?   Well, that might be the old days, but that’s hardly the case for today’s Anthem area youth football.   Under the coaching of Matt Carolan and his assistants, a group of 11- and 12-year-old Pee Wees learned how to play football like high school seniors.   “I was pretty proud of what the kids learned,” Carolan says. “We were able to teach them a high school varsity offense. We ran a Power I [formation], we taught them the full spread offense.” Young quarterback Tyler Schweigert even got to change plays with audibles at the line of scrimmage.   “It was very impressive,” the coach says. “On defense, we were able to play a full varsity high school style zone, man to man, dime packages and nickel packages. It was an absolute privilege to coach these kids.”   And they didn’t just... More

Anthem Athletes Grapple for State Title

2016-01-20 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Photo Credit: Rob Ascherl
If it’s February, it’s Crooks time.   The name “Crooks” has become synonymous with Boulder Creek High School wrestling. Chiefly, there is coach Doug Crooks. The longtime — first and only — BC wrestling coach has fired up his grapplers, who have taken the program to an elite level in the last few Februarys. The state tournament is held annually mid-month at the Prescott Valley Event Center.   Crooks reflects on building this program from scratch back when BC opened in 2004.   “I have been in the Deer Valley Unified School District since 1986; I was coaching at Barry Goldwater,” Crooks says. “I heard Boulder Creek was opening up, so my wife and I thought it would be a good idea for us to move to Anthem and both of us work at the school. I was excited at being able to start a new program.”   His BC program has been on the rise, peaking two years ago when the team finished third in the state for the 2013-14 season and senior Jro Byrd brought a state championship... More

MTA Casting Call: Junie B. Jones

2016-01-09 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Performers ages 6 to 13 can audition for this no-cut production based on Barbara Park’s bestselling book series about a sassy little girl and her adventures in first grade. General vocal auditions: Jan. 9, 11 a.m.; dance call: Jan. 10, 9 a.m.; dance callbacks: Jan. 10, 11 a.m. Audition preparation workshop available Jan. 7, 4:30-6 p.m. for $35. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, musicaltheatreofanthem.org.... More

Modest Meredith Keeps Her Cool

2015-12-28 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Poor Jennifer Reinhardt: “Nobody tells me anything!”   Her daughter, Meredith, is particularly secretive. But unlike some teenagers, who hide things from their parents for fear of getting in trouble, Meredith was hiding good things. Most notably, a national competition sponsored by fast-food giant Wendy’s. They call it the “High School Heisman Program,” a takeoff on the big college honor. Instead of just football stars, the Wendy’s high school program is open to athletes who excel in a variety of sports, with high grades and community work also factoring into the selection process.   Jennifer was only vaguely aware her daughter — a star senior goalkeeper who led Notre Dame Preparatory to a state championship last season — had entered the program.   “She keeps a lot of things quiet,” Jennifer says, with a sigh. “She told me she was encouraged to apply for it, and that’s the last I heard from her.”   Meredith was selected for the first round, yet was hardly... More

Chaparral High Superstars Aim for Olympics

2015-12-28 | ImagesAZ | Youth


They both started swimming as toddlers at Cactus Pool in Cactus Park.   They both started making waves at Scottsdale Aquatic Club before entering Chaparral High School, where they are smashing state records, winning championships and attracting college recruiters like a honeysuckle garden pulls in hummingbirds.   And, as great as 2014 and 2015 were for both of them, the coming year may see the Chaparral superstars swimming in the Olympics — for different countries.   Meet Taylor Ruck and Ryan Hoffer, perhaps the most talented pair of swimmers to come through an Arizona high school at the same time.   Pretty nice setup for a young coach, eh, Richard Krzyzanowski?   “It’s amazing,” agrees Coach Richie, as he is known. “Not many coaches at high schools have the fastest girl and the fastest boy in the United States.”   As she did in her freshman year, sophomore Ruck led the Chaparral girls to a dominant state championship; the team finished a whopping 125 points ahead of... More

Catch a Rising Star: Sydney Collins

2015-12-28 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Blonde hair falling down past her shoulders, Sydney Collins gently but skillfully strums a guitar, confidently singing, “Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone.”   By 7 p.m., the deck is just about full, with nine of 10 tables occupied; half-price bottle of wine night doesn’t hurt.   Modest and unassuming, the singer rolls from one song to the next with little hesitation or wasted motion. It’s obvious she has done this before.   “It’s going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day.”   The folks in the crowd set down their wine glasses to applaud appreciatively. The charming singer thanks the crowd, adding, “I hope everyone’s having a good Thanksgiving eve.”   She is professional, smooth and talented.   She is also 18 years old.   A senior in high school, Collins has been playing Wednesday evenings at Rhythm and Wine — not far from her North Scottsdale home — for several years.   “She’s been here for three years; we love her,” says Laura Craig, owner of... More

Anthem Youth Answer Call to Civic Involvement

2015-12-28 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Photo Credit: Sam Paul
A new group of civic-minded youth answered the call to serve on the Anthem Youth Advisory Council (AYAC) during the 2015-16 term. They will work throughout the school year to make a positive difference in the community and reach out to their peers in the Anthem community. Initial meetings are already underway, and the group has a solid plan in place to make it a great year.   The AYAC’s inaugural year was last year, 2014-15, when the first group of 13 Anthem youth ages 12-18 was formed. The purpose of the group is to inform the Anthem Community Council (ACC) board of issues and needs concerning youth in the community.   Among their list of goals this year is to set a firm foundation for the future of the AYAC by establishing and fostering a strong organizational structure for the group. This includes forming focused committees, as well as continuing to increase awareness of the group in the community with ongoing projects and events. They plan to create and host events that bring... More

Riding High: Georgia Smith Leads the BC Charge to College

2015-12-28 | ImagesAZ | Youth


A huge, powerful horse is in a full sprint through the arena — look out, it’s headed for the wall! Just a few feet from a horrible collision, the horse comes to a skidding stop, its back legs folding and dust flying.   Sitting tall in the saddle, Georgia Smith doesn’t even flinch.   Her reined cow horse event is quite the show; after the sliding stop, Georgia has her horse do several quick spins before calmly riding off. These intricate moves are part natural talent and touch, part hundreds of hours of preparation.   “Georgia, want to see a movie Friday night?”   “Sorry, I have practice.”   “Well, how about hanging out at the mall Saturday?”   “Can’t. Practice.”   That was the story of Georgia’s teenage years in Anthem, hitting the books at Boulder Creek High School before hitting the stables. Being on top of a big horse is as comforting to Georgia as being in the fetal position — and for good reason.   “I was a rider my whole life,” says Julie... More

Run Miguel Run!

2015-12-28 | ImagesAZ | Youth


In his first at bat in Major League Baseball, Roy Hobbs (played by the dashing Robert Redford) hits the cover off the ball, smashing it far into the sky for a homerun.   No wonder they called him “The Natural.”   Anthem’s Miguel Blancas? He might be cross-country’s “The Natural.”   Miguel had never tried running before, but wanted something to help with his stamina for soccer season. So he tried out for the Canyon Springs School cross-country team.   The first race he ever entered? He won it.   His second race? Another win.   He won the third, fourth and fifth races, too, becoming the section champion and qualifying for the state race.   On October 31 at Anthem Community Park, Miguel took his place at the starting line among 217 other state qualifiers. He finished 23rd, earning the eighth grader a medal.   “His very first race, he won,” says Miguel Blancas Sr., who discusses his son with a mixture of pride and surprise. “Except for state, he had all first... More

The Sisters K: Swimming to College

2015-12-28 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Remember the Kolkebeck girls?   Sisters Holly and Krista, who anchored the Boulder Creek High School swimming program for eight years, are off swimming at Division I schools, with memories of their Anthem careers becoming more distant with each intense college meet.   After starting out at Glendale Community College, Holly Kolkebeck is now making waves as a junior at Grand Canyon University. Down in Tempe, Krista Kolkebeck is “a little fish in a really big pond” (as her mother, Gina, puts it) at Arizona State University, but has been successfully fighting for lane time. Indeed, she had a second place finish in the 100 free against Oregon State University this fall, plus several fourth place finishes in the 100 and 50 free.   “Having Krista swim at ASU and also swim very well there has only helped push the swimmers on the team currently toward their goals of swimming at the next level,” says her old coach, Scott Newell.   Though he is without “The Sisters K,” don’t... More