MTA Presents "Annie Jr."

2015-11-23 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts in this musical based on the Tony Award winning Broadway play. $16-$19. Check website for show times. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892,  Dec. 3-6, 10-13... More

Great Expectations: Jags hungry for title

2015-11-19 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Kate Caldwell
Long before the first whistle would blow and tip-off would officially start the basketball season, Ryne Holstrom’s chest swelled with pride over his Boulder Creek High School boys’ basketball team. Off the court, the team was there for the community Veteran’s Day parade.   “We wanted to go out and support the veterans, let them know we appreciate them,” the coach says.   On the court, the Jaguars showed they are hungry at 5 a.m. practices that started the season. The lanky teenagers may have been growling for breakfast, but more importantly they were hungry to show last season was no fluke, that BC has a basketball program that is growing in strength.   “The guys did great,” Holstrom says. “They showed up — it was early in the morning, but they did a great job. They really practiced hard.”   That is key, as you don’t have to be Charles Dickens to know this year’s team has great expectations. Last season’s BC boys’ basketball team recovered from a slow... More

Lacrosse catching on in Anthem

2015-11-19 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Amanda Hicks
Never played lacrosse? No worries! It’s super easy to learn. All you need to be able to do is run, throw and catch.   Then again, maybe it’s not as easy as it sounds. The running part is normal, moving up and down the playing field just as you would do in soccer, football and other sports. But the throwing and catching … ay, there’s the rub.   Throwing seems natural enough; it’s something most of us have been doing since we started flinging spoons of applesauce out of the high chair. Which, actually, is a somewhat appropriate metaphor, except rather than a spoon, you will be using a lacrosse stick about the size of a hockey stick, with a cradle at the end instead of a blade. And, unlike the applesauce-flinging toddler of your yesteryears, you’ll need two hands on the lacrosse stick for a good toss.   Then comes catching, which requires both physical dexterity and hand-eye coordination. When a teammate flings the lacrosse ball your way, you will often be running as you... More

BC's new golf coach shares a life on the links

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Joelie Bennett
Boulder Creek High School’s new golf coach has big plans for his team.   “My expectations for the team this year are that we qualify for state and contend for a top five finish there,” says Chris Endres.   Golf is perhaps the most physical-mental challenge ever invented, combining the strategy of chess with the explosiveness of baseball. If you want to see grown men and women howling in frustration and on the verge of tears (if not actually breaking down and crying), go to any golf course on a Saturday when the weather is nice.   Now imagine all that pressure — trying to hit a strong, straight tee shot; figuring out the best way to get fairly close to the hole and the sheer agony of the putt — placed on the untested shoulders of teenagers.   If it seems like too much for young souls to handle, well, the new coach says, “I’ve been there, I’ve done all that and more.” Indeed, when Endres tells his young golfers to not be afraid of challenging themselves, they know... More

Rock The District

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

With apologies to Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, the Cave Creek kids are not all right.   They’re pretty drumstick-flippin’ awesome.   Cave Creek kids like Lucas Akin and Sydney Collins are digging into their parents’ CDs — and even record collections — for inspiration, melding music of decades gone by with contemporary culture, playing lively covers of hits and even creating their own sounds and musical ideas. They are not just rocking, they are “rocking the district.”   That is the name of an energetic, parent-guided, student-driven annual program that is making Cactus Shadows High School something of a music mecca.   The seventh annual Rock the District is cranking up like a Townshend windmill. The show will be held at the Carefree Resort from 5 to 9 p.m. on November 21. Auditions were scheduled for October 17 — the musical talent pool is so deep, many good singers and musicians won’t make the cut.   Seven years ago, a Cactus Shadows freshman musician named... More

Adding Pep to Notre Dame Prep

2015-10-30 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Every good school has that go-to person — the one hustling behind the scenes, setting up the framework for the rallies, dances, shows and other activities that become lifelong memories for students. At Notre Dame Preparatory, the go-to is Brenda Beers, also known as “the pep lady.”   “Brenda is passionate about Catholic education and is committed to helping students become their best selves,” says James Gmelich, Notre Dame Prep’s principal. “She has very high expectations for her student leaders and challenges them to continually think of others before themselves. She is very well organized, is a tireless worker and she loves kids. That is a great combination of skills for any educator.”   You can call her a perennial teenager, but don’t tell her to grow up because she never will. She doesn’t just do her job as Notre Dame Prep’s director of student activities; she lives it, charging through long hours with interminable enthusiasm.   “I love my job; it’s my... More

MTA Presents “Annie Jr.”

2015-10-20 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts in this musical based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway play. $16-$19. Check website for show times. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, More

MTA Presents “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”

2015-10-20 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Musical Theatre of Anthem performs this adaptation of Kate DiCamillo’s heartwarming tale of a cherished china rabbit’s roundabout journey to loving and being loved. $16-$19. Check website for show times. Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, More

Starlight Community Theater Presents “Play On”

2015-10-15 | ImagesAZ | Youth

In this hilarious thriller, a theater group desperately tries to put on a play despite the maddening interference from a haughty author who keeps revising the script. Check website for ticket prices and show times. Starlight Community Theater, 1611 W. Whispering Wind Dr. #9, 623-252-6815, ... More

Auditions for MTA’s “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”

2015-10-08 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Ages 3 to adult can audition for this no-cut adaptation of the Newberry-winning novel “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.” Callbacks will be Oct. 11 at 12 p.m. An audition preparation workshop will be held Oct. 9 from 5-6:30 p.m. for $35. 11 a.m., Musical Theatre of Anthem, 42323 N. Vision Way, 602-743-9892, More

Desert Foothills Theater Presents Disney’s “The Jungle Book” Kids

2015-10-02 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Specially adapted from the classic animated film and featuring a cast ranging in age from 8-14, this lively stage version follows an orphaned boy raised by wolves as he befriends a lovable menagerie of jungle creatures. Check website for times and ticket prices. Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, Black Box Theater, 33606 N. 60th St., 480-488-1981, More

Upscale Kids Auditions

2015-10-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Singers in grades 2-8 can audition to be part of the holiday concert for Upscale Singers, Carefree’s community choir. 5-6 p.m., Desert Foothills Lutheran Church, 29305 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480-209-4368, More

We Care: Aidan's Story

2015-09-23 | ImagesAZ | Youth

We Care is a nonprofit organization in Anthem that aims to provide financial support for seriously ill children and their families within the community.   Eric Kilstrom founded the organization in 2002 after learning about Joshua Thompson, a 7-year-old in Anthem who was struggling with cancer. Eric’s wife, Sara, encouraged him to step up and help the young boy, as they had experienced similar challenges when their own son suffered from a growth on his bladder at a young age.   “I can’t remember feeling any worse than that,” Eric says. “He might not have made it through the night. That’s when I told God that I would help other people who were struggling if he promised to save my boy.”   Eric and Sara’s son has since healed, and the experience motivated them to help those in the community dealing with similar situations. With the help of several of his business network contacts, a new charitable organization was started. They organized the first annual We Care golf... More

New Coach for BC Girls' Volleyball

2015-09-22 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
How is coaching a high school team like selling a house?   Drew deLeon ponders the question, which would stump many. But he doesn’t shy away from a challenge, and eventually comes up with an answer.   “Competition,” the new head coach of the Boulder Creek girls’ volleyball team decides, “and being able to explain the process. Whether it’s getting volleyball players to buy in or someone looking to sell a home, they both have to believe in you, and you have to show excitement in the process.”   When he’s not coaching, deLeon is a real estate agent in the Anthem area. He is not directly involved in construction, but his coaching can be likened to building a house. In his first season, he hopes to lay a base for what he sees as a high-rise.   “We have a solid foundation built for future growth,” he says. “We have a pretty good, youthful team.” Young girls dominate the varsity team, with eight sophomores and one freshman.   One of the sophomores is Lacey Zerwas,... More

Prince Trampoline

2015-09-12 | ImagesAZ | Youth

There are three words, three little words, which surge to the lips of just about every parent when his or her child discovers the magical trampoline for the first time.   “Not ... so ... high!”   So it was with Cave Creek’s Susan Williams, when her son Jace fell in love with the bounce maker. It was only natural, she says with a sigh.   “When he was really little he was always jumping on the couch, jumping on the bed — constantly flipping,” she says. He put the energy toward gymnastics and then, logically enough, turned his focus to the circular, stretchy thing.   His mother’s initial reaction, in a word: Ugh.   “It was nerve-wracking — it’s given me more gray hair — at the beginning,” she says. “Now I know he’s in control and knows what he’s doing.”   At the beginning of the year, Jace’s trampoline coach pulled him aside and told him he had a shot to make the national team if he practiced hard and improved.   “Ever since then, he became a lot... More