Fun & Games

Chalk it up to Character

2014-04-29 | Fun & Games | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon   The old Clash song “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” fits the dilemma of Jordan Schlueter of north Scottsdale. A star student athlete, he had the chance to play football and study at all the big Ivy League schools, including Harvard and Yale. He could have hit the beach near the University of San Diego, or explored the hot Silicon Valley while playing for San Jose State. In all, 14 colleges and universities asked him to play football for them.   The Notre Dame Prep star defensive back turned them all down. He decided to shoot for the stars, rolling the dice as a walk-on at Arizona State University. He won’t be guaranteed a roster spot, and will have to compete with talented, gargantuan athletes just to make the team. It’s the kind of choice that sums up his courageous character, those who know him will tell you.   James Gmelich, the school principal, shakes his head in wonder about the star senior. “He’s amazing,” Gmelich says. “Much of what people... More

BCHS Volleyball

2014-04-28 | Fun & Games | Community

Photo Credit: Shawn Boyce
Quenten Campbell is to volleyball what Jimi Hendrix is to guitar.   If you saw Campbell on the court last year, you would agree with the assessment of his coach, Troy Dueling: “He’s electric.” As a 6-foot junior, Campbell lifted high off the floor for dominating spikes – the equivalent of a basketball slam dunk or a Hendrix riff.   It was Campbell’s first year at Boulder Creek High, and the transfer led the Jaguars to a glittering early season run when they were demolishing opponents right and left. Entering the playoffs with high expectations, the volleyball team hit a wall, losing in the quarter-finals as previous Dueling teams had done.   This year, Campbell has grown to 6-foot-1 and is striving for metaphorical growth, both individually and for the team. He wants to be a better all-around player, being more accurate on offense and making more floor-diving “dig” saves on defense: “I want to get my hitting percentage up and get twice as many digs as last... More

Pets & Rattlesnakes

2013-08-01 | Fun & Games | Adventure

While they don’t always follow common sense, at least most humans have the knowledge that rattlesnakes are dangerous things, not to be treated as toys. Yet to an untrained dog, a diamondback is the coolest thing ever, squirming around with a fascinating smell and what a cool tail; it even rattles! Now this is something to be investigated, let me get in there and get a close look and a good sniff ….   Dogs tend to lead with their noses, which is exactly where a venomous snake will bite them. Take it from Rob Graham, manager of Animal Health Services, Cave Creek’s always-open pet emergency treatment center.   How many dogs are brought in because of rattlesnake bites? “Pretty close to 100 a year,” Graham says. On a recent Monday, Graham looked over at two dogs, a pitbull and terrier, both recovering from rattler bites. He notes that the bites are not always poisonous. “The thing about rattlesnakes is 20 percent of the bites turn out to be a dry bite, where the snake recently... More


2013-07-23 | Fun & Games | Adventure

From Anthem to Cave Creek, and New River to Scottsdale, dozens of amazing hiking and biking trails dangle like ripe fruit. The paths extend into the desert and up into the foothills with views of the mountains, cactus, rugged but beautiful wildflowers, and glimpses of wildlife such as fluttering butterflies, scurrying lizards, darting rabbits, prowling coyotes and (cue sound effects of a slowly rising “hiss,” followed by an ominous “rattle”) … snakes!   The good news is that rattlesnakes and other venomous desert snakes do not generally eat humans. The bad news is that they will bite them.   Snakes are somewhat lazy and won’t go out of their way to attack you. There are very few instances, for example, of a rattlesnake stalking a victim, following the victim home, breaking in and attacking the victim in the shower or in bed. However, they will attack if you come into their homes.   People like Susie Wilken regularly take strolls through the desert, where thousands of... More

BCHS Sports Wrap-Up

2013-02-26 | Fun & Games | Youth

Photo Credit: Jamie Pogue
Writer Tom Scanlon Photographer Pogue Photography   Asked about personal goals, some basketball stars might say “score 25 points a game” or “hit the winning shot as time expires in the state championship.”   Sam Young’s goal for her senior season?   “I want to be a good leader,” answers Young, the center of attention for the Boulder Creek High School girls’ basketball team. She is doing just that, and she also has a nice touch on her shots, plays intimidating defense and runs the floor well.   Oh, and she’s 6 feet, 3 inches tall. And she’s headed to California State University Northridge on a full scholarship.   Sam Young is literally the biggest thing to hit the Boulder Creek High girls’ basketball team. She is a major reason the team went 23-7 last year, setting a school record for wins, scoring the first post-season win in the program’s history and qualifying for the state playoffs.   This year, Young led the team to an 18-9 record in the regular... More

BCHS Girls’ Soccer “Mama, I will Fussball spielen.”

2013-01-29 | Fun & Games | Sports

Photo Credit: Jamie Pogue
Some years ago, a little girl from Eschborn, Germany pleaded to play what her mother considered a “boys’ sport.” The child was relentless, and her mother finally gave in to the athletic, strong-willed little girl.   That little girl played fussball (which we Americans call soccer) with passion throughout her young life. She later came to America, started a family and is now coaching the athletic, strong-willed girls of the Boulder Creek Lady Jaguars - fast becoming the pride of Anthem.   Natalie Schmidtke’s first season as coach of the Boulder Creek varsity girls soccer team is off to a roaring start. Through the first 16 games of the season, the Lady Jags had a glittering 14-1-1 record. Schmidtke, a 33-year-old mother of three, was the junior varsity girls soccer coach last year, and has unleashed a potential powerhouse as a rookie varsity coach.   “When I had players at the beginning of the season ask me who I had hired, they were excited that Coach Schmidtke was the... More
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