Cleaning out the notebook . . .
While the Phoenix St. Mary’s girls basketball program goes into a bit of a downshift after the graduation of several key players and the departure of coach Curtis Ekmark, things are looking up for rival Phoenix Xavier Catholic Prep.
Xavier has a new head coach in Frank Villa, who guided Avondale Westview’s program to prominence, and is turning a few heads with the hiring of one well-known assistant and possibly another.
And wouldn’t you know it, that assistant is a former player at – St. Mary’s.
Hello again to Dymond Simon, the former all-everything point guard for the Lady Knights who went on to play for Arizona State and has some WNBA experience.
Simon was as an intense of a player as you could find. She was aggressive, and the 5-foot-5 (generous) player wasn’t afraid to mix it up with the bigger players, and she will bring that type of swagger to the Gators.
Unfortunately, she was plagued by knee injuries during her career. Had she been in full health, I am convinced she would still be in the WNBA.
But high school ball, with its increasing popularity, is a good place to land.
Long-time Xavier athletic director Sister Lynn Winsor is excited about what Villa, Simon and assistant coach X will be able to do.
“Frank has done a great job so far and Dymond had an outstanding interview. I think she will have a big impact on our girls, both on and off the court,’’ Winsor said.
As for assistant coach X, it is expected to be another former Arizona high school star who also excelled in college. We will see how the interview process goes and get back to you on that.
From the better late than never dept. comes the results from last weekend’ big dual swimming and diving meet between state contenders Scottsdale Chaparral and Phoenix Brophy Prep (boys) and Xavier (girls) at the Cactus complex in Scottsdale.
The scores nearly were identical – Xavier 97, Chaparral 89 and Brophy 98, Chaparral 87. It had the flavor of a state meet.
The girls competition was tied after the swimming events, and it was Molly Kaiser’s victory in diving that put Xavier over the top.
Xavier had one dual winner, Madeline Allen (200 and 500 free). Chaparral had two dual winners, Emma Broome (100 free and 100 back) and Taylor Shewchuk (200 IM and 100 breast).
On the boys side, Chaparral had two double winners, Marcello Quarante (200 IM and 100 breast) and Ryan Hoffer (50 free and 200 fly).
I’ve seen mostly good football this fall, and here are a few players who have caught my eye . . .
Tucson Salpointe Catholic receivers Cameron Denson and Kaelin Deboskie, Phoenix Mountain Pointe linebacker Wesley Payne and offensive lineman Natrell Curtis, Phoenix Horizon quarterback Dalton Sneed and defensive back-receiver Spencer Marciniak, Scottsdale Desert Mountain receiver Mark Andrews, Peoria Centennial running back-linebacker Dedrick Young, Scottsdale Saguaro quarterback Luke Rubenzer, Scottsdale Chaparral tight end Trevor Wood and Gilbert Williams Field running back Jacob Anderson.
If you are an Arizona native like I am and you follow high school sports, a name you recognize from back in the day pops up every now and again.
Such a person for me was Mike Bowling, who recently passed away.
Bowling was a star athlete at Avondale Agua Fria, which has produced many good ones over the years. Basketball was his strong point, and he was a hard-nosed guy who went on to play at USC and Arizona State.