RSSArchive for April 21st, 2011

ONLINE EXTRA: Softball runs win streak to 11 games

ONLINE EXTRA: Softball runs win streak to 11 games


The Pima Community College softball team is hitting its stride, as the Aztecs have won 13 of their last 14, won 11 in a row and earned their sixth player of the week award of the season.

Until it was snapped April 14, No. 13 Pima (44-11, 34-8 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) had an 11-game win streak.

“We had a long winning streak and unfortunately it ended like they all do, but that just means we were pretty consistent,” head coach Armando Quiroz said. “We’ve been hitting the ball well. I am just happy with all the Ws we got.”

Freshman Mari Contreras (25-2) earned her second straight National Junior College Athletic Association Region I Pitcher of the Week honor on April 10. Contreras threw three shutouts in a row.

“She’s just a horse, she’s a stud and we’re lucky to have her. We love running her out there every game,” Quiroz said.

The award is the sixth time this season that an Aztec has won a POW award. Freshman utility Erika Tapia, freshman infielder Jacqueline Deen, sophomore catcher Charissa Ballesteros and freshman utility Jessica Schneider previously have won Batter of the Week awards.

Jessica Schneider

“I think I am doing OK, I know I can do better,” Contreras said. “I know when I am under pressure I do my best.”

On April 19, Pima pounded GateWay Community College, in a double dip on Sophomore Day.

Pima won the first game 6-5. Sophomore Adriana Garcia (12-5) earned the win, while Schneider went 3-3, hit a double and drove in one. Freshman outfielder Kat Banks hit a game winning home run.

“We’re coming together as a team and I think we are going to go really far,” Contreras said.

In the second game, Contreras struck out five and gave up two hits in four innings as Pima cruised to a 19-6 win.

“The momentum carried over to game two,” Quiroz said. “We have a bunch of hitters and it is kinda like a train. One starts hitting and they all start hitting and it becomes unstoppable.”

The Aztecs had 17 hits and five homeruns. Deen went 3-4, hit homers in her first two at-bats and drove in six RBIs. Ballesteros went 4-4, hit a double, a homerun and drove in five RBIs.

Contreras normally pitches the first game of doubleheaders, but threw the second so that University of Arizona head coach Mike Candrea and UA pitching coach Teresa Wilson could watch her.

Pima extended its win streak to 11 on April 14, before South Mountain Community College snapped it during a doubleheader split. In the first game, Contreras earned the win with a four-hitter in a 6-4 victory.

Freshman infielder Jacqueline Deen, sophomore infielder Mercedes Garcia and freshman infielder Jessica Sipe hit homeruns. Garcia went 3-4. Freshman utility Jessica Schneider also went 3-4 with a double and an RBI.

Adriana Garcia suffered the 3-1 Pima loss in the second game, despite not giving up any earned runs. Schneider hit another homer.

Pima won its 10th game in a row on April 12, with a doubleheader sweep at Arizona Western College.

Contreras led the way in the first game, a 2-0 win, with her fourth straight shutout and 11 strikeouts. Sophomore infielder Katie Asher and Schneider each had homeruns.

Adriana Garcia threw a five-hit shutout in the second game, a mercy rule shortened 10-0 win. Schneider went 3-3, with a double and another homerun and sophomore catcher Charissa Ballesteros also hit a dinger.

Freshman utility Erika Tapia went also 3-3, with a homerun, two runs and five RBIs.

On Deck
April 23: @ Phoenix  College, noon
April 26: @ Yavapai College, noon
April 30: @ Mesa CC, noon
All dates are doubleheaders.

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Football expects to go to bowl

Football expects to go to bowl

Photo by ED ADAMS

As spring camp nears its end, the Pima Community College football team is optimistic about the upcoming fall season.

PCC will close out its spring practices with a football game in which the offense scrimmages the defense. The game will be played Saturday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m. at the West Campus soccer field.

Last year, Pima beat Phoenix College in its season opener, 17-14. The win ended a 48-game losing streak against college teams.

PCC got another monkey off its back by winning its first Western States Football League game in five years to close out the season.

“Our expectations are to go to a bowl game,” sophomore quarterback Zander McKean said. “We have no lower, and we’re not gonna celebrate anything less than that.”

Four WSFL teams advanced to bowl games last year. A new bowl game was added, the El Toro Bowl in Yuma.

McKean, who played in every game last year, is the projected starting quarterback. Last season, he threw for more than1,000 yards and10 touchdown passes.

Head coach Patrick Nugent said he thinks the team can win six games this year, and should have won six last year.

The Aztecs lost games by one point against Mesa Community College and Eastern Arizona College last year, 22-21 and 14-13 respectively.

“Last year we only won three games,” Nugent said. “We have to figure out how to win more games.”

Nugent said it’s difficult to maintain a championship caliber team in junior college because players are only eligible to play for two years.

Pima practices with 48 players during spring football. The new class of recruits doesn’t report to camp until Aug. 1.

Nugent said there have been good practices and great effort in the weight room.

Zander McKean

However, freshman receiver Cameron Gaddis said the team needs to improve its chemistry between the quarterbacks and wide receivers.

They need to “get a connection, get a flow,” Gaddis said. “It’s miscommunication and stuff. That’s it. Basically, we’re doing what we need to do, it’s just slow and not full speed.”

McKean is confident the Aztecs can find their rhythm.

“There’s a lot of guys that are new to the system,” McKean said. “It’s spring ball. There’s four quarterbacks, and that’s gonna come in time. We got a lot of time to figure that out. This is just the beginning stages.”

Spring Game
April 23:
@ West Campus soccer field, 9:30 a.m.

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Top women’s basketball assistant coach dies

Top women’s basketball assistant coach dies

Photo by ED ADAMS

Pima Community College women’s basketball lost one of its leaders on April 8 when assistant coach Bruce Fleck died.

Fleck, who was the top assistant coach for the top sports program at PCC, died in his sleep.

“We were all devastated with the news, it was something that was just so abrupt,” said women’s basketball head coach Todd Holthaus.

Bruce Fleck, Patricia Ramos

“He was more than just a coach, he was my great friend,” Holthaus said. “He taught me a lot of valuable lessons. He was able to teach many life lessons through coaching basketball as well.”

Fleck, 58, was an assistant coach for the Aztecs the past four seasons. He joined when Holthaus was hired, and helped turn the team from a laughingstock into a national power.

Both were coaches at Flowing Wells previously. Together, they saw great success at the high school level and coached together for 12 years.

Holthaus and Fleck led Pima to three straight Nationals appearances in 2009, 2010 and 2011, where the teams placed third, fifth and second respectively.

“A Celebration of Life” service was held April 16 at the Aztec Gymnasium. Numerous players that Fleck coached, including current UNLV player Tia Morrison, attended.

Fleck had retired from teaching at Safford Middle School.

Fleck is survived by his wife, Jennie; daughters Michelle, Jaclyn and Nicole; and grandchildren Jerod and Makenzie.

In lieu of flowers, the Flecks have asked that donations be made to The Bruce Fleck Scholarship Fund, 2202 W. Anklam Road, Tucson, AZ 85709-0285.

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Rising tennis star serves up wins

Rising tennis star serves up wins

Story and photo By HANNAH McLEOD

With a competitive spirit and intense focus, Tatum Rochin is schooling her opponents on the tennis court.

“She always goes for it and gets the shot that she wants,” sophomore doubles partner Victoria Bravo said. “Her serve is outstanding.”

Rochin grew up in San Angelo, Texas, and was homeschooled for most of her life. At age 9, her dad encouraged her to play tennis, his favorite sport.

She started her tennis career with the United States Tennis Association Junior League, playing from age 9 to 16. During this time, she won many awards.

Outstanding honors included winning the Sportsmanship Award at 16 Zonals Team Competition in 2008 and 2009.

She is also a two-time Role Model Award winner at Tucson Racquet Club and won the Nancy Jeffet Sportsmanship Award in May 2010 at the Houston Open Super Champ Junior Major Zone.

“Winning the Sportsmanship Award was definitely my biggest accomplishment,” Rochin said.

Tatum Rochin

Three years ago, Pima Community College women’s tennis head coach Gretchen Schantz noticed Rochin at the Tucson Racquet Club, where Pima plays its tennis games.

Although Rochin is just 17, much younger than her teammates, Schantz recruited her to the Aztecs.

“She was young so I think this was a good decision for her,” Schantz said. “She has no weaknesses and is an all-court player.”

Rochin’s success at Pima includes a singles record of 11-2 and a doubles record of 12-2.   She credits many hours of practice with the team and on her own.

“I’d sometimes practice up to five hours a day,” she said. “You have to be mentally and physically tough.”

Watching her favorite tennis player, Rafael Nadal, also helps Rochin improve her game.

“I try to play like him,” Rochin said. “He is number one in the world.”

Many of her practices and games included playing with doubles partner Bravo.

“She’s very stable and you can count on her,” Bravo said. “We try to laugh a lot before a match to let loose and have fun.”

Rochin’s future after Pima is uncertain. The only certain thing is that she wants to play tennis at a four-year university.

“She has the potential to continue on to a four-year school and play tennis,” Schantz said.

For now, with Regionals and Nationals approaching, Rochin has just one goal in mind.

“I want to be first at Regionals this year,” Rochin said. “I want to make a good showing at Nationals.”

Women’s tennis punches Nationals ticket

Women’s tennis punches Nationals ticket

Story and photo by HANNAH McLEOD

The Pima Community College women’s tennis team finished runner up at Regionals, just behind No. 5 Eastern Arizona College.

The Aztecs have earned their way to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament on May 7-13. They will be playing in Tucson at the Reffkin Tennis Center.

“We had five regional runner ups in singles and two regional runner ups in doubles,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said.

In the finals of the singles tournament, all six Pima singles players lost to EAC. Freshman Tatum Rochin lost 6-1, 6-1 and sophomore Victoria Bravo lost 7-5, 6-0.

Sophomore Gabriela Rodriguez was defeated 6-3, 6-2 and sophomore Lydia Carlson fell short 6-2, 6-3. The last player for singles, freshman Olivia Cole-Encinas lost 6-4, 6-4.

Gaby Rodriguez

Doubles partners Rochin and Bravo beat Scottsdale Community College 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals. Rodriguez and Gaynor won against Mesa Community College 6-3, 5-7, 7-6.

In the finals, Rochin and Bravo fell short against EAC 6-2, 6-0 and Rodriguez and Gaynor lost as well 6-3, 6-0.

On the first day of the Regional Tournament, April 18, the Aztecs represented themselves well.

In singles quarterfinals, Gaynor beat Paradise Valley 6-0, 6-0.

In the semifinals of singles No. 2 seed Rochin won 6-0, 6-1 against Glendale and No. 2 seed Bravo shut out Scottsdale 6-0, 6-0. In the No. 1 seed, Rodriguez won 6-0, 6-1.

Also seeded at No. 2 was Carlson, who won 6-2, 6-4 against Glendale. Gaynor fell short against Eastern 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.  No. 2 seed Cole-Encinas won 6-1, 6-3 against Mesa.

On April 12, Pima lost to Eastern 8-1.

In doubles, Rochin and Bravo lost 8-6 and so did Gaynor and Rodriguez 8-3. Olivia Cole-Encinas and Carlson were defeated 8-3.

The one win of the day went to Rodriguez 1-6, 7-6 (7-3), 13-11. She finished her season undefeated in singles.

In singles Rochin lost 6-2, 6-2 and Bravo fell short 6-0, 6-4. Carlson was defeated 6-0, 6-0 and Gaynor was lost 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Cole-Encinas fell short 6-3, 6-2.

On April 7, the women’s tennis team beat Scottsdale 8-1. This was the eighth straight conference win for the Aztecs.

Starting off the afternoon with a solid 8-0 win was Rochin and Bravo. Gaynor and Rodriguez won 8-5. The last win for doubles was won by default.

No 1. Rochin was victorious 6-2, 6-1 along with teammate Bravo who won 6-1, 6-1.

Rodriguez won by default and Carlson won 6-3, 7-5. Gaynor lost 6-3, 6-1 and Cole-Encinas won 6-0, 6-2 making her singles record 7-2.


May 7-13: @ Reffkin Tennis Center (Tucson)

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Men’s tennis earns trip to Nationals

Men’s tennis earns trip to Nationals


The Pima Community College men’s tennis team finished the Region I Tennis Tournament on April 19 on somewhat of a sour note, but they still qualified for Nationals.

The Aztecs finished the two-day event in second place as a team as Scottsdale Community College defeated them in five singles and three doubles championships.

With the runner-up finish, PCC qualified for the 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association National Tournament, which will be held in Plano, Texas May 16-20.

In singles, sophomore Alan Barrios lost his second match of the season, 4-6, 6-2, 4-6. He is still ranked No. 1 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference though.

For the rest of singles, Andrew Barnett lost 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, Matt Bernard lost 3-6, 4-6, Tim Holton lost 4-6, 0-6 and Victor Cabada lost 2-6, 3-6.

In doubles semifinals, Barnett and Holten won 6-2, 6-4, Barrios and Bernard won 6-1, 6-4 and Nino and Cabada won 6-2, 6-3.

In doubles finals, Barnett and Holten lost 0-6, 2-6, while Barrios and Bernard lost 3-6, 4-6. Freshmen Jacob Nino and Victor Cabada lost 2-6, 3-6.

On April 18, the opening day of the Region 1 Tournament, the Aztecs won all six of their singles matches.

Barrios led Pima winning 6-2 and 7-5, Barnett won 6-2, 6-0, Bernard won 6-2, 6-3, Holton won 6-2, 6-1, Nino won 6-4,6-1 and Cabada won 6-1, 6-0.

April 7, PCC men’s tennis team took on Scottsdale Community College suffered a huge loss of 9-0 after a 3 match win streak.

Singles No. 1 sophomore Alan Barrios, had his first loss this season in singles 2-6, 1-6 and 3-8, with doubles partner freshman Matt Bernard (No. 3) who also lost in singles 2-6, 3-6.

No. 4 in singles freshman Tim Holten lost 2-6, 0-6 and 5-8 with doubles partner sophomore Andrew Barnett. Doubles No. 3 partners Nino and Cabada lost 1-8.


May 16-20: @ Collin College (Plano, Texas)

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Baseball tries to hold on to last playoff spot


The Pima Community College baseball team split a conference doubleheader against Yavapai College, winning the first game 12-7 and losing the nightcap 8-2.

A press release was not available.

Pima (24-22, 15-15 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) as of April 17 holds the last playoff spot by percentage points over Cochise College.

On April 23, the Aztecs travel to Douglas to play the Apaches in a critical ACCAC doubleheader.

On April 16, PCC split a pair of home conference games against No. 15 South Mountain Community College. The Aztecs lost the first game 5-3, but won the nightcap 4-3.

Freshman Juan Vega (0-2) started and lost game one, pitching 5 1/3 innings while allowing four runs, two earned.

Freshman infielder Joseph Haskell provided two thirds of the runs while hitting a two RBI double. He also stole a base.

In game two, sophomore Torry Mowatt (5-5) picked up the win out of the bullpen, relieving sophomore starter Erick Fredrick (3-3).

Haskell again provided a spark at the plate as he went 2-5 with a triple, run scored and two stolen bases. Freshman catcher Marc Gavre earned an RBI.

Games scheduled for April 14 were postponed due to rain.

On April 12, the Aztecs split a pair of conference games with No. 6 Paradise Valley Community College. Pima lost the opener 7-6, but bounced back to win the nightcap 6-5.

Freshman Keith Zuniga (5-2) started the first game but did not figure in the decision. Mowatt picked up the loss out of the bullpen in 3 2/3 innings of work.

Freshman infielder Mario Sanchez led the way at the plate as he scored a pair of runs and drove in two RBIs.

In game two, freshman Jose Gomez (5-2) earned the win, allowing three runs on two hits. Sophomore Robert Ravago (1-0) threw the final two innings and earned the save.

Freshman infielder Hayden Cota-Robles went 3-3 with a pair of doubles. Sanchez also went 3-4 with a pair of doubles.

Sophomore infielder Jovony Valenzuela provided the big blast, as his only hit was a three-run home run.

On Deck
April 23: @ Cochise College, noon
April 26: Scotsdale CC, noon
April 28: @ Eastern Arizona College, noon
April 30: Central Arizona College, noon
All dates are doubleheaders and home games are at the West Campus.

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Track & Field teams finish conference play


The Pima Community College track and field teams wrapped up their conference slate April 16 at Mesa Community College.

The men’s team went 3-2 at the meet. Their Arizona Community College Athletic Conference record is 9-6.

The women tied with Mesa, going 3-1-1 at the meet. Their final conference record is 9-5-1.

The Aztecs won five events at the meet and had one athlete qualify for the National Junior College Athletic Association championships. Here are the results:

  • Freshman Zion Harvey: first place, 100-meter dash, personal record 10.56 seconds; first place, 200-meter dash, personal record 21.56 seconds.
  • 4×100-meter-relay, first place, season-best 40.75 seconds: Harvey, sophomore Derrick Coker, sophomore Matthew Robertson, sophomore Nathan Manigault.
  • Sophomore Christian Tovar: first place, hammer throw, 168 feet, 8 inches.
  • Freshman Jaqi Bell: first place, javelin throw, Nationals qualifying 133 feet, 11 inches.

Pima also competed at the Mesa Classic Invitational on April 8, where two Aztecs qualified for Nationals at the non-conference meet.

  • Freshman Anaiz Zamarano: 10th place, 400-meter hurdles, Nationals qualifying time of 1:07.15.
  • Sophomore Ashley Dorado: fourth place, 400 hurdles, personal record time of 1:05.02.
  • Freshman Alice Odu: fourth place, triple jump, Nationals qualifying leap of 37 feet, 3.75 inches.
  • Sophomore Zach Dunbar” first place, javelin, nationally ranked No. 4 with a throw of 192 feet, 1inch.
  • Tovar: fifth place, shot put, nationally ranked No. 7 with a mark of 52 feet, 6.75inches.
  • Sophomore Frederick Scarber: second place, high jump, cleared 6 feet, 7 inches.

The Aztecs have five meets remaining, including a road trip to UC San Diego April 22-23 for the Triton Invitational.

“At this point in the season, I am working on technical things and staying healthy,” Tovar said.

On Deck
April 22-23
: @ UCSD Triton Invitational (San Diego)
April 30: @ Glendale CC Last Gasp Meet (Glendale)
May 2-3: NJCAA Region I Multi Event (Mesa)

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Women’s golfers have fun, ready to host tournament

Women’s golfers have fun, ready to host tournament


Once again, the Pima Community College women’s golf team finished in fifth place.

The Aztecs were fifth for the fourth time this year at the Legacy Golf Course in Laveen, Ariz., in a tournament hosted by South Mountain Community College.

Freshman Alyssa Vega took fifth overall in the individual awards, shooting a two-day total of 163. The par for two days on the course is 144.

Vega made a comeback on the second day. She improved on her first-day total by seven strokes, and ended her second day with a total of 78.

Freshman Chloe Treece placed eighth overall in the individual, missing out of the awards by two spots.

Pima will next host its annual tournament April 25-26 at their home course Dell Urich, which marks the only time this year that the Aztecs compete in Tucson. A map can be found at

Although the women aren’t having the success they had hoped for, they are still enjoying the experience.

“It’s a lot of fun, we get to travel to all these different courses,” Treece said.

“I really enjoyed this experience,” freshman Kayla Signorio added.

The teammates enjoyed the time spent hanging around each other. “We’re like sisters,” Signorio said.

They have seen moments of success in their personal games, but still notice room for improvement.

“I’ve definitely matured more in golf, everything else not so much,” freshman Alondra Olivas said with a laugh.

The host tournament provides the last chance to earn awards before Nationals. The top three teams will go, as well as five individuals.

“I would just like to win one,” Vega said.

Pima head coach Bill Nicol is confident that both Vega and Treece will make it to Nationals. “Hopefully we’ll do as well as we usually do,” he said.

Nicol will have the women working on chipping and putting, plus a little extra.

“I’ll have them work on their smiles, to look good for the home crowd,” he said.

On Deck

April 25-26: Pima CC (Dell Urich GC), 11 a.m.

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Student Veterans still waiting for center

Men’s golfers confident heading to Regionals

Men’s golfers confident heading to Regionals


Members of the Pima Community College men’s golf team finished off the regular season by finishing second in their division and fourth overall.

Pima competed at the Legend of Arrowhead Golf Course in Glendale in a tourney hosted by Paradise Valley Community College on April 18-19.

“We had a successful season,” head coach Grant Waltke said.

The Aztecs finished the tournament by shooting a team total of 610.

Freshman Adam Ortiz finished fifth overall individually. This was Ortiz’s first individual medal of the season, as he shot total of 148 for the two days. His total was four over par for the course and he shot 74 for each day.

Pima had three men all end up with some medals in the regular season.

When freshman Chris Robbins had to miss the tournament due to the flu, sophomore Ryan Kern filling in. Kern shot a 78 on the first day, which is six over par. He followed up on the second day by shooting an 84.

This was Kern’s first and only tournament for the Aztecs, as he is graduating after the semester and moving out of state.

“He helped us,” Waltke said.

Robert Perrott III

Waltke is extremely confident that his team will win the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 Tournament, which starts April 28.

“I think they’re peaking for it,” Waltke said.

Regionals will be played at Palm Valley Golf Course in Goodyear, Ariz.

Waltke feels the Aztecs on his team could win all of the top individual medals but will win at least two or three.

“Golf is very week to week, some days you have it, some days you don’t,” Waltke said.

Waltke expects the Aztecs to make it to Nationals, where he is hoping for a top 10 finish and an All-American.

The team will practice chipping and putting, Waltke said.

“In baseball when you hit a foul ball it’s only a strike,” he said. “In golf you have to chase after your foul balls.”

On Deck

April 28-May 1: NJCAA Region I Tournament, Palm Valley GC (Goodyear, Ariz.)

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ATHLETIC VOICE: Tucson must support AAA Padres

ATHLETIC VOICE: Tucson must support AAA Padres


Not that I would know, of course, but there can’t be many feelings better than failing a test and then getting to retake it.

After Tucson failed to support its last Triple-A team, the Old Pueblo gets a second chance with a new team at baseball’s second highest level, the Tucson Padres.

Conversely, embarrassing attendance numbers could mean the end of pro sports in Tucson for years to come. Every pro sports team here has failed, except the independent Tucson Toros.

The Tucson Padres, nee Portland Beavers, needed a new home when they got kicked out of their ballpark so it could be converted to a Major League Soccer stadium.

This is a golden opportunity. If Tucson can’t convince the Padres to stay, it can position itself as the prettiest girl at the dance when other Triple-A teams are thinking about moving.

Tucson’s history, a AAA city from 1969-2008, coupled with two usable stadiums plus good attendance, could mean being able to take a team from a place like Las Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville or Scranton.

The T-Pads will be in town at least this year, and most likely next. An April 9 report in the North County Times made it sound like Escondido, Calif., won’t be able to get financing in place until 2014, with construction taking a little more than a year.

If I were San Diego/Tucson Padres owner Jeff Moorad, I would stay in the Old Pueblo if the Jr. Padres get good crowds. I never understood why you want to move your Triple-A team so close to your major league team. (Escondido is 35 minutes from San Diego.)

I like Triple-A and all, but why would anyone go see Minor League Baseball when you can see MLB?

Sure a suburb of San Diego is much closer than Tucson, but it is not as if they are calling up players from New Orleans or Portland.

Plus, speaking as a (lately reluctant) Diamondbacks fan, I can tell you that D’backs fans are an endangered species in Tucson. What better way for San Diego to stick it to division rival Arizona than to build a fan base in Arizona?

The only other way to get new team is to build a new stadium and we all know that won’t happen for a long time.

Remember, it is a hassle coupled with a burden to get a stadium built in a liberal place like Tucson, California or New York, unlike conservative places like Phoenix or Texas.

Republicans seem to be against spending money on health care or education, but stadiums are all good.

The stage is set for the Padres to be successful and they hardly look like a lame duck franchise.

The promotions sound appealing, such as military appreciation nights (with the famous Padres camo jerseys), two-for-one tickets nights, $1 hot dog nights, Roll Back the Clock Night at Hi Corbett Field, fireworks nights and, of course, $1 beer nights.

The uniforms and logo are cool too. The logo is a combination of the old cactus and mountain University of Arizona logo everyone loves and the 1970s Padres jersey script, but it is blue instead of the toilet colors, yellow and brown.

Tucson also brought in beloved former Tucson Toros general manager Mike Feder to head the team.

Heck, the local daily paper even gave the Padres four full pages on April 10. They generally ignore local sports other than UA football and men’s basketball.

Here’s your chance Tucson. Don’t strike out again.

Tucson Padres slideshow

Check out the Tucson Padres website

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Student art exhibit opens April 25



Artwork by Pima Community College students will be on display in an Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition from April 25 until Sept. 2.


This year only, the exhibit will be in the Student Visual Arts Gallery located on the second floor of the West Campus Santa Rita building. The gallery is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.


A reception and awards ceremony will be held April 27 from noon to 3 p.m., with awards presented at 1 p.m.


The exhibit is considered an important event for emerging artists in southern Arizona because it gives PCC students an opportunity to have their artwork professionally displayed and viewed by the public.


Jurors are Tohono Chul Park curator Vicki Donkersley, artist Nancy Tokar Miller and photographer William Lesch.


Exhibit sponsors include Arizona Designer Craftsmen, Arizona Lithographers, Arizona Picture and Frame Gallery, Athens on 4th, The B Line, Bookmans, Café Poca Cosa, Davis Dominguez Gallery, Delectables, Etherton Gallery, Lewis Framing Studio, Marjon Ceramics, McGuire’s Jewelers, Philabaum Glass Studio & Gallery, Photographic Works, Posner’s Art Store, Purls, Sarnoff Art and Writing Materials, Tucson Museum of Art and Woodcraft.


For more information, call Gallery Director David Andres at 206-6942 or e-mail

Film student Hunker shines on silver screen

Film student Hunker shines on silver screen

Story and photo by STEPHEN REAL

Most great directors begin by making short films. At the recent Tucson Film Festival, audiences were given a glimpse of possible filmmakers of tomorrow.

Film students from Pima Community College, University of Arizona and the Art Institute submitted short films that were shown April 8 at the Crossroads Theater.

Here’s a look at one aspiring PCC filmmaker.

Grant Hunker submitted an eight-minute film titled “Esteban’s Ride,” about a man who tries to reconnect with his dad.

Hunker is part of Pima’s Advanced Cinematography class, taught by David Wing. The class spends the fall semester in pre-production and uses the spring semester for post-production and editing.

“Everyone writes an essay about what position they want, and the professor chooses who gets what,” Hunker said.

Students in the class worked as the crew when Hunker filmed “Esteban’s Ride.”

Hunker got into film during high school, where he took a film course. After he graduated, he took a break but realized that he missed film. He came back to it at PCC.

He currently produces training videos for Truly Nolen but has big plans for the future.

“Ideally, I’d like to produce a feature, ” he said. “You know, start and 15 minutes, and then go to 30 minutes and just keep going from there.”

Hunker is now editing a romantic film he shot over winter break in New York.

Seeing “Esteban’s Ride” on the big screen brought him fulfillment.

“It was cool, ” he said. “I had a lot of friends and family there, and it was rewarding to see all that hard work and sweat pay off.”

Hunker had directed films before, but “Esteban’s Ride” marked his first time working with a large crew.

“In the past, I’ve worked with maybe five or six other people, ” he said. “For this film, I worked with about 30 people. It was definitely a learning experience.”

Hunker is grateful for his rewarding experience with the PCC film program and the opportunity to work with fellow students.

“The Pima program is great, and Dave Wing and the rest of the class have a lot of talent,” he said.


Ambitious student rolling toward goals

Ambitious student rolling toward goals


Pima Community College student Kyle Campbell aspires to become a marine biologist, researching sea life. He also wants to expand Tucson’s roller derby community.

By day, he’s an eager freshman. At night, he takes on the persona of Dick Quad in a men’s roller derby league, Dry Heat Derby.

Campbell began his PCC studies this spring and plans to earn an associate degree in science.

“For the longest time, I have been interested in environmental science,” he said. “I want to solve environmental issues in the sea.”

Campbell was uncertain about attending college until he was awarded a scholarship from the Tucson Magnet High School media department at the end of his senior year.

He likes the small class settings at Pima, which makes for a more intimate learning environment. “PCC was a good place to start for me,” he said.

When he is not studying, he can be found on roller skates at an outdoor rink at Catalina Magnet High School.

Roller derby is commonly perceived as a woman’s sport, but men’s leagues are forming throughout the nation.

It is also a common misconception that roller derby is a brutal, scripted show meant solely for entertainment. Contemporary roller derby has become a legitimate sport.

Although there is still physical contact such as hip-checking, many violent moves have been banned. For example, it is illegal to elbow another skater.

Women led the movement to redefine roller derby, and men slowly joined the movement. Tucson’s own DHD has been a pioneer of men’s roller derby.

Campbell first encountered roller derby at a street fair. Two women from the Tucson Roller Derby league approached and gave him information.

“I thought it was awesome,” he said.

He attended his first roller derby bout and discovered there is a junior league and a men’s league. When he met male players, Campbell was instantly intrigued and joined DHD.

He recalls feeling horrified at his first practice. A player named Smalls threw him onto a fence.

“I could barely skate forward,” he said.

With the help of his league-mates, Campbell assimilated into the sport and the roller derby community. At the same time, his skills advanced.

His teammates developed a game called “Kill Kyle” to make him tougher. The only rule was for everyone to practice hitting and blocking on Campbell.

“It helped me become more stable,” he said.

Campbell soon adopted his “Dick Quad” pseudonym. The name does not have any personal significance. He took it out of a joke book that Smalls was reading, and it ended up sticking.

He practices with his teammates during the week and plays other men’s teams from around the nation.

Daniel Noll, known as Chi Khan in the derby community, has been Campbell’s teammate since day one.

“Kyle is as likeable as he is skilled,” Noll said. “He quickly progressed from being unsteady on skates at best to one of the better players.”

Noll also complimented Campbell’s dedication. “His enthusiasm is infectious,” he said.

When he is not studying or playing roller derby, Campbell works full time at La Cocina Mexican restaurant. His jobs include waiter, cook and dishwasher.

Campbell finds little time to sleep, but tries to excel with the help of coffee. His goal is to continue doing well in school, then transfer to a four-year-university.

“I’m working on getting A’s,” he said.

He also wants to raise awareness about roller derby and to expand his league. He would like DHD to be more united with the rest of the roller derby community, so they can reach out to audiences who may not be aware of the sport.

In the more distant future, Campbell sees himself as a marine biologist, implementing medical analysis on sea creatures.


Kyle Campbell takes on the name "Dick Quad" when he participates in Dry Heat Derby, Tucson's Men's roller derby league. Photo by Leftrick Herd.