RSSArchive for February, 2012

Lil' cowboys

Lil’ cowboys

I took this photo at the 87th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo. These two lil' cowboys were talking about the buckin' stock before they rode the sheep as "Mutton Busters." Photo by LEFTRICK HERD

Alumnus Heredia went pro

Alumnus Heredia went pro


Nogales native Gilbert “Gil” Heredia, who spent 10 years on Major League Baseball teams, played for Pima Community College in the early ‘80s.

During his tenure as an Aztec, the right-handed pitcher led Pima in innings pitched (247) and strikeouts (151). His 21 wins were the second-highest for the team.

The 1985 campaign was stellar for Heredia. He pitched 152.1 innings, recording 15 wins. He also struck out 98 batters and posted an earned run average of 2.66.

The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Heredia in the first round of the 1984 draft, but he did not sign a contract. In 1985, the Baltimore Orioles drafted him in the sixth round but once again he opted to remain an Aztec.

Heredia played two seasons at the University of Arizona starting in 1986, and was part of the Wildcats’ NCAA championship team that year.

Heredia finally signed a professional contract in June 1987, when the San Francisco Giants drafted him in the ninth round, 230th overall.

While pitching for the Triple-A Phoenix Firebirds in 1991, he led the Pacific Coast League with a 2.82 ERA.

From there, he moved to MLB to play with the Giants.

He was traded three times during his pro career, first moving in 1992 to the Montreal Expos. He was shipped to the Texas Rangers in 1996 and ended up with the Oakland Athletics in 1998.

Heredia won a career-high 15 games in 2000, while throwing 198.2 innings. He struck out 101 batters and had a 4.12 ERA.

He pitched his last game on Sept. 19, 2001.

After leaving the pros, Heredia returned to Tucson to spend time with his wife and three children and worked for Nova Home Loans.

Heredia is now a pitching coach for the Missoula Osprey in Montana. The Pioneer Baseball League team serves as the rookie ball team for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

His Osprey pitching staff went 41-35 last season, with an ERA of 5.05. Heredia has one year left on his contract with the club.


Will practice make perfect?

Will practice make perfect?


Pima Community College’s baseball team had a split on the road in Coolidge on Feb. 18 against Central Arizona College.

The Aztecs won the first game 5-4 as Alexis Batista drove in Zach Sweety on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning to give Pima its winning run.

Batista finished 2-3 for the game. Freshman Santiago Romero relieved sophomore starting pitcher Julio Felix and pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts to get his first college win.

In the second game, the Aztecs fell 11-0 to the Vaqueros. Freshman Alfonso Pacheco got his first college hit with a pinch-hit single. Garrett Taggart came in for relief and pitched two scoreless innings. Pima gave up seven runs in the second inning. Juan Vega took the loss for the Aztecs.

The Aztecs finished 2-2 on their Las Vegas road trip as they dropped the fourth game to Western Nevada on Feb. 12, 4-2.

Freshman pitcher Will Holbrook took the loss for Pima. Sophomore Ryan Gerber helped the Aztec offense out, going 2-4 with an RBI.

PCC faced WNC in a doubleheader Feb. 11, winning both games by at least two runs.

In the first game, Felix threw a complete game shutout, only allowing one walk and throwing five strikeouts in the 3-0 victory.

It was Felix’s first win of the season.

Leadoff hitter Gerber helped out the offense, going 2-4 with one double and one RBI. Continuing their winning momentum, the Aztecs beat the Wildcats 6-4.

Sweety and Bryant Munoz each hit solo home runs in the second inning giving the Aztecs a much-needed boost on offense. Holbrook recorded his third save of the season.

In the first game of their road trip to Las Vegas, the Aztecs lost 9-1 to WNC on Feb. 10. Jake Cole was the pitcher for the game.

The Aztecs practice their defensive strategies heading into their first home game of the season. Photo by LEFTRICK HERD


Aztecs continue their hot streak

Aztecs continue their hot streak


The Pima Community College softball team wrapped up a successful stretch against Central Arizona College, Glendale Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Feb 11 and 14.

The Aztecs continued their hot play and improved their record to 16-4 on the season.

The look of victors was one they wore naturally in their past six games. The Aztecs were too much for Chandler-Gilbert to handle on Saturday, Feb. 18, easily sweeping the doubleheader 9-1 and 10-2.

PCC kept swinging the bats in its Feb. 14 doubleheader, when the Aztecs punished the GCC Gauchos 7-0 and 19-3.

Pima also swept CAC on Feb. 11, taking down the Vaqueras 6-4 and 6-2.

Sophomore Marina Contreras keeps bringing the heat for the Aztecs. She remains the teams pitching leader with a 2.18 earned run average, followed by freshman Yvette Alvarez with a 3.17 ERA.

Sophomore pitcher Monet Ormsby is the squad’s leading hitter, batting a torrid .571.

Freshman catcher Yarelyn Romero follows up Ormsby hitting .500 on the season.

The Aztecs hope to keep up their hot bats and stellar pitching while on the road for their next couple of games, competing against South Mountain Community College and Arizona Western College. The Aztecs fared well against both last season, beating SMCC in three out of four games and AWC in four out of five.

Pima's pitching has been white hot this season. Photo by LEFTRICK HERD


By the Numbers - Leap Year Edition

By the Numbers – Leap Year Edition

Compiled by Meggie Costello-Kessler


Number of years that will pass before another leap year transpires.


Days in a leap year

365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 46 seconds

Exact amount of time it takes for the Earth to make a complete rotation around the sun.

45 BC

The first year in which a leap year appeared.


Number of years that will pass before a leap year day happens on the same day of the week.

4 million

People in the world born on Feb. 29.

1,461 to 1

Odds that a baby will be born on Feb. 29.


Consecutive generations of the Keogh family born on Feb. 29 in 1940, 1964 and 1996.

2,134,521 to 1

Odds that a mother and child will share a birthday on Feb. 29.


Year that mention of Sadie Hawkins Day first appeared in a Li’l Abner comic strip.


Pairs of gloves a European man traditionally purchases for a woman if he refuses her proposal on leap day.


Aztecs continue to set new Pima records

Aztecs continue to set new Pima records


The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track and field teams continued to produce national qualifying marks and break school records Feb. 17 and 18 at the Central Arizona Relays in Coolidge.

“If things come together like I hope they will, we’ll do great at nationals,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said. “We already have multiple qualifiers.”

Sophomore Jodine Steemers set a new school record in the 3000-meter race when she finished with a time of 11 minutes, 14.42 seconds.

Freshman Kelsey Montano also set a new school record in the 1000-meter run with a time of 3:12.87, earning her a national championship qualifying mark.

Sophomore Anaiz Zamorano took second place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:06.39, a personal best.

Sophomore Christopher Howard secured his top-10 spot in the shot put national rankings with a throw of 49-5 3/4.

In the 3000-meter race, freshman Lucas Ruiz and sophomore Mario Portillo both produced national qualifying marks for their finishing times of 8:49.57 seconds and 8:51.13, respectively.

The teams set three new school records at the Glendale CC Indoor Invitational on Feb. 11.

Ruiz won the 800 and 1500-meter races, setting a new Pima record with his time of 4:02.1 in the 1,500.

Sophomore Alice Odu was undefeated in the long jump until Feb. 18. Although she came in second, she set a new season-best with a distance of 17-7. Freshman Aly Haskell finished second in the 200-meter race, breaking a Pima record set in 2001 by Yulianna Perez.

“I’m always nervous to race,” Haskell said. “It can be scary.”

With his triple jump of 49-8, freshman Antonio Jeeter set a Pima record for second farthest jump.

Both men’s and women’s 4×800 relay squads qualified for nationals.

The men’s team consisted of Ruiz, freshmen Lindon Claridge, Adam Clawson and sophomore Humberto Bravo, while freshmen Kelsey Montano, Shelby Slocum, Mary Cozby and sophomore Heidi Lopez competed for the women.

“I just hope we’re not peaking too early,” Clawson said with a nervous laugh.


Dylan Moeykens hurdles the competition on Feb. 4. Photo by LEFTRICK HERD.

Men struggle on course

Men struggle on course


The Pima Community College men’s golf team finished seventh in a nine-team tournament Feb. 13-14 at the Legacy Golf Course in Phoenix.

Sophomore Adam Ortiz and freshmen Joseph Courtney, Mark Bolinske, Austin Stuessel, Steven Ortiz and Trey Terry had a team score of 616.

“The boys did not do well,” head coach Grant Waltke said.

No Aztecs placed in the top 10. Courtney came the closest, finishing in 13th. He shot 73 on the first day and 77 on the second. Par for the course is 71. Adam Ortiz, the team’s veteran player, shot the worst round for the Aztecs. He hit an 81 for his first round.

“I didn’t play good at all,” he said. “I was a little nervous, just ‘cause it was the first tournament.”

After the disappointing play in the season’s first tournament, Waltke will shake up the team. Only Adam Ortiz, Courtney, Bolinske and Stuessel will travel to the next tournament. Prospective players will compete for the two remaining team spots.

Waltke said he’ll have his four travel players work on putting, chipping and sand play in preparation for their next challenge, a tournament hosted by Glendale Community College on March 1 and 2 at Sun City South Golf Course.

“It’s an old people’s course, but a good course,” Waltke said.

The other players will concentrate on trying to make the team.

“I have to go back to into qualifying, which is fine cause I know what I can do,” Steven Ortiz said. “I’m pretty sure I’ll get another spot, but it is what it is.”

Waltke, who has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, is confident his current team has potential. He said the players just have to develop confidence and find their stride on the course.

“I know they’re going to do better, I just know, ‘cause they can’t do any worse,” he said.

Freshman Nikko Grau, who is red-shirting this year but hopes to contribute next year, expects the team to improve.

“We’ll definitely get to the caliber we need to be by the time regionals and nationals get out there,” he said.

Adam Ortiz concentrates on putting at the Canoa Ranch golf course. Photo by MYLO ERICKSON.

Women out-of-bounds

Women out-of-bounds


The Pima Community College women’s golf team teed off its season in Phoenix at the Toka Sticks Golf Course on Feb. 15-16. Chandler-Gilbert Community College hosted the tournament.

The Aztecs did not fare well in their first outing. They don’t have enough players to be able amass a team score, and no player shot under 90 or finished in the top 10.

Abriana Romero had the lowest scores for the Aztecs with a 92 on her first day of the competition and a 98 on the second day. The par for Toka Sticks is 72.

Alondra Olivas shot a 109 on her first day and a then lowered it by 10 strokes the next day. Shelby Empens shot a 103 on her first day and then lowered it by three strokes in her second outing.

“The girls didn’t do as well as they did in practice,” head coach Bill Nicol said.

Nicol thought the women had a hard time with the course as it has a lot of desert around it, with deep bunkers. The course also has out-of-bounds areas on both sides.

Romero lost a ball in one of the trees on the course. The refs were unable to identify her ball in the tree, so that added to her score. This was a new circumstance for Nicol.

Nicol is going to have them to continue to work on their short game in coming practices. He and the ladies are also trying to find a fourth member for the squad.

“I’d like to see them drop their scores by 10 to 15 strokes,” Nicol said. “We’ll see if that can happen.”

The Aztecs will get a chance to improve on Feb. 27 and 28 as they head to Laveen, Ariz. to play in a tournament hosted by South Mountain Community College at Legacy Golf Course. South Mountain Community College will host the tournament.

The Word: What is your most effective study method?


Barkley’s perfect ‘scam’

Barkley’s perfect ‘scam’


There is nothing like putting your foot in your mouth. Everybody does it at some point, but celebrities and athletes don’t have the luxury of having their bloopers go unnoticed.

During a commercial break in a recent Thursday night National Basketball Association game between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, former-player-turned-commentator Charles Barkley called his new Weight Watchers spokesman gig a “scam.”

He assumed his microphone was off. It wasn’t.

Barkley started by discussing his job as a NBA commentator. “I thought this was the greatest scam going, getting paid for watching sports,” he said.

“This Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam,” Barkley added. “The fact that I’m dropping pounds, getting healthier and getting paid at the same time is my definition of a great scam. The only problem is I’m going to have to have to use some of the money to buy a new wardrobe.”

Now the media is jumping all over Barkley like he said something bad, but I see it differently.

Although I’m no longer a basketball fan, I grew up watching Barkley play the game. The man is extremely passionate about whatever he does, and tends to get caught up in the moment. He also speaks his mind and doesn’t care what anybody thinks.

One of my favorite Barkley quotes is, “I am not a role model,” from a 1993 Nike Air commercial.

People criticized him then because they thought a pro athlete should be a role model.

Since his Weight Watchers quote, Barkley has received an interesting offer from a business called HealthyWage. The company allows Americans to make money on their personal weight loss.

HealthyWage issued an open invitation to Barkley to take part in its “10% Challenge.” Barkley would bet on whether he can lose 10 percent of his body weight over six months. If he succeeds, he would double his money, with the profits going to a charity of his choice.

The company is willing to allow Barkley to bet $100, or more.

HealthyWage also offers “The Matchup” competition, in which five-member teams compete to lose the most weight. The winning team takes home $10,000. Second gets $5,000 and third gets $3,000. The entry fee is $60 a person.

The team matchup competition would a great thing for Barkley to try. How fun would it be to watch Barkley and other former NBA players compete in a weight loss competition for charity?

With the success of shows like “The Biggest Loser,” I think a network would be dying to pick up this kind of show.

I’m not much of reality show fan, but you put Barkley in it and I just might watch.

I haven’t seen a reply from Barkley yet and probably won’t, but that’s Barkley. I don’t mind that either.

Women’s basketball: Two steps closer to playoffs

Women’s basketball: Two steps closer to playoffs


The Pima Community College women’s basketball team recently pulled out two home victories and dropped a road contest to put them at 17-10 for the season.

The No. 19 Aztecs defeated Mesa Community College 65-42 on Feb. 8. The team was led by freshman A’jha Edwards who had 24 points and 15 rebounds. Sophomore Na’Derra Carey also added 16 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

The Aztecs defeated South Mountain Community College 71-59 on Feb 15.

Edwards notched another double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Carey tallied 12 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Sophomore forward Tyahnna Higgs chipped in 12 points as well.

The squad fell to Eastern Arizona College on the road falling 77-63 on Feb. 18. Edwards scored 15, while Carey finished with 12.

Higgs believes her team is ready for the regional playoffs, which begin Feb. 27.

“Since the season is coming to an end, our focus has gotten more intense every day,” Higgs said. “The freshmen have improved mentally and physically with their game. We are also more aggressive with our opponents. We’re ready to go.”

PCC was scheduled to play Glendale Community College on Feb. 21. The game took place after Aztec Press went to press.

Sophomore Na'Derra Carey goes up for a layup against Mesa Community College. Photo by LARRY GAURANO

Leap into Feb 29

Leap into Feb 29


If Mayan prophecies about the world ending in 2012 are correct, then we should celebrate this Feb. 29 with enthusiasm.

A leap year occurs every four years to compensate for a small miscalculation in the calendar. If it is a century year, no leap year will occur unless the year is divisible by 400.

One year represents a full rotation of the Earth around the sun. One full rotation is 365.24 days, not an even 365. If leap years did not happen, the calendar would be off by 24 days every 100 years.

A friendly dog awaits visitors to Cata Vinos, which will host a Sadie Hawkins Day wine tasting celebration in honor of leap year. Photo By Maggie Costello-Kessler

One of the most popular leap year traditions began in fifth-century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that women must wait for men to propose. St. Patrick agreed to designate Feb. 29 as the day on which a woman could propose to the man she loved.

A similar American tradition, Sadie Hawkins Day, was introduced in 1937 in the cartoon strip “Li’l Abner.” In the storyline, Sadie and other women in Dogpatch were allowed to pursue and catch the town’s most eligible bachelors.

Local wine tasting shop CataVinos will celebrate leap year day with a Sadie Hawkins Day celebration at its 3063 N. Alvernon Way location.

Any woman who proposes to her boyfriend between 4 and 8 p.m. on Feb. 29 will enjoy six free tastings from a special line of wines produced in leap years. For anyone not intending to propose, the wine tasting will cost $10. The price for non-proposers drops to $8 with a take-home purchase of $10 or more.

For further details, visit or call 323-3063.

So have fun this leap year’s day! It could be the last Feb. 29 on Earth.

Pima students join Empathy Week rally

Pima students join Empathy Week rally

Pima Community College Students Cassie Laflin, left, and Alena Crepea sit on the center mattress during an empathy rally held at the University of Arizona mall on Feb. 13. Aztec Press photo by Lance Puckett.

Aztec Press photos by Lance Puckett

iEmpathize is a non-profit organization with a goal of eradicating child exploitation. The website,, estimates that two children per minute are trafficked for sexual sexploitation. The University of Arizona organized Empathy Week during the week of Feb. 13 to raise awareness.



Pima falters with two games left

Pima falters with two games left


The Aztecs came up short in their Feb. 15 game against South Mountain Community College, losing 105-97. Although they couldn’t pull off the win, the Aztecs had five players score in double figures.

Sophomore Jason Timpf was a standout player, scoring 31 points and snagging 14 rebounds. Freshman Domineik Banks had 16 points and 11 assists while freshman Rodney Clark netted 20 points and six rebounds.

The Aztecs suffered another loss Feb. 18 against Eastern Arizona College, losing 93-57. The game was a struggle from the start and the Aztecs found themselves down 42-27 at halftime.

Timpf again led the team with 16 points and eight rebounds. Banks also had another impressive game with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The team was scheduled to play Feb. 21 against Glendale Community College after the Aztec Press went to press.

The season is coming to an end as the Aztecs have only two games left in the regular season

Freshman Dominiek Banks powers past a South Mountain Community College defender. Photo by LARRY GAURANO.

Gallery director earns ‘itinerant artist’ nickname

Gallery director earns ‘itinerant artist’ nickname


David Andres, director of the Bernal Gallery at Pima Community College’s West Campus, often works 10 extra, unpaid hours each week.

He also spends two hours commuting to a second job once a week. On top of that, he works a third job twice a week and volunteers at multiple organizations.

Just typing this is tiring. Living it can only be more exhausting. Yet somehow, Andres has the energy to complete his work week after week and still come back for more.


“There isn’t any way, if you want to do anything of quality, to do it otherwise,” Andres said. “It just takes more hours, even if you don’t get paid for it.”

The college rates his art gallery position as a 25-hour-per-week job, but Andres often spends 30 to 35 hours a week there. “Sometimes 40,” he said.

The job only requires a bachelor’s degree, but Andres has a Master of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking, and a Master of Education with an art and museum emphasis.

“It’s overkill in every sense of the word,” he said.

In addition to the time he spends at the gallery, Andres teaches art classes at PCC. He also teaches once a week at Central Arizona College in Casa Grande.

Andres sits on boards for both the Downtown Gallery Association and the Central Tucson Gallery Association, and volunteers at the Arizona Theater Company and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.

He called himself “the itinerant artist” during his younger years, because of the many artist-in-residencies he accepted across the state. He still lives up to that nickname, yet finds time for his wife and family.

Work-study student Manny Arguello knows first-hand how hard Andres works.

“Sometimes he’ll come to me, saying ‘so I woke up at 2 a.m. this morning and I need you to research these notes I came up with,’” he said.

“He’s so active in the community,” Arguello added. “If it wasn’t for David, these exhibitions wouldn’t be happening. He’s very well known among artists and collectors in Tucson.”

Arguello can testify that Andres doesn’t let his teaching slip because of his other work.

“He’s always trying to inspire his students,” he said. “As long as you’re trying to better yourself, he will help.”

Andres shows no signs of slowing.

“I’m not ready to retire. I don’t have anything to retire from, really,” he said. “I figure if you choose artwork, it’s something you want to do for life.”