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SPRING BREAK: Getaways close to home

SPRING BREAK: Getaways close to home


Spring Break offers a time for fun and taking a week to forget about school.

If you’re a typically broke college student, you probably can’t even afford to look at top destinations such as Cabo or Miami.

Never fear. If you want a good time without spending too much, you’re reading the right article.


The park is located in Santa Cruz County about an hour and a half south of Tucson. Options include visiting for the day or camping near its namesake Patagonia Lake.

Enjoy scenic water views from a boat, with rentals available. You can also fish, swim or take a half-mile hike to Sonoita Creek.

The park is open for day use from 4 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission costs $15- $20 per vehicle for up to four people, and $3 for individual walk-ins or bicyclists.

Tips for day visitors:

• Arrive early, like at 6 a.m., to maximize fun and to nab a spot that includes a picnic table and great view.

• If you get tired, take a nap in the sun. Just make sure to layer on the SPF.

• Pack a picnic. Fast food and restaurants are not readily available.

• Compile a playlist and make sure you’re able to use offline mode, because service is spotty.

• Take a sweater. It can be chilly in the morning and is often windy.

Make reservations for tent or RV camping at 877-MY-PARKS from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., or reserve online.

For more information, visit https://azstateparks. com/patagonia-lake.


The Mexican beach resort is roughly three hours south of Tucson. Bring your passport or birth certificate.

Most hotels require a person over 25 years old to make the reservation but some allow guests under age 25 to stay at their properties. Many also offer Spring Break deals.

A sampling includes Las Palmas, Princesa Penasco, Casa Blanca, Bella Sirena, Playa Bonita, Laos Mar and Peñasco del Sol.

Daytime activities can be just as fun as the nightlife. Options include day bars, ATV and jet ski rentals, horseriding on the beach, golf, fishing, sunset cruises and banana boats. You’ll see banana boat rides available all over Rocky Point’s beaches.

Rides usually cost $5-$20, depending on how long you ride and how far you go. The boats normally carry six to eight people per trip.

For more information, visit sites such as


Visit Arizona’s west “coast” if you’re looking to get out of town but not out of state. Havasu is located along the Colorado River, four and a half hours from Tucson.

Known for its year-round sunshine and huge Spring Break crowds, Havasu offers tubing, boating hiking, cycling, fishing, offroading and much more. You won’t run out of things to do.

For additional details, visit the Spring Break Section of


Tucson offers fun, touristy and scenic spots that won’t hurt your wallet too much.

It’s free to hike Tumamoc Hill, located off West Anklam Road. Just follow the three rules: no pets, no hiking between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and don’t mess with the wildlife and plants. Carpool with friends and then go for brunch.

For an overview of Tucson’s many other hiking trails, see visittucson. org/things-to-do/hiking.

If you want an adrenaline rush, consider Get Air, Rocks and Ropes or Autobahn Indoor Speedway.

Get Air trampoline park, 330 S. Toole Ave., costs $12 for one hour and $18 for two hours. You’ll pay an extra $3 for jump socks. Hours are Monday-Thursday, noon-10 p.m.; Friday, noon-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit

Rocks and Ropes, also located at 330 S. Toole Ave., offers indoor rock climbing. Admission costs $15 for adults, $10 for ages 12 and under. Other options: pay $12 for a first-time lesson with orientation, $6 for equipment rental or $30 for a full firsttime package. Hours are Monday-Friday, 3-10 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit https://rocksandropes. com/downtown.

Autobahn Indoor Speedway, 300 S. Toole Ave., lets the kid in you live out your Mario Kart dreams. Prices vary from $19.99 to $100. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, visit autobahnspeed. com/locations/tucson-arizona-indoor-gokarts.

If you prefer a calmer pace, consider one of the 10-plus museums located in Tucson area. One example: the Tucson Museum of Art, 166 W. Alameda St. For more information, visit

Daniella Campuzano and Ashley Muñoz contributed to this article.

STOMPING GROUNDS: Old West awaits, practically in your backyard

STOMPING GROUNDS: Old West awaits, practically in your backyard


Polish your boots, straighten your bolo and bust out those Wranglers, because this is Trail Dust Town and you’re re-entering the wild west. Well, about as close as you can get without leaving the Tucson metropolitan area.

Trail Dust Town is located on Tucson’s east side at 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. Start off with the train ride around town. A haunted cemetery, Polly Anna Park, a Native village and a decrepit mine shaft are just a few of the sights along the track.

Stop by Polly Anna Park. You’ll find a carousel and a Ferris wheel for all ages. Rides cost a wooden nickel ($2.50) for tykes over 3 years old.

A Trail Dust Town sign greets visitors at the Polly Anna Park entrance on the southwest side.
The Old West destination offers activities ranging from a stunt show to a haunted tour.
Dale Villeburn Old Coyote / Aztec Press

A dozen different activities can entertain all types of folk. Catch the Pinnacle Peak Pistoleroes Wild West Stunt Show, full of daring feats and booming pyrotechnics, for just two wooden nickels ($5).

Visit the shooting range if you have an itchy trigger finger afterwards. It takes quarters, and the rifles need to be sighted, but you might enjoy a jaunty tune while you work on your aim.

Pop into the general store for some novelty trinkets and toys. Or, you can stroll the street and take old-timey photos with outfits and props throughout the town.


The Museum of the Horse Soldier is the newest addition to the property and truly is one of Tucson’s hidden gems.

Featuring more than 2,000 pieces of genuine American military history, it has everything from uniforms to swords to cannons.

According to museum director Rae Whitely, “Everything behind glass is authentic.”

The gallery also displays the only surviving uniform from Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. The rest were destroyed on an official burn order.

Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children. Ages 6 and under are free.


is it time to put some fright into your night? Bill Delfs, the proprietor of Ravenhearse productions, recounts more than 40 instances in their less-than-two-year stretch in which adult patrons have been scared enough to lose control of certain bodily functions.

Don’t be shy. Ravenhearse is a family haunt that operates year round and offers tour choices that can accommodate a variety of health issues. The green tour, yellow tour and red tour get increasingly frightening.

The green tour is acceptable for all ages, while the red tour is for the utterly fearless.

A tour can run 15-45 minutes, depending on how long you can last. They’re available Thursday-Sunday, and cost $5.

Youngsters can enjoy an old-fashioned carousal ride for $2.50 in Polly Anna Park.
Dale Villeburn Old Coyote / Aztec Press


If you swing by the Dakota Café, you might run into general manager Juan Figueroa.

The restaurant has strong customer loyalty, and Figueroa will try his best to make you feel at home.

“It’s mostly regulars, people who have been coming here for 30 years,” he said. “I like to treat everyone like family.”

Pay attention, Pima students. If you whisper the secret code “dakota cats” to your server, you’ll get 20 percent off your bill.

If you have a serious hunger, head into Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse and fill your belly with its 30-ounce T-bone steak, “The Big Cowboy.”

Don’t come in your best dress, however. Pinnacle Peak has a strictly enforced “no ties allowed” policy. You can see what others have lost, with hundreds of ties cut from the necks of patrons hanging from the rafters.

Save room for dessert and stop by the Chocolate Depot to pick up some homestyle fudge and pastries. Stock up on oldfashioned candy, or a three-foot gummy snake for the week.

There’s plenty more to discover at Trail Dust Town, and it’s a great way to support small, local businesses.

A farmers’ market is open each Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. There’s a banquet hall available to rent, an art gallery to visit and plenty of interesting characters.

For more information, visit traildusttown. com or call 296-4551.

Pro hockey finds home in Old Pueblo

Pro hockey finds home in Old Pueblo


Ice hockey surely is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of things to do in Tucson.

Average temperatures regularly reach the 70s during winter months and snow is pretty much a foreign object.

Despite all that, the National Hockey League Arizona Coyotes agreed in April 2016 to purchase their American Hockey League affiliate team, the Springfield Falcons, and relocate them to Tucson.

In May, the team signed a 10-year lease to play home games at the Tucson Convention Center downtown.

After a local naming contest, the franchise officially became the Tucson Roadrunners.

Mark Lamb of the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos became the Roadrunners’ first head coach in June.

“We have a lot of guys playing hard,” Lamb said. “Talent-wise and player-wise, we are working hard.”

New franchise brass have worked hard to put together a competitive roster in the first year.

Young stars like defenseman Kyle Wood offer an opportunity for locals to experience the future of professional hockey.

“It’s been really fun playing here,” Wood said.

Besides building a winner, the biggest challenge for the team is garnering community support. Several names behind the scenes are determined to do just that.

Director of Media Relations Tom Callahan is an East Coast guy who has loved the sport of hockey since he was a kid.

“Coming to a market like Tucson, where I believe only University of Arizona club hockey has been played occasionally, is definitely a challenge,” Callahan said. “It is like a mission to bring hockey to people who may or may not be fans, or maybe they are casual fans.”

Callahan stressed the importance of exposing children to the game.

“There are kids out here who are experiencing their first hockey game and maybe they are hooked, maybe they’ve found a new favorite player and will try to get their parents to take them skating and get them involved,” he said. “It is all about sharing that passion and creating fans.”

Callahan broadcasts play-by-play for every game on AM radio 1450. The station is also available on the iheartradio app for students.

To encourage attendance, the club offers a Tucson Roadrunners student rush pass.

Eligible students can visit and provide their name, phone number and an active collegiate email address.

The club will contact students via text message on game day to offer special drink and concession deals.

Digital Operations Manager Alexander Kinkopf is in charge of running the team’s various social media accounts, and considers it his job to make hockey appealing to college students.

“People get so tired of the traditional final scores or player updates,” he said. “When people see an official team account show some sort of personality or some sort of voice, it really strikes a chord.”

Kinkopf keeps up with trends in an effort to make the Roadrunner’s social media more relatable.

“One of the most fun parts of my job is to be able to be creative with the sport and to be able to relate it to pop culture,” he said.

Kinkopf encourages students to follow the Roadrunners on Twitter @RoadrunnersAHL or like the team page on Facebook.

“It is very important to us to cater to the local college students here,” he said.

Hockey is arguably the most entertaining sport on the planet. It is fast-paced and action-packed, making it is easy for a casual fan to evolve into a die-hard.

Pima Community College students can enjoy the experience first-hand by supporting the Tucson Roadrunners.

Single-game tickets start at $14. For more information or to buy tickets, call 866-77-HOCKEY toll-free or visit


Feb. 24, 25, 28: San Jose, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 17, 18: Bakersfield, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 25: San Jose, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 26: San Jose, TCC, 4:05 p.m.

March 28: San Antonio, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

March 31: San Diego, TCC, 7:05 p.m.

April 1: San Diego, TCC, 7:05 p.m.


Roadrunners right winger Anthony Duclair looks for a pass in a home game against San Diego on Jan. 28 at the Tucson Convention Center.


Pima County Community College Board of Governors meetings are generally dull as dirt. It’s just short of a rule. Watching paint dry is a cinematic experience compared to your average board meeting. Which is why, at the Board of Governors first meeting on Jan. 11, I was so surprised to see a scene more befitting the living room of Vito Corleone on the day of his daughter’s wedding.

While all the big headlines in politics have gravitated towards the insatiable pull known as Trump Inc., the PCC Governing Board underwent quite the shake-up itself over the election season.

Gone are former TUSD counsel Martha Durkin and board mainstay Scott Stewart. In are Meredith Hay and Luis Gonzales.

Gonzales is not to be confused with the famed Arizona Diamondback outfielder that won the World Series with a bloop single. However, judging by the crowd and reception Gonzales received, you could understand the confusion.


The evening began with Board Chair Mark Hanna calling the meeting to order, preceded by the standard election of board officers for the next year. The roles are largely ceremonial, but play a part in who can represent and speak for the board at official events.

The process is usually a dry, bureaucratic, procedural vote. Board member Sylvia Lee nominated Hanna to continue as board chair. Board member Demion Clinco seconded. Then Gonzales spiced things up and interjected.

“Chairmen, a point of order,” Gonzales said. “The bylaws are pretty clear in regard to the nomination of elected officers for the term. It appears we are not going to be following the bylaw as written. The bylaw I see here in front of me says that board members shall rotate (positions).”

The other board members seemed befuddled; the audience perplexed.

After getting clarification from PCC attorney Jeff Silvyn, the board continued the vote. That is, after having made a motion to suspend the rotating officers bylaw.

Gonzales had been right.

The message was clear, even though Gonzales said he “had no objection to the process.”

In pointing out the parliamentary error, he made his presence known, signaling the rest of the board he would be a stickler for detail.


After the various board officers and committee representatives were decided, the public comment section began.

The first speaker was a man named Robert Sines, a retired schoolteacher. He also happened to have known Gonzales “since the 8th grade in junior high.”

Sines noted his support for Gonzales throughout his political career, and added that Gonzales’ presence on the board “was especially gratifying for us that we have a voice in the Hispanic community.” The conclusion of Sines’ speech met with applause.

Next was Cecilia Cruz, a member of the community group Coalition for Accountability, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility. She claimed to be there for “three reasons: my first is to congratulate Mr. Luis Gonzales on his election to the PCC Board of Governors.”

Cruz continued, hitting on a similar vein as Sines before her. “I, as well as many members of the El Rio Coalition who worked on his campaign, welcome the representation of Chicano and Native peoples that Mr. Gonzales will bring to the college.” Applause, again.

Message sent. Gonzales’ presence on the board stood as a victory to a constituency that up until now had felt ignored and disenfranchised, in a community they see as their own. Sound familiar? If you listen closely, the message is Make Pima Great Again. Too on the nose?


The theme of the night (kissing Gonzales’ ring and reminding the board new eyes are watching) went on for nearly an hour and a half. About a dozen speakers adhered to the theme. Reminding the board they served “the people.”

Local dignitaries ran the gamut, from former TUSD Board member Betts Putnam-Hidalgo to Tucson High sophomore class president Ysmael Ballesteros. Seriously.

Topics from where summer session would be held to the college’s recent HLC news were touched on, but all in the context that the board should have a listen to Gonzales.

“I swear, I have nothing to do with this,” Gonzales said more than once.


But it was the last speaker that woke me from my snarky pessimism. Lenny Mark, the owner of local Chinese restaurant Bamboo Terrace, stepped to the podium. He began by recalling how long he had been a Tucson native and his relationship with Gonzales.

Mark, who was a child, recounted how Gonzales would scare him. “Every time I went to the neighborhood, I didn’t know him, and he always approached me and he would always ask me questions about how I was doing. He always showed concern for me.”

Years later, Mark had a problem. His wife, who had emigrated from China, was in need of help becoming a citizen. “We needed a strong support system. She had no system,” said Mark. “She had nobody. And Luis and Berta, they took us in.”

Mark’s wife is now a U.S citizen. “I love this man and I love this family,” Mark said. It didn’t end there. Mark went on about his experience at Pima. He recounted how he had bounced around from ASU, UA and eventually to Pima.

On his first day of class, an instructor left an impression on Mark. The instructor let the students speak about what they wanted and what was on their mind.

When it was Mark’s turn he said what was on his mind. “I basically didn’t feel a strong will to live, because I felt like a loser.”

The instructor approached the situation in a unique way. “Instead of engaging me emotionally, he gave me an existential approach. He later gave me a book to read called ‘Man’s Search for Meaning.’”

While he never graduated from Pima, Mark said he credited his success in taking over his family’s restaurant to that class. He even brings any employee interested in enrolling at Pima to a campus and helps them enroll.

I began to cry. Looking around, I saw plenty of others right there with me.


I have been on the Board of Governors beat for over a year now. That means I missed out on the contentious board hearings of the early 2010s. By far, this was the most engaging and enlightening board meeting I have attended.

The election of Luis Gonzales to the board signals a new era. While members of the community have always been concerned and fought for a healthy college, some constituencies (large and small) felt left out.

Their concerns are valid, and in Gonzales, the Mexican-American and Native communities have someone to champion their cause on the board. The celebration of Gonzales is legitimate and warranted.

Ultimately, Pima stands to gain from this transfusion of new blood and a possible contrarian voice on the Governing Board. Perhaps it may become even more representative of our diverse city and county.

“PCC is very representative of Tucson, maybe more so than the U of A because a lot of people get degrees and they move on to other cities where they can find ‘opportunities’ as they say. But PCC is Tucson, Arizona,” Mark said.

Luis Gonzales brings a new face and constituency to the PCC board of governors.
Eddie Celaya / Aztec Press

Pima Board of Governors Chair Mark Hanna, left, chats with new board member and District 3 representative Luis Gonzales. The two met as part of Gonzales’ board orientation.
Eddie Celaya / Aztec Press


Women's March: Hope sprouts during show of solidarity

Women’s March: Hope sprouts during show of solidarity


I was lucky enough to be a part of Tucson’s Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21.

People marched for women’s rights on the first full day of President Donald Trump’s term. On a cold and rainy day, not common for Tucson, our community came together to protest the new administration and to push for gender equality.

More than a million people worldwide marched in solidarity. Locally, about 15,000 people showed up at Armory Park.

As a participant, I was beyond inspired by the love and positivity coming from men and women. Many people believe there’s nothing we can do now that Trump is president, but that’s not true. This march was filled with hope, a bit of sadness and a reality check we all needed.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva were two of the many speakers.

I asked Rothschild what the walk meant to him.

“The American people are standing up in great masses all over the country and here in Tucson, and they’re saying we will be listened to,” he said. “We are willing to work with you, but if you aren’t willing to work with us then change will have to be made.”

The hate rhetoric of the past year is not part of American tradition, Rothschild added.

“I think it’s motivating people, activating people, and maybe that’s what we needed,” he said. “There are those times when people become complacent and as you can see, these will not be complacent times.”

Grijalva said people who can’t vote, whether they’re too young or don’t have documentation, still have crucial roles to play.

“For the young, the protection of schools and their opportunities to go further on are going to be big issues,” he said. “They need to protect that and make sure that we don’t see, with this administration, the destruction of public education like community colleges.”

He stressed the importance of undocumented residents, including blended families and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival students.

“They live next door to us, their kids go to school with us,” he said. “They’re a part of this community and they should know that and act that way.”

Grijalva pledged to do everything he can to shield DACA students.

“We will continue to fight for and protect those kids,” he said. “We’ll try and make sure that it isn’t a crazy regime of deportation by this president.”

I remain inspired by the Women’s March.

We are an America coming together for gender equality. We’re not here to destroy the nation, we’re here to build and rebuild.

The people, not a celebrity, have the power to make America great again.



A family of three comes out in support of the Tucson Women’s March at Armory Park on Jan. 21. A crowd estimated at 15,000 women, men and children standing up for gender equality, immigration rights and reproductive rights made their voices heard throughout the march on the day after the presidential inauguration.
Ashley Muñoz / Aztec Press


Women wore cat makeup and ears to stand in solidarity for gender equality, recalling President Donald Trump’s crude comments toward women, immigrants and other groups.
Ashley Muñoz / Aztec Press


College student Mercy stands up for racism and gender equality during the Women’s March. The march gathered more than 5 million participants worldwide.
Ashley Muñoz / Aztec Press


A women’s march participant and coordinator delivers words of hope to an overwhelming crowd of 15,000 in the library courtyard.
A women’s march speaker and coordinator delivers words of hope to an overwhelming crowd of 15,000 in the library courtyard.
Ashley Muñoz / Aztec Press


A father and daughter sit outside of the Joel D Valadez library downtown Tucson after the Women’s rally on Saturday, Jan. 21.
A women’s march participant and coordinator delivers words of hope to an overwhelming crowd of 15,000 in the library courtyard.
A women’s march speaker and coordinator delivers words of hope to an overwhelming crowd of 15,000 in the library courtyard.
Ashley Muñoz / Aztec Press

UA men’s basketball in need of spark

UA men’s basketball in need of spark


The University of Arizona men’s basketball team stands as one of Tucson’s top sport programs. It’s often a topic of discussion in Tucson, including at Pima Community College.

UA constantly provides top-ranked teams drawn from talented recruiting classes. However, the beginning of the 2016-17 season has been hard for the Wildcats.

The team has had to deal with losing 10 players from the 2015-16 season and is in the process of finding its identity.

The Wildcats did bring back talented scorer Allonzo Trier for his sophomore season after he flirted with an early move to the NBA.

Unfortunately, questions surrounding Trier’s eligibility kept him on the sideline through the first six games. Details surrounding his ineligibility remain a mystery, with UA staffers refusing to comment.

The Wildcats also watched Ray Smith end his basketball career in an exhibition game when he suffered a third ACL tear.

UA is currently weathering a storm of injuries and controversies that will force the team to respond either positively or negatively. Count on it enhancing chemistry and unity.

With UA head coach Sean Miller at the helm, expect UA to allow talents such as promising freshman Lauri Markkanen and senior veteran community college transfer Kadeem Allen to showcase their capabilities with extended responsibilities.

Experiencing this much adversity early on is good. When hard times approach again later in the season, the players will be familiar with them.

The predominantly young group will be forced to play team ball to win rather than relying on a proven scorer or player. That gives new and younger players an opportunity to prove themselves.

The Wildcats opened the season 5-2, including a last-second victory over No. 13 Michigan State. UA also dropped two games early on, to undefeated Butler and Gonzaga teams.

One obstacle is inability to stretch defenses with elite 3-point shooting. UA lacks a sufficient perimeter threat.

This will make it more and more difficult as tougher opponents come. Opposing teams will continue to clog the interior and welcome the outside shot.

In games against their toughest opponents, Michigan State, Butler and Gonzaga, UA shot a mere 27 percent from 3-point range.

Players did shoot at more than 50 percent against CSU Bakersfield, Santa Clara and Texas Southern, teams that had a combined record of 12-14.

The Wildcats have demonstrated they’re capability of playing well during difficult circumstances, though they have not beaten a top-ranked opponent. Michigan State, the lone ranked team they’ve beaten, is no longer in the top 25.

With a difficult conference schedule approaching, UA seeks to get back on track. Can you imagine the ceiling for this team if it’s healthy and if Trier returns to the mix? Yes, those are big “ifs.”

The Wildcats obviously are far from a finished product. Their experiences of hardship in the first month of the season will only benefit them come March. Of course, the return of their most hyped player would help too.

Athletic trainers ‘first line’ in emergency situations

Athletic trainers ‘first line’ in emergency situations


At Pima’s West Campus, within the fitness center, reside three employees who are in charge of the health and safety

of all 400 current Pima athletes.

These medical professionals see between 50 and 100 students daily and must attend to their needs on and off the

field. Their names are April Jessee, Akira Kondo and Chris Murphy.

These unsung heroes go by the title of athletic trainer, and are medical professionals trained to take care of those

involved in any sporting event Pima attends.

Football player Alex Rios said he visits the trainers before every game. The athletic taping on his wrists and ankles

ensures he stays safe during games.

When visiting the fitness center, several athletes like Rios can almost always be seen working with one of the three


From stretching exercises to rehabilitating after major surgeries, the fitness center provides a safe haven for trainer

and athletes to work together.

“The challenges unique to our job are that every day is different and we have to be prepared for the worst,” Jessee

said. “We are the first line in emergency situations with our athletes and also the last person they see before returning

to play.”

All three of Pima’s athletic trainers boast years of experience.

In addition to having a master’s degree in athletic training, Jessee holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and

has worked at many colleges.

Murphy was an intern for the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Kondo is a certified CPR rescuer and a member of both

American and Japanese athletic trainer organizations.

Jessee is currently in her sixth year as an athletic trainer for Pima.

Murphy worked for the school from 2005-2006, and is now in his first year back.

This is Kondo’s first year working with the school full time, though he worked part time from 2003-2005.

There are also eight interns who work alongside Pima’s certified trainers.

One of the interns, Danielle Galvez, has put in more than 900 hours at the West Campus’ fitness center just during

this school year.

At any given moment, several athletes can be found in the fitness center waiting to be seen by the trainers. Student

athlete Kelsey Montana said that she visits the trainers every day, twice a day.

“My personal choice to become an athletic trainer came from my love of medicine and sports,” Jessee said.

She explained that she was amazed by the work done by then-Phoenix Suns athletic trainer Joe Proski and wanted to

help athletes like he did.

The athletic trainers at Pima are uniquely situated in a school that provides for their profession and respects the

importance of their presence at every game.

Some high schools have only one athletic trainer for 400 athletes, or have their athletic trainers working on a

teacher’s salary with only a small stipend designated for their athletic training work.

The National Athletic Trainer’s Association reported in 2009 that when an athlete goes down on the playing field, an

athletic trainer is the first responder to prevent or treat an injury; yet only 42 percent of high schools have access to

athletic trainers today.

Jessee pointed out that things have not improved since then. Many schools lack or have insufficient athletic trainers

to care for the students.

Raymond Suarez, Pima’s athletics assistant program coordinator and sports information provider, said the athletic

trainers are present at all major sporting events.

A student athletic trainer often accompanies them, so the student can learn the profession first-hand.

Jessee admitted this can make balancing personal life and work difficult, but the job is rewarding.

“Here at Pima Community College we are in a unique situation where we have the support and understanding of our

athletic director Edgar Soto and our coaches,” Jessee said.

“This is one of the places that I feel we are really taken care of in regards to our profession.”

Pg15-Trainer Chris Murphy-athlete Baylee Lakey

Trainer Chris Murphy treats student Baylee Lakey during post-surgery recuperation. Moe Irish/ Aztec Press

Pg15-Trainer intern Danielle Galvez

Athletic trainer intern Danielle Galvez tapes a football player’s ankle for support. Pima trainers see 500-100 athletes daily. Moe Irish/Aztec Press

Women's Tennis: PCC women looking ahead to postseason

Women’s Tennis: PCC women looking ahead to postseason


The Pima Community College women’s tennis team (11-5, 6-2 in ACCAC) closed out the regular season in dominating

fashion as it earned a shutout win at Paradise Valley Community College on April 12.

Freshman Kelsey Brown shutout her opponent at No. 1 singles winning 6-0, 6-0. Freshman Samantha Ruth defeated

her opponent at No. 2 singles 6-0, 6-1. The No. 1 doubles duo of Brown and Ruth trounced the opposition 8-1.

At No. 3 singles, freshman Dana Pineda won her match 6-2, 6-2. Sophomore Stephanie Nickles shut down her

opponent in the first set and won her No. 4 singles match 6-0, 6-2. Nickles and freshman Fernanda Miller won their

No. 3 doubles match 8-3.

In the April 8 match against New Mexico Military Institute, women’s tennis was unable to rally in singles

competition. Brown rallied from behind in her No. 1 singles match to force a third set tiebreaker after winning the

second set and held on to win 4-6, 6-4, 10-8.

Miller earned the other win for the Aztecs in singles competition as she earned a shut out at No. 6 singles 6-0, 6-0.

Miller and No. 3 doubles partner Nickles won their match 8-3.

Brown and No. 1 doubles partner Ruth rallied to force a tiebreaker but fell 9-8 (7-5).

PCC won its match in the April 7 contest against Glendale Community College. No. 3 doubles team sophomore

Nickles and Miller earned a shutout, 8-0. Pineda played at No. 3 singles but fell 6-2, 6-1.

With the regular season over, postseason play begins the Region I Tournament at Paseo Racquet Center, Glendale,

Ariz. on April 19-20.


Men's Golf: Men finish season in tie with EAC

Men’s Golf: Men finish season in tie with EAC


Pima Community College men’s golf team closed out the regular season finishing in second place for the fourth

consecutive time.

The Aztecs tied with Eastern Arizona College with a two-round total of 571 (286-285) at the Scottsdale Community

College Invitational. Eastern Arizona also took second with a score of 571 (279-292).

South Mountain Community College took first place with a total of 557 (282-275).

Sophomore Will Dennis had the best score for the Aztecs as he tied for fourth place in the individual tournament. He

shot a five under-par 139, shooting a one-under par 71 on in the first round and a four-under par 68 for the second


Sophomore David Rauer tied for 12th place with a one-under par 143. He shot a one-over par 73 in the first round and a

two-under par 70 for the second.

Sophomores Wilfred Tewawina and Frankie Wu each finished the tournament tied for 21st place. Tewawina shot a 147

(75-72) and Wu finished with a 147 (72-75).

The Aztecs will compete in the Region I championships April 28 to May 1 at the Gold Canyon Golf Course in Gold

Canyon, Ariz.


April 28-May 1: @ ACCAC Region 1 Championship, Gold Canyon Golf Course, Gold Canyon, Ariz. Time TBA


Sports Briefs: Freshman guard earns All-American honors

Sports Briefs: Freshman guard earns All-American honors

By Jason Weir

A season of honors for Pima Community College women’s basketball freshman point guard Sydni Stallworth continued

April 5 when she was selected first-team All-American.“It feels great to receive the award as a freshman,” Stallworth

said. “I want to thank my entire coaching staff and my teammates.”

Stallworth, the sixth PCC women’s basketball player to ever receive the honor, started all 36 games for the Aztecs on

their way to a record-tying 28-8 overall record. She was named ACCAC Player of the Week four times and NJCAA

Player of the Week once.

After helping lead the Aztecs to a third-place finish in the NJCAA Division II Tournament in March, she and teammate

sophomore Taylor Blue were named to the All-Tournament team.

“I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today if it weren’t for my team pushing me,” Stallworth said.


Postseason hero freshman Sydni Stallworth receives recognition for the historical season by the Aztecs. Photo courtesy Pima Athletics

Postseason hero freshman Sydni Stallworth receives recognition for the historical season by the Aztecs.
Photo courtesy Pima Athletics

BASEBALL: Pima splits road games

BASEBALL: Pima splits road games


The Pima Community College baseball team lost two games against Scottsdale Community College on March 22.

The Aztecs were behind 12-5 at the end of the fourth inning and ended up losing 13-8 after an attempted comeback.

Pima lost the second game 12-2 with the Artichokes taking another early lead in the second inning with five runs.

Pima won one of two games March 17 against South Mountain Community College and Seminole State College.

The Aztecs lost a tough matchup against South Mountain 5-2 after blowing an early 2-0 lead.

Sophomore Daniel Tolano, who pitched three and one-third innings, allowed four runs on five walks and two hits.

In game two, the Aztecs avenged their loss by defeating Seminole State 7-4. Despite falling behind in the fourth inning, PCC responded with six runs including a two-run double by sophomore Al Cruz.

The Aztecs lost 11-2 in a home game against Cochise College on March 15.

PCC’s bats were shut down through six innings. Entering the seventh, sophomore Hunter Green put Pima on the board with a RBI triple. In the eighth, sophomore Jacob Northrup drew a walk that loaded the bases but his team wasn’t able to capitalize.

On the mound in relief, freshman Ernesto Romero went three and two-third innings, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks. Green finished 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI while freshman Frankie Ortiz went 1-for-1 with a run scored.

PCC split a doubleheader against Yavapai College in an ACCAC conference matchup at the West Campus on March 12.

The Aztecs took game one, winning 6-5. In the ninth inning, Pima held a 4-1 lead but Yavapai scored five runs to take a 5-4 lead. The Aztecs put the game behind them after scoring two runs.

Ramirez went 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Sophomore Ryan Ramsower went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

In game two, PCC lost to the Roughriders 8-4. The Aztecs took a 3-2 lead in the second inning and scored once in the eighth. Ramirez and Ramsower led the team with two hits apiece. Freshman Miguel Figueroa took the loss.



March 25: Monroe CC, West Campus, 2 p.m.
March 26: South Mountain CC, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
March 29: @ Eastern Arizona College, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
April 2: Cochise College, West Campus, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.
April 5: @ Central Arizona College, doubleheader, noon, 2:30 p.m.

Sophomore Al Cruz swings at the pitch. Cruz hit a two-run homer in a March 17 game. Photo courtesy PCC Athletics

Sophomore Al Cruz swings at the pitch. Cruz hit a two-run homer in a March 17 game.
Photo courtesy PCC Athletics

WOMEN'S TENNIS: Pima Aztecs storm back to the court

WOMEN’S TENNIS: Pima Aztecs storm back to the court


The Pima Community College women’s tennis team (3-2, 1-1 in ACCAC) fell in an ACCAC conference match against No. 6 Mesa Community College on March 1 at the Tucson Racquet Club where the No. 19 ranked Aztecs were shut out 9-0.

Freshmen Kelsey Brown and Samantha Ruth fell 8-6 in their No. 1 doubles match. They were behind 5-2 but cut the deficit to one point at 6-5.

At No. 2 doubles, sophomore Stephanie Nickles and freshman Fernanda Miller lost 8-0. In the No. 3 doubles match, freshman Dana Pineda and sophomore Ema Hernandez fell 8-0 to Hanna Nelson and Julia Ortiz.

In singles competition, Miller dropped her match at No. 5 singles 6-2, 6-1 while Nickles lost at No. 3 singles 6-2, 6-0.

Brown fell at No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-0 while Pineda was shut out in her No. 6 singles match 6-0, 6-0 to Ortiz. Ruth lost at No. 2 singles 6-0, 6-1 and Hernandez dropped her match at No. 4 singles 6-0, 6-1.

PCC opened conference play on Feb. 25 at the Tucson Racquet Club in a big way.

PCC opened ACCAC conference play with a dominating sweep in singles and doubles to beat Eastern Arizona College 9-0.

Brown fell behind early in the set of her first match at No. 1 singles but rallied off 11 consecutive points to win her match. At No. 2 singles, Ruth fell behind 2-3 in the second set but came back to win 6-3, 7-5.

Nickles maintained the lead throughout her match at No. 3 singles to win 6-3, 6-2 while fellow Hernandez won 6-1, 6-3 at No. 4 singles. Miller shut out her opponent and won 6-0, 6-5 at No. 5 singles. Pineda won at No. 6 singles.

In doubles competition, Brown and Ruth shut out their opponents at No. 1 doubles while Nickles and Miller won at No. 2 doubles play. Hernandez and Pineda rallied off three straight set points and won 8-4 at No. 3 doubles.

The Aztecs will play several nonconference matches in California during spring break, starting at San Diego Mesa College on March 14 at 2 p.m. On March 16, PCC goes up against Grossmont College at 1 p.m.



March 14: @ San Diego Mesa College, San Diego, 2 p.m.

March 16: @ GrossmontCollege, El Cajon, 1 p.m.

March 22: @ Glendale CC, 1:30 p.m.

March 23: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Tucson Racquet Club, 1 p.m.

March 24: Paradise Valley CC, Tucson Racquet Club, 1:30 p.m.

BASEBALL: Aztecs stay near the top of standings

BASEBALL: Aztecs stay near the top of standings


The Pima Community College baseball team (12-3, 3-3 in ACCAC) has gone 3-3 since Feb. 9 and remains toward the top of the standings in community college play behind (15-0) Central Arizona College and (14-2) Mesa Community College.

“We like to take the positive and build on that,” sophomore Al Cruz said. “We definitely have the bats and pitching to get the job done.”

A Feb. 23 doubleheader at Phoenix College took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.

On Feb. 9, the streaking Aztecs ball club, backed by its offense, beat the University of Arizona Club team 11-1 at the West Campus.

Freshman pitcher Trevelle Hill earned his second win of the season after throwing five innings of shutout ball. Freshman Jake Robertson closed out the 8th and final inning to beat UA.

Cruz finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI while fellow sophomore Marcus Catalano drove in three additional runs.

In a doubleheader on Feb. 13 against Scottsdale Community College, the Aztecs won their 10th consecutive game 3-0 behind a four-hit complete-game shutout by sophomore pitcher Daniel Tolano. He was named ACCAC Division II Pitcher of the Week.

In the second game, however, the Aztecs’ pitching was bombarded by Scottsdale’s bats and Pima lost 11-1. Freshman pitcher Ernesto Romero received the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits.

PCC split a heavily contested doubleheader against GateWay Community College on Feb. 16.

In the first game, sophomore Jacob Northrup hit a leadoff single, which began a short rally that would eventually put the Aztecs up 2-1 in the third inning. The Aztecs blew the lead after a two-run double by the Geckos in the fourth inning.

In the second game, the Aztecs mercy-ruled GateWay. Pima’s offense exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning. Catalano went 2-for-3 with three RBI.

“I was glad to come through with that two-out bases-clearing double,” Catalano said. “I think that opened the game up and helped everyone loosen up and just have fun.”

Sophomore Ivan Estrella had two hits. Freshman Hunter Green pitched a seven-inning complete game for his third win of the season.

“I was seeing the ball well all day,” Estrella said. “We knew we were facing two lefties in both games, so during batting practice we hit off of a left hander to get dialed in.”

Pima split the doubleheader against No. 10 Mesa Community College on Feb. 20.

In the first game, freshman Miguel Figueroa received the loss after replacing Tolano. Estrella drove in two runs while Green went 2-for-3 with a run.

After trailing 6-0 through four innings in the second game, the Aztecs rallied for five runs in the fifth inning and later padded their lead with four runs in the ninth.

Freshman Anthony Felix went 2-for-4 with three RBI while sophomore Ryan Ramsower hit a two-run blast in the fifth inning.

“We responded in the second game after being down by six, and that really showed how we never give up and we just rallied to come back and win,” Cruz said.





Feb. 27: Paradise Valley CC doubleheader, West Campus, noon and 2:30 p.m.
March 1: doubleheader @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, noon and 2:30 p.m.
March 5: doubleheader @ Glendale CC,
noon and 2:30 p.m.
March 8: doubleheader @ GateWay CC,
noon and 2:30 p.m.

WOMEN'S TENNIS: PCC rebounds from loss heading into conference play

WOMEN’S TENNIS: PCC rebounds from loss heading into conference play


The Pima Community College women’s tennis team (2-1) won a non-conference match on Feb. 21 against a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school.

The No. 19 ranked Aztecs defeated Hastings College of Nebraska 7-2 at Mesa Community College. Pima won two of its doubles matches and earned the victory with five of six singles played.

Freshman Dana Pineda won a difficult match at No. 6 singles after dropping the second set to beat Molly Mitchell 7-6, 1-6, 13-11.

Sophomore Stephanie Nickles was in a close match at No. 3 singles and defeated Elizabeth Harlow 6-4, 6-4.

Freshman Samantha Ruth beat Alexa Obermier at No. 2 singles 6-3, 6-3.

Freshman Kelsey Brown and sophomore Ema Hernandez eaned shutout set victories.

Freshman Fernanda Miller lost at No. 5 singles 7-6, 6-0.

In doubles competition, Brown and Ruth won at the No. 3 doubles match 8-5.

The Aztecs opened its first match of the season at the Tucson Racquet Club against New Mexico State University on Feb. 12 with a 9-0 loss.

“Everyone was exposed to a higher level and realized they can play at that level with more hard work,” head coach Gretchen Schantz said.

In doubles competition, No. 1 pair Brown and Ruth lost 8-0 to Rimpledeep Kaur and Ashvarya Shrivastav.

In the No. 2 doubles match, Miller and Nickles won on game but ultimately lost 8-1 to Erika Castillo-Lopez and Gabrielle Joyce. Sophomore Ema Hernandez and freshman Dana Pineda fell 8-0 to Chloe Jolliff and Lindsay Harlas.

In singles play, Brown lost to Shrivastav in the No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-1 while Ruth fell to Castillo Lopez 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.

Nickles, however, picked up a game but ultimately lost to Jolliff 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.

In No. 4 singles competition Hernandez was blanked by Mia Brandt 6-0, 6-0. Miller lost 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 5 singles match. Pineda went down in her No. 6 singles match to Elena Arnaudova 6-1, 6-0.

“I thought everyone on my team played great against New Mexico State, even though we lost I definitely think we played good competitive matches,” Nickles said.

Schantz seemed optimistic about the team going forward.

“Playing tough opponents early on changes the dynamic for the rest of the season,” Schantz said. “They know what level to expect from top junior colleges and what they are capable of.”

The match against Benedictine University scheduled for Feb. 20 was canceled.

“We couldn’t get a hold of the coach for a couple days and noticed he didn’t have a full roster online,” Schantz said. “Maybe next year.”

Stephanie Nickles runs to the side of the court in an attempt to keep the ball in place in this file photo from Spring 2015. Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics

Stephanie Nickles runs to the side of the court in an attempt to keep the ball in place in this file photo from Spring 2015.
Photo courtesy of PCC Athletics





Feb. 25: Eastern Arizona
College, Tucson Racquet Club, 1:30 p.m.
March 1: Mesa Community College, Tucson Racquet Club, 1:30 p.m.
March 14: @ San Diego Mesa College, 2 p.m.

MEN'S GOLF: Pima ties for sixth at tournament

MEN’S GOLF: Pima ties for sixth at tournament


Pima Community College men’s golf team tied for sixth at the Estrella Mountain Invitational on Feb. 15-16 at the Wigwam Golf Course in Litchfield.

The Aztecs recorded a two-day score of 599 (302-297) tied with Glendale Community College.

Sophomore David Rauer, who won the Chandler-Gilbert Invitational individual tournament on Feb. 8-9, finished tied for seventh place with a two-day total of 145. Rauer shot a two-over par 74 on Feb. 15 and a one-under par in his second round on Feb. 16.

Sophomore Will Dennis finished the individual tournament tied for 14th place with a 149 score. He shot a one-over par 73 on Feb. 16, and a four-over 76 on the first day of the tournament.

Sophomore Frankie Wu shot a 150 (75-75) and tied for 17th in the individual tournament. Sophomore Wilfred Tewawina tied for 32nd with a 155 (77-78).

PCC hosts the Pima Invitational at the Silverbell Golf Course on Feb. 29-March 1, starting at 10:30 a.m. on both days.






Feb. 29-March 1: Pima Invitational at Silverbell Golf Course, 10:30 a.m.