Top 10 Camp Verde High sporting events of 2017

Camp Verde baseball players celebrate senior John Castillo’s walk off double in extra innings on Senior Night against Northland Prep. The win clinched the region championship for the Cowboys. (VVN/James Kelley)

Camp Verde baseball players celebrate senior John Castillo’s walk off double in extra innings on Senior Night against Northland Prep. The win clinched the region championship for the Cowboys. (VVN/James Kelley)

10. Short handed boys basketball rolls

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Camp Verde junior Nick Stone shoots during the Cowboys’ 64-50 win over Chino Valley at home. The win was the Cowboys’ third in a row. (VVN/James Kelley)

While Camp Verde boys basketball suffered a couple big injuries early in the 2017-18 season, they overcame them and won three games in a row earlier this month.

Despite two starters getting injured, the Cowboys beat Bourgade Catholic, Anthem Prep and Chino Valley.

“Their confidence is high, they have a little momentum going right now, so I think they feel pretty confident night in and night out,” said Camp Verde head coach Daniel Wall. “As they’re coming on the floor they’re ready to compete, so it’s always fun.”

The Cowboys opened the season with a 64-17 win over Mayer to snap their seven game losing streak.

9. Girls soccer goes undefeated at the Old Pueblo Soccer Classic

Camp Verde girls soccer fell short of their goal of making the four-team state tournament but had a lot of highlights during the regular season.

The Cowboys went unbeaten at the Old Pueblo Soccer Classic in Tucson, including a 1-0 win over then No. 4 Show Low and 1-0 victory over then No. 5 St. Johns 1-0.

“All the girls played really well,” said Camp Verde head coach Javier Pineda. “The players that don’t play much during the regular games played a lot and they did very good. It was nice to see the girls do what you work on practice.”

8. Schultz shatters triple jump record

Camp Verde track and field junior Nate Schultz soared over the school record in the triple jump at the Sedona Invitational.

After tying Seth Mosley’s mark of 42-06.00 earlier in the season, Schultz jumped 43-07.00 in Sedona.

At the meet the other Cowboys were asking each other how Schultz did.

“He’s been gearing for that ever since he tied it, to get it, to set it and so he was just ecstatic when he got it and so was the rest of the group,” said Camp Verde track and field head coach Mike O’Callaghan.

7. Football upsets No. 18 Paradise Honors

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Camp Verde senior Payton Sarkesian looks to pass the ball during the Cowboys’ 21-14 win over Paradise Honors at home on Sept. 29. The triumph over the then No. 18 Panthers snapped a two game CV losing streak.. (VVN/Vyto Starinskas)

With a small team and lot so injuries, it was a tough season for Camp Verde football, but it did have some bright spots.

The Cowboys went 3-6 in Jerome Rhoades’ first full season in charge. CV opened the season with a loss to Chino Valley at home by one scored.

After beating Arizona College Prep to win their first game of the year, the Cowboys dropped two in a row. However, they rebounded with a 21-14 win over then No. 18 Paradise Honors at home.

The Cowboys capped the season with a 30-14 win at Sedona Red Rock. Rhoades improved his record to 2-0 against the rivals.

6. Boys soccer tallies 14 game unbeaten streak

While Camp Verde boys soccer lost an entire team to graduation, they still managed a top two seed at the state tournament and a 14 game unbeaten streak.

The 13th game of the streak was a 4-3 win at then No. 5 Phoenix Country Day.

“It was all it was supposed to be, the number four team against the number five team,” Miller said. “They’re a very strong team and we went down and we had Homecoming the night before (laughs) and so we were a little tired when we got on the bus at 7:30 in the morning.”

The Cowboys (15-4-3) only lost to Chino Valley and Show Low (in penalty kicks). They lost 11 players from 2016’s side.

5. Track and field leaps to success at state

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Camp Verde sophomore Christopher Holdgrafer jumps over a hurdle at the state meet at Mesa Community College. Holdgrafer finished second in the 110m hurdles. (VVN/James Kelley)

Camp Verde track and field didn’t send the biggest contingent to the state meet, but they made their mark.

Sophomore Christopher Holdgrafer finished second in the Division IV 110m hurdles, in 16.24, a personal record.

“It went pretty well,” said Camp Verde track and field head coach Mike O’Callaghan. “For Chris it went super.”

Junior Nate Schultz finished fourth in the Division IV triple jump (42-05.00) and 13th in the long jump.

He took sixth in the 300m hurdles, getting a PR of 43.78.

“He jumped much better than he did last year at state,” O’Callaghan said, “and while he didn’t hit his target, he wanted to jump 44 feet at state, the wind conditions and all just weren’t quite conducive to really great jumping.”

4. Girls basketball makes it to state tourney

Despite fielding a line up of mostly freshmen, Camp Verde girls basketball made it to the state tournament.

No. 10 seeded Camp Verde lost 45-23 to No. 7 Phoenix Country Day in the first round of the 2A state tournament at Yavapai College.

The Cowboys (18-8) beat Glendale Prep (14-9) 33-25 in the play in game.

Camp Verde had three freshmen starters in the state tournament.

“For me it’s huge because I didn’t even expect to get into the play-in game,” said CV head coach Mark Showers. “I had no idea that this team was going to perform to the level that they’re performing and so for us to get to the play-in game, which was basically getting to the state tournament and then winning that game and going on to the next round, that’s pretty impressive for this group of girls they worked hard for this.”

3. Softball reaches state semifinals

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Camp Verde senior Kayla Hackett beats a runner to second base during the state semifinal game against Bourgade Catholic at Rose Mofford Softball Complex in Phoenix. Hackett was region player of the year. (VVN/James Kelley)

In what would have been a rebuilding year for most teams, the Camp Verde softball team made it to the state final four for the second straight season.

The Cowboys finished 20-9 earned the No. 4 seed at the state tournament. They lost to No. 1 Bourgade Catholic in the semifinals 8-2 but led during the game.

“I’m proud of the girls, it was a good season,” Henry Smith said. “They battled it out, it just came down to a couple errors and we gave up a ton of runs on it.”

The Cowboys lost Taya Smith, the 2016 and 2015 Division IV Section I Player of the Year, but freshman Jacy Finley shined as CV’s new ace.

2. Baseball wins region in walk off fashion

Camp Verde’s 2017 baseball seniors completed the program turn around in dramatic fashion.

The Cowboys finished the season as Central Region champions after beating Northland Prep 6-5 in 9 innings. Senior John Castillo hit a walk off double in the second extra inning on Senior Night.

“It feels indescribable,” Castillo said. “It was amazing and it just felt so good to get that and just on a good note like that on this field.”

The Cowboys also earned the No. 4 seed in the state tournament. This came after their 10 seniors went 5-19-1 as freshmen.

1. Wrestling racks up titles at state

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Camp Verde senior Hayden Uhler celebrates winning his fourth state championship at the state wrestling meet at Prescott Valley Event Center. Uhler also went 41-0 his senior year. (VVN/James Kelley)

Led Hayden Uhler, Camp Verde won four state championships at the state meet.

Hayden Uhler (138 pounds) finished the season 41-0 and won his fourth state championship.

“It’s pretty amazing, it feels really good,” Hayden Uhler said. “I’ve pretty much been training for this my whole life. It just feels good to actually accomplish what I’ve been working so hard for. It’s almost like too good to be true right now. I’m on top of the world.”

Freshman Korben Uhler (40-1) won the 126-pound title, Skyler Pike (43-1) won the 113 championship and Tristian Stanfield (16-3) took state in the 220-pound division.

As a team the Cowboys were third.

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