He’s still Looking for Game

After leading ASU to three post-season appearances, Jason Braxton takes his game on the road.

With just 41/2 minutes left to play, Jason Braxton finished a drive to the basket that put ASU ahead of arch-rival Arizona, 61-60, in one of the last, and most important, games of a 4-year career as one of the most popular and recognizable players on the Sun Devil squad.


What’s left after you’ve run the table for an unbeaten season? How about another state title? The Chaparral Firebirds made it look easy this year, sweeping a very good Washington High School squad 5-0 in the 4A badminton state championship to win its third straight title and extend its unbeaten streak to 51 matches (17-0 this season). It was a team of seniors that capped their high school careers with an unbelievable three-year ride for Coach Heather Boyce.

Making the roads safer for teen drivers

After losing her daughter in a fatal traffic accident during a lunch-hour break at a Valley high school, a determined mother has launched a safety campaign that may soon spread to cities all across the country.

“I never thought in a million years that I’d be doing this. But losing Krystal changed all that.”

You can still hear the tone of disbelief and quiet despair in Donna Ebel’s voice as she talks about the death of her daughter, Krystal, in a traffic accident last year, and the campaign she is waging as a result. The 15-year-old and her 16-year-old friend, Shayna Linneen, were returning to Dobson High School from lunch.

A website is going up to help launch Ebel’s safety campaign, called “Drive Kind”, which she kicked off earlier this year with the introduction of purple and orange silicon bracelets, which are being sold to help raise money for the effort. The bracelets can be worn or hung from the rear-view mirror to serve as a gentle reminder to obey the rules of the road and drive with care.

The proceeds are going to help fund driver education programs and benefit high school cafeterias. Hundreds of bracelets have been sold for $3 apiece. Sports were an important part of Krystal’s life, says her mother. “Krystal had been involved in sports since she was four years old, with soccer and softball. Our whole family is so involved with sports… we’ve found that the kids and their families all became so close because of it.”

And now the high school sports community has a chance to support the Drive Kind campaign. The bracelets are a great way to remember a fellow student- athlete – and contribute to a very worthwhile cause.

For more information, check out the website at www.drivekind.com, or email drebel55@yahoo.com.


They are breaking up the ol’ gang at St. Mary’s High School, scattering the core of last year’s state 5A runner-up softball team to far-flung parts of the country.

Four players from the Knights’ softball team were awarded scholarships to various colleges following a highly-successful 2005 season that ended with a loss in the state championship game to Tucson’s Canyon del Oro High School. They were part of a very productive group of players during their four years at St. Mary’s, as it was the first time the school had been to the softball state championships and, in 2003, they helped the Knights reach the region championships for the first time.

Coaches Corner

The Arizona Coaches Association has optimism in the air as the 2005-2006 school year begins. The Association will celebrate its 60th year in 2006 and plans are underway to make the Summer All Star Classic one of the most festive in years. Coming off successful games this summer in the City of Surprise and at Eastern Arizona College, the ACA looks to make the All Star games even better for the anniversary games. Plans are now underway to include more sports and more athletes in the festival format. Please watch for news releases and updates at the website to stay informed of the exciting events planned. You can get information at the All Star link located at www.azcoach.net.

Cobras make a statement


Easily the most significant game in the early season in Class 4A involved Chaparral’s attempt to move up from Div. I No. 2 ranking by defeating No. 1 Cactus.

The Firebirds got off to their usual early-season surge, running up 117 points in their first two games, while holding their opponents to a collective 20 points. Their 2-0 record also included a shutout of defending 4A state champion, Moon Valley, which hadn’t been held scoreless since 1999.


BUILDING A CHAMPION, ONE PHASE AT A TIME (Second installment of a two-part series)

First of all, it is important to go over some basic principles that will intensify and maximize your training. Secondly, I will use a detailed training program to emphasize these principles. Prepare yourself for the next level of training and the highest level of success.



It was September, but it felt like August heat to the more than 800 runners completing the three-mile course through Tumbleweed Park at this year’s edition of the Chandler Invitational. The freshman runners got a break, as they led off at 8:30, but by the time the seniors took off it was already 10:00 and the temperatures had climbed to the mid 90’s.


THE MESA WESTWOOD TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS again drew some of the best volleyball talent to its annual event, which has expanded to 32 teams.

Considered one of the top regular-season high school volleyball tournaments in the state, this year’s Westwood became a stage for then-undefeated Xavier Prep, which swept 5A power Tempe Corona del Sol (25-21, 25-19) in the finals.


The “Local Factor” in ASU Football

Nearly half of this year’s Sun Devil sophomore class was recruited locally, a good sign for future grads.

“THIS IS OUR HOME NOW… not even our ‘home away from home.’ It’s not like the six hours a day that we spent in high school – we’re here all day.”

Chargers Pitch In

“It was a huge turnout—it’s amazing how many people showed up!” This wasn’t a sporting event that Sandra Marshall was talking about. It was a car wash.

Marshall is the aunt of DeShawn Brown, the 16-year-old McClintock High School football and basketball player who died in a July automobile accident in Texas.