Monthly Archives: June 2004

music

More than 75 bands set for Van’s Warped Tour

by Jason Stone

Makeup will be running and the sweat will be flying in Peoria Wednesday.
The annual Vans Warped Tour makes another stop in the West Valley with more than 75 bands making the trek this year.
Peoria Sports Complex, home to previous Warped Tour events, will feature eight stages of live music with nationally known acts and up-and-coming local bands.
The Phoenix area is the fifth stop on the summer tour, which has grown into one of the nation’s biggest each year.
A confirmed list of acts was unavailable at press time since not all acts attend every show. But performers in other shows include Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Thursday and Story of the Year.
Flogging Molly, Bouncing Souls, Bad Religion and Sweden’s The Sounds are also expected to attempt to cool the crowd.
Fans can easily navigate the stages with the general admission set-up.
Tickets cost $25.25 (before service charges) and can be purchased at Ticketmaster at (480) 784-4444 or at ticketmaster.com.
The tour officially kicks off this weekend in Houston and Dallas.
After the tour begins, check www.warpedtour.com to view this year’s “Pit Report,” a daily diary from one concertgoer who braves the pit in each city.

Published at glendalestar.com • June 23, 2004

tennis

Summer youth camp sharpens skills

by Jason Stone

Like most adolescents, 12-year-old Marcus Penner does not always like to wake up early in the morning.
But unlike his peers, Penner is doing it this summer anyway.
It is not school that has the Peoria junior high student up early five days a week, however. It is his love for tennis.
“Yeah, it’s hard to wake up,” Penner said. “But once I’m here, I’m fine.”
Penner is not alone with the morning grind of waking up for tennis camp. About 60 mostly West Valley youth players attend the daily morning workouts at the Paseo Racquet Center.
“This is better than school practice,” said Alex Pecilunas, a 17-year-old, senior-to-be at Centennial High School.
“Everybody who’s here, wants to be here.”
Led by head pro Greg Prudhomme, who recently took over the men’s and women’s coaching jobs at Glendale Community College, Paseo is in its fifth week of offering its 12-week camp for beginning, intermediate and advanced players.
Prudhomme leads the advanced group — players he may one day coach at Glendale Community College.
“The whole point in coming here is kids are going to be better off than the kids that aren’t here,”said Prudhomme, a one-time pro tour player and high school singles champion at Greenway High School in the 1980s. “And I think they’ll be better off, off the court as well.”
The beginning and intermediate groups are a mix-match of age levels, sexes and skills. Some of the players eventually “graduate” to the advanced group, where the intensity picks up.
“These are the serious people who are here every week,” Prudhomme said of the advanced group.
Camp participants start each day working on footwook and conditioning. Coaches then lead drills on strokes before the camp breaks up into groups for various skill competitions.
After a short break, the rest of the session is devoted to match play, where campers work on strategy, techniques and mental toughness.
Working on his mental game attracted incoming Mountain Ridge High School sophomore David Yaghmorian to the camp.
“When I mess up, I am learning how to deal with it,” Yaghmorian said. “It makes you a better player. I’m getting better every day.”
Even if it takes a little early awakening for it to happen.

Published at glendalestar.com • June 23, 2004

high schools

Ex-Patriots player learns Australian for football

by Jason Stone

Bob Ross has a request for his son, Kris, when arriving in Australia.
“Flush the toilet when you get there,” the elder Ross told his son, a recent graduate of Independence High School. “It’s wild.”
Kris Ross will be able to test out the old myth that water will swirl in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Ross will also get a good dose of history.
The former IHS player is leaving for Hawaii and Australia Saturday as part of the Arizona Gridiron Cultural Exchange program.
The defensive end and fullback for the Patriots received a nomination from coach Kelley Moore, and raised $2,700 to make the trip.
More than $1,600 came from donations and raffle tickets sales, while the Ross family had to pony up more than a grand.
As part of the trip, Ross will visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii, before spending six days with a host family in Australia.
The Arizona team will then play an exhibition against Australian semi-pro players in Townsville in the Queensland province.
Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhier and Mountain Ridge coach Steve Belles are part of the coaching staff making the trip.
“This is kind of like my senior trip, too,” Ross said. “I’m almost more excited for the (sightseeing).”
Moore nominated Ross for what his dad called his “blood, sweat and tears” approach to playing football.
While not being named to the All-Region first-team, Ross’ dedication impressed coaches enough to alert the Arizona Gridiron Cultural Exchange staffers.
Similar programs send athletes in other sports to other overseas countries.
One of the stipulations, however, is the student-athletes have to pay their own way and do most of the legwork with fund-raising.
After the trip, Ross said he may walkon to the Glendale Community College team in the fall.
“It kind of depends on how it goes in Australia,” Ross said.
Ross, who has not yet decided what to study at GCC, said he wants to go into sports medicine or firefighting as a career.

Published at glendalestar.com • June 17, 2004

theater

Students producing Hair-raising revue

by Jason Stone

If performing a musical indoors is more comfortable than singing and dancing in an outdoor amphitheater in the heat of summer, Lyman Akers is doing his best to get a group of young actors out of their comfort zone.
The Ironwood High School drama director started the Peoria Summer Arts Academy in 1989 to mix up actors from local high schools for a unique experience.
“When you get them to work with different directors, it kind of pushes them out of the their comfort zone,” Akers said.
The 60-member group, comprised mainly of students from Apollo, Ironwood, Millennium and Centennial high schools, is staging a two-week run of “Magic To Do” at Ironwood, starting tonight.
The Broadway musical revue, featuring hit songs from plays such as “Hair” and “A Chorus Line,” runs at 7 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, and again next week Thursday through Saturday.
Since coming together June 1, the group had less than three weeks to put together the entire production.
“We all made friends really quick,” said Lauren Mortenson, a senior-to-be at Ironwood. “We all get along really well. It’s kind of difficult sometimes, but this group is awesome.”
Akers’ group usually does one or two productions a summer and chose a Broadway revue for the third time.
“Magic To Do” is from the musical Pippin, which is the centerpiece of the show.
Other musicals intertwined in the show are Grease, Chicago, Aspects of Love, Jekyll and Hyde, Cabaret and Les Miserables.
“For intense moments, I really love (performing) Les Mis,” said Mortenson, who has a solo in the Chorus Line segment. “We get so into it, your heart beats. You have to have so much energy. It’s pretty cool.”
The Hair segment features a solo from Ironwood senior-to-be Cavin Schneider and a whole stageful of zoned out hippies, who, of course, break out into song.
Rehearsals were held in the middle of May, giving soloists a head-start in learning their parts before joining the group for rehearsals.
Ironwood choir teacher Julia Rowe is on board as the music director, and Ironwood dance teacher April Leher is the production’s dance director.
“The group is very excited and energetic,” Akers said.
The group performed Oklahoma! last year and has staged Broadway revues two other summers.
To cover expenses, the actors pay $100 to be in the group.
“I’ve been in theater since freshman year, but I’ve been acting for a while,” said Mortenson, who once played the lead in Annie in grade school.

Published at glendalestar.com • June 17, 2004

colleges

GCC basketball promotes assistant Hodges

by Jason Stone

Hoping to keep the momentum from the greatest two-year span in school history, the Glendale Community College men’s basketball team went inside the program for its new head coach.
Former Deer Valley High School coach Dave Hodges, an assistant the last two years for GCC, has been hired to replace Howard Brown, who accepted the same job at Yavapai College.
Hodges, who left Deer Valley under controversial circumstances two years ago, was one of two coaches likely to stay on the GCC staff, Gauchos athletic director Dave Grant said.
Brown’s brother, Gordon, will likely not return to the team, Grant said, while assistant Dave Epply will likely stay on Hodges’ staff.
“I think it’s some continuity with the kids that were recruited and the kids that were returning,” Grant said about the hiring of Hodges. “He’s a West Side guy and he knows how to recruit in this area.”
Hodges had a successful run with Deer Valley in the 1990s and early ’00s, but left amid allegations of verbal abuse of players.
At GCC, he will inherit a team that went to the NJCAA Division 2 national tournament last season for the first time ever.
It also posted its most season wins (26) and finished the year ranked in the top 5.

Published at glendalestar.com • June 17, 2004