Awards given to Morenci spring athletes 6.25

Written by David Green.

Most Valuable Player awards were named for Morenci Area High School spring sports.

MVPs are Phoenix Duncan, girls track; Zach Phillips, boys track; Jade Pfund, softball; Anthony Barron and Steven Pontious, baseball; and Gavin Vanderpool, golf.

Adam Barnett earned the coach’s award from golf coach Jamie DeVoe.

In softball, coach Kay Johnson named Tess Ramsey as the Rookie of the Year; Nicolette Swimmer as the top offensive player; Mariah Bovee as the top defensive player; Rachael Rutkowski as the Most Improved Player; Megan Smith as the Golden Arm; and Salena Martinez as the winner of the Old Faithful award. That final award goes to the player who is steady but not flashy, Johnson said, and just gets the job done day in and day out.

TRACK—Track coach Brad Brown gave the Most Improved field events honors to Lucas Johnson and Nichole Elarton. Winning the sprints award were Chas Frey and Kate Gallup. The top field events competitors were Johnson and Duncan. The top distance runners were Phillips and Leslie Montijo.

Season-best times and distances are listed in the charts on this page.

BASEBALL—Baseball coach Roger Pontious named Steven Pontious as the Defensive Player of the Year and Anthony Barron as the Offensive Player of the Year. Barron was also chosen the top pitcher.

Isaac Jeffers was named Most Improved Player and Devin Martinez was given the Coach’s Award. Nick Wilson earned the Bulldog Award.

Barron was the top hitter with a .408 average, followed by Pontious at .392. Pontious made the least fielding errors.

On offense, Pontious had a .511 on-base average and 15 RBIs. Barron finished with a .500 on-base average. He and Nick Wilson each finished with a home run.

The young Bulldog squad averaged three fielding errors a game, a number Coach Pontious wants to see reduced next season.

Pontious is looking forward to the 2009 season when his younger players will have a year experience, plus some playing time from summer ball.

“I’m excited about next year,” he said.

SOFTBALL—Nicolette Swimmer finished the season at the top of Morenci’s batters with a .402 average. She was followed by Brooke Barrett at .370 and Jade Pfund at .357.

Swimmer was tops in hits with 41, ahead of Barrett with 40 and Pfund with 35. She had the most triples (10), while Megan Smith and Jade Pfund followed with six each. Pfund and Swimmer each pounded 11 doubles. Barrett and Smith each finished with a pair of home runs.

The RBI statistics were led by a pair of freshmen: Tess Ramsey with 29 and Smith with 24. Swimmer also finished with 24. Swimmer led in runs scored with 38, just ahead of pinch runner Chelsea Tompkins with 37. Ramsey score 29 and Barrett scored 27.

On the mound, Pfund put together an 18-6 record with 179 strikeouts and 22 walks in 179 innings.

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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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