Originally Published: May 2, 2014 9:13 p.m.
High school baseball playoffs get under way Saturday. Look for Bradshaw Mountain and Chino Valley to come out blazin'.
Both are riding winning waves right now, and have favorable first-round roads. Both are well coached and dedicated. Nothing does more to charge up a dugout than being on a bracket.
Good luck to all, including those never-lose Bagdad Sultans.
A public thank-you on behalf of Doug Cook, our photogs Les and Matt, and the team here to all the coaches, players and athletic directors from local colleges right down to middle schools during the 2013-14 academic sports year. You won't find better examples of dedication and pride than high school and college players, coaches and ADs.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN 2014-15:
I realize the high school playoffs are barely under way. That doesn't mean we can't peek ahead to the next few weeks and months. Here's my list:
KYCA's John Rust will literally destroy someone's radio with a song-of-the-night dedication just before kickoff on a Friday night during football season. "Helveteshymner" by Swedish metal band Blodsrit will be his choice for a Prescott game, and someone will lose a speaker. (I hope it's mine!)
(By the way, John has a new baseball book out called "The Best Phillies Team Ever," available on Amazon.)
Playoff soccer - at home! - this November.
For the first time ever, Prescott and Prescott Valley will host the National Junior College Athletic Association's men's soccer national tournament. Capturing what this means in a few words is futile.
It's some of the best soccer in the country, with players who will probably be playing for a National Team in another country in a couple years. It's blankets; hot chocolate; and crazy good soccer.
And it's here. At Lindley and Mountain Valley Park. Hu-uuge.
Rodeo is about to take over the lives of every man, woman and child in Prescott. There are three weekend events this month alone, and then the granddaddy, Prescott Frontier Days, in July.
Going strictly by the seconds, it's literally the fastest sport there is. A lot of pro athletes pass through Prescott in a calendar year, and these cowboys and gals are a bunch of 'em.
We'll have info on all three events this month next week. You may or may not see the word "saddle" in a headline.
Prescott High School softball.
Keep your eye on this bunch. Freshmen and sophomores blended very well with the upperclassmen this spring.
With stats available at maxpreps.com, five of Prescott's seven leading hitters this spring were freshmen and sophomores; the only three players to play all 27 games were frosh or sophs; the five most at-bats were turned in by frosh and sophs; and the team's two RBI leaders - Miquelle Pierce and Bailey Beuchat - were freshmen. Frosh Kendall Schwartz and soph Carly Ross combined to pitch all 166+ innings.
They didn't make the playoffs, but they finished above .500 (14-13) and won four of their past five of the spring.
This is a team to watch in 2015.
Also on the horizon:
The 58th annual Smoki Golf Tournament at Antelope Hills Aug. 2-3.
The July 31 trade deadline in MLB. Will the D-backs make moves? Should they?
Paul McCartney playing the final concert at Candlestick Park in August. Nothing makes me go all-chick movie than when sports, history and the Beatles collide. I'm not crying, I have something in my eye.