NOVEMBER 11, 2015

Halftime coronations kept CSHS Homecoming upbeat

Cameron Bender, Allison Zilka, synthetic turf field combine to make festivities the best ever!
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Falcon Stadium – Oct. 30. Fortunately, at last Friday's halftime, the Falcons and Notre Dame Saints were in a 14-14 tie, so the football game (the main event) didn't put a damper on Homecoming 2015 festivities. They were as usual, successfully orchestrated by two dedicated ladies, CSHS teachers Cameron Bender and Allison Zilka, who double as senior advisers to the Student Council.

They've fine-tuned the event by giving to any Falcon football players honored the option of making an appearance, or remaining in the locker room with their teammates. Ask John Leonard, 2010 Homecoming King, how uncomfortable was his coronation, with the Saguaro Sabercats embarrassing his team 28-0! Ladies, I applaud this flexibility you've given Falcons so honored.

The new synthetic turf at Falcon Stadium has eliminated, from this Homecoming forward, any possibility of a wet-and-muddy procession from midfield to west sideline coronations. Hooray! No more ruined shoes for young lady honorees.

Congratulations to Homecoming King: Antonio Marchica and Homecoming Queen: Mia Valenza

In this day and age of cynicism and indifference, I'm glad that Homecoming is still a big deal at Cactus Shadows. As it should be, young folks, as it should be. Now if only the Saints had cooperated!

To transport King Marchica and Queen Valenza on their victory lap around the CSHS track, there was no royal carriage, but a lowly golf cart suited them just fine, thank you!

Oct. 30 (H): Notre Dame spoils Homecoming, 34-17, ending CSHS State Playoff hopes

Tied at half, 17-14 in 3rd, Falcons self-destruct in 4th quarter with four turnovers

CSHS – NOV. 3. “Say it ain't so, Joe!” Among older Falcons fans, how many of you have used exclamatory demurrer to express surprise or disappointment at an event that unexpectedly gone “south”? I have – many times. Last Saturday afternoon when I telephoned Coach Michael Hudnutt, I was hoping that we would confirm Cactus Shadows' win #7 and the attendant berth in the Division 3 State Playoffs. Coach Hudnutt didn't sugar-coat his Falcons' 4th quarter implosion (four turnovers) that all but gift-wrapped Notre Dame's 34-17 win. “Say it ain't so!”, Coach Mike.

Sad to say, it was “so,” the Saints' victory ending CSHS playoffs hopes and pulling the “Bernies” up to a 6-4 winning season. “Say it ain't so!,” Falcons. But, try as I might, the numbers didn't change: they'll go into the record books as CSHS, 17 – NDP, 34.

But you know what? At Saturday's dawning, the sun came up at the meteorologically-calculated hour; Antonio and Mia were still King and Queen, respectively, of Homecoming 2015; and that night, CSHS students rocked out at the Homecoming Dance. Ah, the resiliency of youth!

From this long-identified “homer's” perspective, one disastrous quarter (their first since August 28 at Apollo) can not – and should not – in any way diminish the very-real accomplishment of the Falcons' comeback season. “Comeback,” you question? Consider: in their season-opening back-to-back losses (at Mingus and Apollo), our 'Birds got whacked by a combined 82-28! They came home to record a miraculous 21-20 victory vs. Ironwood; then won five of their next six starts, including three shutouts. In High School Football, when the wheels come off, they usually come all the way off. One lousy quarter! Against the Saints, it was too late for the Homecoming 'Birds to even pump up their tires.

In my Country Music head, I'm hearing iconic outlaw, (the late) Waylon Jennings… “It's not supposed to end this way.” But it did. “Next year!” Coach Mike, “Next Year!” thanks to the leadership of your coaching, Cactus Shadows Football is movin' on up. I salute your commitment to keeping it that way.

-Pete Mohr