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Walking out on a dream
Coach turns on wrestling captain
just trying to do right thing


Wrestling was everything for me my senior year of high school. Making it to the state tournament was a must. For no other reason would I leave the confines of my warm bed before the sun had a chance to cast its light for the new day, running the streets of my neighborhood. There was no other option in question; I had to be on top of my game. I spent hours upon hours of sprinting back and forth across the gym, doing pushups until I wished I was dead just to give myself an edge when the match started. There was not one thing that would stop me from achieving my goal; at least that’s what I thought.
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Pumas lose hard fought battle against Geckos

On Wednesday, March 5, the Paradise Valley Community College men's baseball team hosted the Gateway Community College Gecko's in a nail-biting affair that was decided in the bottom of the 9th inning.

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Student Life holds
flag football tournment

flag football
Photo Courtesy of PVCC student Ivy Potter

Paradise Valley Community College’s, Student Life and Leadership hosted an intramural Flag Football tournament on Feb. 1 at the soccer practice field on campus. Over 137 participants made up 12 teams in the outreach event from 9:30 a.m to 2 p.m.

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New golf coach on board

Photo courtesy of Athletics

The Paradise Valley Community College Men’s Golf team is being coached by Randy Wittig, who has 35 years of coaching under his belt and has been a member of the Southwest Section Professional Golfer’s Association of America since 1990.
“I have coached hundreds of individuals and I have done numerous golf instruction clinics for groups of individuals, but this is my first experience coaching a golf team,” says Wittig.

The transfer from Wittig’s former coaching position has been seamless and enjoyable according to Wittig. His toughest transition continues to be the background athlete monitoring and other areas Wittig needed to be trained and qualified for as a PVCC coach/employee.

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Mens' soccer ends year with big win

mens soccer
Photo by Damir Lolic

On Saturday, Oct. 26, the Paradise Valley Community College men's soccer team hosted the Gateway Community College Geckos in their last regular season showdown.     

The game started off fast-paced from the beginning as both teams took it to each other and it would not be long before the Geckos drew first blood. In the fifth minute off of a free kick, Co-captain Scott Gregory headed in the game's first goal to make it 1-0, Gateway.

The Pumas responded to Gateway's goal by upping their momentum. Soon enough, freshman midfielder Rafeal Mendoza showed composure in front of the goal as he chipped the ball over Gateway's goalkeeper to even the score at 1-1.

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PVCC accepts defeat
in Yavapai College match

Men's Soccer
Photo by Damiar Lolic

On Monday, Oct. 8, the Paradise Valley Community College men's soccer team hosted the undefeated national power-house Yavapai College Roughriders of Yavapai College in Prescott.

This was the two team's second meeting of the season and this time the Pumas had home-field advantage. As soon as the whistle blew Yavapai made its intentions clear as they wdere aggressive from the first minute on.

In the fouth minute after a foul committed by a Puma defender, the Roughriders capitalized on a set piece just outside the 16 yard box with attacker Ricardo Zacarias passing it to defender Asa Goldsmith who fired it in goal.

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A Dream Come True

PVCC kickboxing instructor
opens martial arts school

kb instructor
Photo courtesy of Travis R.Gishie

The long time dream of Sensai Raul Moreno sits on University Drive and Longmore in the city of Mesa. His dream is titled “The Mesa House of Champions Mixed Martial Arts,” where he is the primary instructor.

The Paradise Valley Community College kickboxing and self-defense instructor is a practitioner of various styles of martial arts. He is also a former star pupil of legendary kickboxer Benny “The Jet” Urquidez  and has been a student of martial arts for 37 years. The teacher opening his own school is a definite cause him to celebrate. It’s been a long and winding road for Moreno.

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Former PVCC Coach Todd Lehman transitions to Grand Canyon University

todd lehman
Photo courtesy of Christina Hundley

When head track coach, Todd Lehman, left Paradise Valley Community College in the beginning of August for Grand Canyon University, he made sure that the students at PVCC currently involved in track and field were in good hands.

Lehman says he is confident that he left his students ready to excel academically as an essential for advancing in their college years.

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Rast back as tennis coach

coach rast index
Courtesy of the PVCC Athletic Department

Playing days may be over, but coaching days are just beginning. Feroz Rast, former Puma Academic All-American and tennis player who reached the national quarterfinals in 2007-2009, is now head coach of the Paradise Valley Community College Women’s Tennis team after serving as the assistant coach to the men’s team for the past few years.   

Coach Rast is fully aware that just because an individual had success as a player, it does not mean he will have success as a coach. So how does one succeed at coaching student-athletes?

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Diamondbacks blow early lead, fall to Giants in home opener

dbacks opening

AP Photo by Chris Carlson


The smell of the 18-inch D-Back Dogwas in the air; the infield looked picturesque and the fans were seen and heard. Yes, the first day of baseball (in Arizona) took on all the qualities that Arizona Republic writer, Dan Bickely, calls a “spirtual experience.” Minus one thing; a Diamondbacks win. The crowd rooted for the home team but to no avail as the D-Backs lost to the San Francisco Giants in a barn burner of a home opener, 9-8.

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Coaches students love to hate: Success breeds contempt


In the world of sports, it's not that hard to become "hated," but there are certain figures in sports who fans love to hate, particularly coaches. How and why do these coaches become disliked? What is the driving force behind it all? Here are some student perspectives on the coaches that they love to "hate."

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D-backs trade speculations look exciting for new season

d-backs trades
photo courtesy of Associated Press

An overhauled coaching staff and a retooled roster should leave Diamondback fans very eager for the first pitch of the season.

Throughout the offseason, the Diamondbacks were rumored to be in discussions with many high profile free agents such as Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran. Even though they weren’t able to sign any of the aforementioned players, the front office showed that they were willing to spend to improve their roster. It would not be a surprise if the Diamondbacks added a veteran starter such as Bronson Arroyo before the regular season begins March 22 in Sydney, Australia.          

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Tennis Players Wanted

Our Puma men’s tennis program is looking forward to a successful and exciting season but it is in desperate need of two or more players.

The team practices Monday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The schedule is posted below. Head coach Jim Paajanen and his staff would love to have you on the squad.

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Nationals no strangers to Pumas

It was a big week in the sports world. The Red Sox won the World Series, the National Basketball Association season started, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles set the National Football League record for most touchdown passes in an NFL game. But the biggest news of all, two Paradise Valley Community College sports teams, cross country and women’s soccer, won a spot at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s national competition.

The PVCC Cross Country team won Regionals in the last week of October.

Coach Dave Barney has made one of the best cross country programs in the entire country from the ground up, being the only coach in the program’s 16 year existence. In those 16 years he’s won nine NJCAA coach-of-the-year awards. The women’s team has finished top five nationally nine times and the men’s team 11 times.

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Puma women take Bears in overtime

Fighting to the finish, the Paradise Valley Community College women’s soccer team managed to win 2-1 in overtime against the Phoenix College Bears on Oct. 24.

The Pumas made  another attack as the woman’s soccer team defended its nearly perfect record for 2013.

“We go into every game confident because you have to be confident in order to suceed. We knew it was going to be a challenging game but we also knew we could and would pull a powerful win,” said Midfielder Danielle Leon.

According to Leon, the Pumas knew what they had to work on in order to take home a win. Whether it was going over touches, working on crossing the ball from one player to another or a quick scrimmage, the ladies have spent every Monday through Friday practicing multiple tactics to prepare themselves for the big game. With playoffs around the corner, the Pumas plan to continue defending their national title.

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Bullying has no place
in professional sports

damir lolic

One might say how does a man who is 6-feet-5-inches tall and weighs over 300 pounds get bullied? In the world of professional sports that can be a common occurrence.

In the case of second year offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins, of the National Football league or (NFL) Jonathan Martin, bullying became a reality. Last week, Jonathan Martin left the Miami Dolphins after a lunch in the team cafeteria got out of hand, and he suffered an emotional breakdown. This had a lot of people wondering why the young offensive guard who had just begun his career suddenly left. It was not known until later that week the reason he left was due to the fact he was getting harassed and bullied by one of the team’s co-captains and his partner on the offensive line, veteran Richie Incognito.

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Arizona Fall League
Fall ball brings out baseball's
best young talent to Arizona

AZ Fall League
Photo by John Irvine

The regular Major League Baseball season may be over, but one league is just beginning for Arizona. The Arizona Fall League, definitely one of Arizona’s best kept secrets, begins every October.

Every fall, each MLB team sends at least eight of their top prospects to Arizona, where six teams are formed and play against each other over the course of a six-week season.

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Words from Stars:
Captain inspires teammates


Photo courtesy of Doug James

Paradise Valley Community College’s captain of the women soccer team, Makeena George hopes to lead her team to back-to-back national champions in the National Junior College Athletic Association or NJCAA.

George graduated in 2011 from Deer Valley High School. As a sophomore, she is on her second year playing with PVCC.“When I was young, I played just about every sport there was,” George explains. “I was never forced into playing anything as a kid. But, when I finally decided to try soccer and when I got a hold of that soccer ball , I never looked back! I fell in love with the sport.”

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Pumas excel in training champs, building team

Cross Country Team
Photo by Ashley M. Goddard


With a total of nine NJCAA coach-of-the-year awards, Cross Country Coach Dave Barney has led Paradise Valley Community Colleges cross country teams on a route to success for over 16 years. Barney believes that team building, leadership and goal setting are very important factors in the path to championships and success.

“Great leaders are not born, you develop them,” said Barney. “Team to me means a group of people working to a common goal.”

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