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The Sport Teams that made it into the State Tournament

This is Men's Tennis state ring which the team received in early January at their banquet.

Coach Brandt

This is Men's Tennis state ring which the team received in early January at their banquet.

by Michaela Jackson, Sports Editor

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This year seven Palo Verde varsity teams became State Champions of their sport. Also there were other Panther teams that made their way into the State tournament.

Three fall sports claimed the State title earlier this year and their rings have finally arrived. Men’s tennis beat Coronado in the final with a score of 10-8. Women’s tennis destroyed Douglas in the final with a score of 16-2. Finally the last team that won this season was men’s varsity soccer against Valley by one goal.

Austin Manthey scored the first goal of the final game with an assist from Dylan Obata. Erik Karnehed made a header earning the Panthers an additional point giving them the lead in the second half. The Panthers defense stopped Valley from scoring and the first time in Palo Verde’s history, men’s varsity soccer won State.

“It felt really good to score the winning goal, but I was just happy. I didn’t feel so much more than happiness,” said Karnehed.

Last year men’s tennis lost to Coronado in the State final with a score of 8-10 but this year they took their revenge on the Cougars. The Panthers beat them with a score of 11-6. All of the doubles teams won all three of their matches these teams include: Conor Safbom, Brandon Sulzberg, Teijiro Nishimura, Kota Cook, Davis Waid and Sam Soderberg.

“It was the experience of a lifetime. The ability to win state is not always a chance that is able to grasped. It is an amazing feeling knowing that only one out of so many teams gets to end up with the trophy. The fact that it was us this year is completely mind boggling and it shows that the amount of effort we put into it was worth it,” said Sulzberg.

After a ten year drought, women’s tennis came together and won the State title against Douglas. The lady Panthers demolished the Douglas Tigers, with a score of 16-2. Chloe Henderson and Annie Walker went 3-0 in singles. Doubles teams, Tia Okano and Isabella Shelton went 2-0, along with Michaela Jackson and Alissa Till.

Men’s cross country placed fourth and women’s cross country placed second in the State tournament. Noah Landers placed ninth, with a time of 16:35.6. Andrew Goldsmith placed twenty-second with a time of 17:12.9. Connor Johns’ time was 17:18.9 and placed twenty-sixth. For the ladies, Sam Reintjes placed fifth in the state tournament with a time of 19:17.7. Emma Wahlennaier placed seventh with a time of 19:20.6. In eighteenth place, Kate Banderstelt ran with a time of 20:22.8.

“Although placing first would have been nice, we were all happy with getting second because it’s not seen as much of a loss as it is in other sports. In soccer for state you either win or lose, but for cross country, nine teams were competing at the same time, so getting second is really good. It was also one of the best seasons in Palo Verde history so we were all happy about that,” said Cleland.

Women’s Soccer won the wild card game into the State tournament with a score of 1-0 against Green Valley. During the first round of the State tournament the Panthers lost to Coronado Cougars 3-4.

During the winter season, men’s varsity basketball placed second in the state final against Bishop Gorman. The Panthers won the wild card game and they were able enter into the State tournament. On their road to state, the Panthers beat Canyon Springs with a tight score of 50-48.

Inspired by her parents, junior Natallie Kowalski won State Individual Title for bowling. In the individual tournament five other girls competed for the title, and whoever had the highest series would win. After three intense rounds, Kowalski claimed the title with an overall score of 632.

“My dream is to claim the state title again. My goal is to place in the top 3 next year, but I do believe that I can do it again,” said Kowalski.

On their road to state, softball beat Rancho 2-1 during the first round of the tournament. Then the Panthers lost to Reed during the second round 1-2. The state tournament is a double header so the Panthers were able to move on to the next round, there they played Foothill and beat them 3-1. The Panthers were at the state final once again this year but they fell short losing to Reed again 1-2.

During the State Meet, women’s track placed eighth out of 24 other schools with an overall score of 36. In the long jump, Cydnee Bush placed second with a distance of 18’10’’. Also in the 300-meter hurdles, Jessica Fields placed second with a time of 45.55.

For the men’s track state meet they tied for seventh place out of 27 teams with 28 points. Senior Jarod Swafford placed fourth in throwing the discus with a distance of 156’0”. Senior Za’Kee Washington placed fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.62.

“My experience at state was exciting! I had a lot of nerves before my big race watching every school run and it was pretty fun,” said Daniel Patho.

In the men’s swim state final, the Panthers were tied with Green Valley in the team standings it all came down to the last relay. During the 400-yard freestyle David Miller finished his part of the relay then Logan Houck dived into the water. Houck was able to hit the pad first with a time of 47.5 seconds. There the Panthers clinched the third consecutive state title with a score of 88-76.

After a long six years, women’s swim became State Champions, earning a score of 131 points while Green Valley placing in second with 100 points. Erin Emery gained the girls 200 freestyle in 1:49.54 and 500 freestyle 4:51.09.

Men’s volleyball beat Legacy in the state final in three sets, many of their fellow classmates came to cheer them on at Las Vegas High School. Seniors Michael Simister had 24 kills and Cole Wilson had 38 assists. The Panthers won the first set 25-21, the second 25-10 and the third set 25-15.

After losing to their rivals the, Coronado Cougars men’s lacrosse club beat them in the state final with a score of 13-10. The Panthers lost to them twice during the season but when it came down to their final game, they worked together to pull out a victory.

“My experience at State was unlike any other game in this season. The passion, intensity, and all around camaraderie within our team came to its peak that night. It was loud, it was fast, and it was one of the greatest moments of my life. To win against our rivals was on thing, but this game went so much deeper than that. The team decided that this entire season was going to be dedicated to one of our fallen teammates from the past, Jeremy Huber. Day by day our boys worked our butts off because we wanted to honor our friend the best way we knew how,  to win a championship for him. To win for ourselves felt fantastic don’t get me wrong, but to be able to point up to the sky holding the trophy was one of the best feelings in the world. We did it for Jeremy, may he rest in peace,” said Carson McCann.

Sophomore Jack Trent claimed the men’s golf State Individual Title at Montreux and Country Club. Trent was behind during the final round of the tournament then he birdies the 18th hole to take the crown.

Palo Verde High School is known for their sports and this year they proved that they can achieve greatness. Seven teams claimed the state title and other teams were able to make their way into the state tournament.

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The Sport Teams that made it into the State Tournament