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Wed, July 08

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Not only are the hitting efforts of the Williams Vikings Varsity Boys Baseball team above most others in the same conference — as seen from an earlier game this year — but the Lady Vikes Varsity Softball team — is enjoying the same success. With that in mind, many may get more satisfaction with local sports than with major leagues

Arizona State had come off a football season that had exceeded expectations. The season before they had been picked to finish last in the PAC-10 and they finished in the top half of the standings. The Devils had exceeded expectations largely due to quarterback Andrew Walter. He had a record setting season for ASU. He even broke the conference record for yards in a game. This is a great feat if you start to think the quality of quarterbacks that have played in the PAC-10. Quarterbacks like John Elway, Warren Moon, Drew Bledsoe, and Jake Plummer, none of these greats have passed for more yards in a single game than Walter.

That is why the Sun Devils had such great expectations coming into the year. Walter was a legitimate Heisman trophy candidate and the Devils were expected to contend for the Pac-10 title. As a result the Devils came into the season ranked in the top-25.

What did the Devils do? They finished in the Pac-10 cellar finishing ninth in the 10- team conference.

Do you know what team finished lower than the Devils? You guessed it, the Arizona Wildcats. Their season had only one highlight in it, and it was not on the field. Arizona made national news. When the players complained to the university president, because of the way the coach was treating them. Needless to say the Wildcats fired the coach.

The ASU and U of A basketball teams did not fair any better this year. Both teams had high expectations coming into the season, but neither team lived up to the hype.

ASU was coming off an NCAA tournament appearance where they had won a game for the first time since 1996. They also had first team All- America, Ike Diogu leading the way for the Devils. The Devils just like the football team finished ninth in the PAC-10 and didn’t even make their conference tournament.

The Wildcats always give us something to cheer about. They came into this season ranked # 3 in the nation. There is no way the Cats could have let us down. With that # 3 ranking they at least won their conference and made it to the sweet 16. They did not. The Wildcats did not win their conference and got beat in the first round of the NCAA tournament. What made it worse was that they were not expected to win that game. The Cats were a lower # 9 seed when they got beat.

The pro teams have been just as difficult to watch this year. The Cardinals, Suns and Diamondbacks had sub par seasons.

The Arizona Cardinals, well they once again were the Cardinals. They finished last in their division, and they now have a high draft pick that they will mishandle once again.

The Suns are winding a horrible season and will miss the playoffs for the second time in three years. This after giving us hope last season when they took the champion Spurs to the brink in their first round playoff match up.

The Diamondbacks even had a horrible season last year. After having won their division in the two previous seasons, they finished third in the West last year. Last season was supposed to be the season they made a run at another World Series. During the off season they got rid of Curt Schilling which made matters worse. This told the fans that winning was no longer the first objective for the D-Backs, saving money was.

Don’t get down though sports fans. Last time I checked we still have a winner in town called the Vikings. This season the Vikings have given us something to cheer about in sports.

The football team had another great year. The Vikes finished near the top of the their conference and played in the playoffs. That is something that the Cardinals, Sun Devils and Wildcats can’t claim.

The Vikings Basketball teams also gave us a memory filled season. Both the boys and girls team’s had great year. Both teams exceeded the goals that were set for them this year.

The ladies team had a good season despite their youth. The Lady Vikes had only one senior this year, and despite that the ladies had a good season.

The boy’s team also had a great season. Williams had their best season in a long time. The season was highlighted when the Vikes beat rival Mayer to assure a spot in the state tournament. The boys lost in state but it gave Viking’s fans something to look forward to next season.

That brings me to the story of the year so far. The baseball and softball seasons that the Vikings are in. Both teams are undefeated in conference play thus far. Both teams have already assured themselves a state playoff spot. The only thing that they are playing for now is seeding.

The baseball team so far has beaten every team in the conference convincingly. The Vikes have not played a full game for a while, because they are mercy ruling every team that they play. The only thing standing in the way of a perfect season for the Vikes is rival St. Johns. As luck would have it the game will be played here in Williams, and even better for you the game will be a double-header. This is the perfect time to come out and catch a ball game where something is on the line. This type of game is what high school sports are all about. This is what is good about sports in general.

Now to the Williams team that is having the best season. That team would be the Lady Vikes softball. Team. The ladies just like the baseball team are undefeated in conference play. The ladies though have something that the boys do not have, and that is a tournament championship. The ladies won the Laughlin softball tournament back in March, and they have not lost since. The only loss of the season came in that tournament. The only competition left for the ladies is the game against St. Johns. The ladies will most likely take their winning streak into the double-header game against St. Johns. Luckily for us the games will be played here in Williams.

As I have shown you, Williams has given us the chance to cheer for a winner. So take advantage of that and come out and support the Vikings. Circle April 17 on your calendar. That will be when the Vikes play at home next. After that, double circle April 20 on your calendar, because that will be when both the softball and baseball teams will face St. Johns for the conference title. By the way things have gone for Arizona sports teams, this might be the only chance you have to watch a team you like play for a championship.

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