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JMC 306

Feature Story

Marcos de Niza baseball started its season with back-to-back regular-season wins after holding a losing record in the previous two seasons. The Padres opened their season with four tournament games going winless in the opening stretch. But after the rough start, Marcos bounced back with large wins on the road against Coronado and Tempe. The Padres bats have been hot to start regular season play, outscoring both high schools by 32 runs combined. With two consecutive wins, Marcos sits at 2-4 to start its season. 


“We’re super young, we lost a lot of seniors last year, but we’re super tight and are a tight-knit group,” said senior infielder JP McIntyre. 


Marcos last season finished with a record of 10-15-1 after a rough end to the season. The Padres had a rocky initial start to the year losing its first three tournament games. But in their next six, they won five games and recorded one tie. In the heart of the season and down the stretch the Padres struggled to get in the win column losing 12 of its final 16 games. They also went winless in their final seven giving them a losing record for the second straight season. 


“Last year doesn’t matter anymore, last year is old stuff, we are a new team, we got new boys, we got new youngins in here, go show out and go do your thing,” said Marcos de Niza head coach Matt Courtney on how the team finished its season last year. 


To start the 2024 season, the Padres lost its opening game against Mountain View 2-1 after a controversial call in the seventh inning. Marcos had the bases loaded when the batter was hit by a pitch. The umpire ruled that the batter leaned into the pitch. This ruling prevented the Padres from tying the game and would ultimately go on to lose. 


“They worked their tails off, we’re a young team, I didn’t know we were going to have today. They played against one of the biggest schools in the state and we came out and battled,” said Courtney on how his team plans to respond the rest of the season. 


The Padres haven’t made the playoffs since 2021 when they were 11-9 on the season. Their season ended in the first round after a loss on the road to Salpointe Catholic 11-1. However, before their playoff game, they ended the season on a four-game win streak propelling them to the playoffs. 


In the last two seasons for the Padres, end-of-season losing streaks have prevented them from making the playoffs. This year Marcos will play three out of their final four at home to help its postseason push. 


“We have to keep going strong, we play all seven we’re going to win. We can’t just give up in the middle of the game,” said junior pitcher Izayiah Abril after suffering the first loss of the season.


Marcos plays Mingus on March 1st to finish up the Padres road stretch. They will kick off their section home games playing Goldwater on March 4th.

Preview Story

The Marcos de Niza Padres boys soccer wraps up their season at home against the McClintock Chargers on Monday, February 5th. The Padres are looking to keep their momentum after beating Vista Grande on the road moving their record to 7-4. The Chargers on the other side have struggled as of late winning one out of their last four games. 


Marcos head coach Bobby Davis said this about his team's continued momentum against McClintock, “we really need to play our game, stay in our system, and make teams earn it. We've given up 5 goals in our last two games. We had given up 5 the whole season before that.” 


Vista Grande has struggled to score offensively as they have seven goals through five games. Their record on the season is 5-6-1 but surprisingly they’ve been better on the road than at home. At home, they’re 1-3 and on the road, they’re 3-3. 


Marcos for Seniors Night will honor their players before the game. Head Coach Bobby Davis said this about his senior class, “It is impossible for me to put into words what this senior class will mean. To put it simply, they changed everything. It is extremely difficult to win at our school. We have no natural talent pool, and open enrollment takes a lot of our local talent to other schools. I owe these boys so much for their hard work, their dedication, and their loyalty. Everything we do as a program going forward for the rest of my career will be a result of what this group has done.


Davis at the beginning of the season selected Chemo Gandara Garcia, Shane Elliot and Eduardo Manera to be the team captains. He has a very special relationship with all three of his senior captains whom he’s been coaching since they were in middle school. “They followed me to Marcos right as Covid hit. Their freshman year was a disaster. They were all pressed into starting roles as freshmen because of the pandemic and didn't win a single game. Since then, they'll have made the playoffs twice.”


As senior captain Eduardo Manera looks forward to his final regular season game as a Padre, he said this is the team's game plan. “We need to have intensity for all 80 minutes. A lot of short passes, and heavy pressing whenever we lose the ball. I just want everyone to go out there and have fun and play free.”


Davis wants his team to focus on one game at a time, but with their strength of schedule and a record of 7-4, the playoffs are in their vision. If they take care of Vista Grande on Monday they will punch their ticket to the playoffs. 


The Padres aren’t looking too far ahead and the captains are helping to keep the team in check. Chemo Gandara Garcia said this when looking back at his season “I am so proud of my team this year, just being able to play together, enjoying the moment and beating teams no one thought we could beat.”

Game Story 1

Marcos de Niza baseball lost 2-1 to Mountain View in a seven-inning thriller on Wednesday afternoon. The Padres opened their season on the road in a tournament game and will look to bounce back at home on Thursday against Kofa High School.


“I’m happy with how the guys competed, you saw it came down to one pitch. If we play like that all season we’re going to be very competitive,” said Marcos head coach Matthew Courtney after the close loss. 


Marcos started out the top of the first inning strong with a leadoff hit from outfielder Jesus Valles. They came off of Mountain View senior pitcher Chase Walker. The Padres had a groundout leading to Valles advancing to third base. JP McIntyre, third in the order grounded out to the Toros second baseman bringing in Valles. The Padres then closed out the first with a five-pitch inning from junior pitcher Izayiah Abril. Marcos headed into the second inning with a 1-0 lead. 


In the top of the second, Mountain View responded defensively by closing out the Padres with two groundouts and a flyout. The Padres started the bottom of the inning poorly, giving up an error that led to a double play for the Toros. But they bounced back defensively with a pop fly caught by Macintyre at second base closing out the inning with the score remaining 1-0 Padres. 


The defensive battle continued for both teams in the third inning. Marcos pitcher Izayiah Abril allowed his first hit of the game but continued to pitch a shutout. 


“We have been preparing a lot this offseason, pitchers are doing what they need to do, infielders, outfielders and just being a team,” said Marcos pitcher Izayiah Abril on how this team worked this offseason. 


Mountain View opened up the scoring in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff single from Brady Goodman. The Toros then had a deep shot to right field leaving runners at second and third base. Freshman Kooper Klien had a very timely 2 rbi single ending the Toros' scoring drought and putting them in front 2-1. A pick-off from senior catcher Jeremiah Paiz ended the fourth inning ending Abril’s no-hitter shutout. 


In the top of the fifth, Marcos sophomore Tony Medina hit a leadoff single. That was followed up by a bunt leaving runners at first and second for the Padres. But the Toros shut the door on this flurry accumulating three quick outs to end the inning. A downpour of rain ensured delaying the game for 15 minutes. 


Walker continued to dominate defensively in the sixth inning. He struck out his third and fourth batters of the game leaving two Marcos players stranded on base. 


After only giving up one run, Toros Chase Walker was relieved in the seventh inning by freshman Mitchell Lamoreaux. The Padres would get hot late, loading the bases off of a lead base hit from Jeremiah Paiz and a wild pitch. Marcos was then hit by a pitch that the umpire deemed the runner leaned into the pitch. A controversial call that ended up being the difference in the one-run game. 


“I think these close games are so important for us, especially early in the year to help our team face adversity and learn how to overcome it,” said Mountain View head coach Jesus Arzaga after the close victory. 

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