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Brian Pedersen COLUMN

Sunnyside coach teaches valuable lesson

One should never let a good deed go unnoticed, even if that good deed stemmed from a bad one.

That’s why I’d like to salute Sunnyside High School boys soccer coach Jose Miranda for his decision to voluntarily suspend six of his starters without bothering to let the Arizona Interscholastic Association get involved.

Miranda is a former Sunnyside player and a member of a national championship team at Yavapai College. He is in his second year of coaching at the South Side school. He took the job last year while recovering from a broken leg he suffered on the soccer field.

Miranda held six of his top players out of a Dec. 3 non-conference game against Cholla, which the Blue Devils lost 3-2, to reprimand them for a fight during their first regular-season game.

A tough foul 20 minutes into the game against Palo Verde Dec. 1 escalated into a huge shoving match at midfield, and the game was never finished. Miranda said he chose to sit his players to set an example.

”We took the initiative to suspend these kids on our own,” Miranda said. ”I have to remember that we are dealing with kids.”

Two of the players also sat out Sunnyside’s 5-1 loss to Sierra Vista Buena in its 5A South Region opener earlier this week, dropping the Blue Devils to 0-4-1.

Miranda said he hopes the sidelining will prevent a recurrence.

”It cost us (Thursday), but if they learned something from it, then it was worth it,” Miranda said.

• Brandon Bean finals

The longest high school soccer tournament in history – or so it seems – is slated to finally end tomorrow at Salpointe Catholic High School.

The girls final, at 5 p.m., will have Salpointe facing Mountain View, while Salpointe meets Amphitheater at 7 p.m. in the boys championship.

The Brandon Bean is a preseason tournament that is traditionally the start of the prep soccer season in Tucson. But this year, it seems to have turned into a seasonlong event, since it began Nov. 23.

Salpointe athletic director Jeff Mount said this is the first time the tournament has been pushed back this far. Rain moved the semifinals from Nov. 28 to last Saturday, and a second rainstorm made the field at Salpointe unplayable after the semifinals.

• Eagles tops in 4A hoops

Santa Rita’s boys basketball team is reaping the benefits of its performance in the 4A state tournament last season.

The Eagles, who are 7-1 and return most of their players from that semifinalist squad, grabbed the No. 1 ranking in The Arizona Republic’s state rankings.

Santa Rita coach Jim Ferguson acknowledges the lofty ranking is partly based on how his team did last season, but he thinks his players deserve the recognition.

”I think we’re one of the top five in the state,” said Ferguson, who has at least four players averaging more than 10 points per game. ”We have so many weapons.”

• Alumni update

Former Santa Rita outfielder Jane Teixeira, now at Texas Tech, was drafted in the 10th round of the Women’s Pro Softball League Senior Draft last weekend.

Teixeira was selected by the (North) Carolina Diamonds.

• • •

Citizen prep editor Brian J. Pedersen can be reached at 573-4635 or by e-mail at: sports@tucsoncitizen.com

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