Yuma Sun and AWC team up for soc­cer cov­er­age

Women’s tour­na­ment bid leads to unique, short-term part­ner­ship

Yuma Sun - - OPINION - BOBBI MCDERMOT SUE URIBE

The Ari­zona West­ern Col­lege women’s soc­cer team is headed to Fo­ley, Ala., to play in the NJCAA Na­tional Tour­na­ment.

It’s a ter­rific achieve­ment for the team, mark­ing the first time in team his­tory that the team has qual­i­fied for the tour­na­ment.

They’ve worked hard to get there, win­ning 21 matches in a row be­fore los­ing the Re­gion I ti­tle match.

On Tues­day, the team was ranked fourth in the NJCAA rank­ings, and also was se­lected as the fourth seed for the tour­na­ment.

This team is a strong, unique one, with a pow­er­ful Yuma ros­ter on board.

Of the 25 ladies on the team, eight are from Yuma. Karen Me­len­drez is a Yuma Catholic grad­u­ate, and Va­le­ria Car­rera and Yazmin Gon­za­lez both grad­u­ated from Gila Ridge. Ar­leth Is­las, Makayla Zen­de­jas, Kelsey Ramirez, Is­abel Coron­ado and Maesy Ramirez all grad­u­ated from Kofa.

Our goal is to cover our com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially when we have ath­letes achiev­ing new heights.

Be­cause of that, we’re try­ing a new ap­proach, and shar­ing re­sources with AWC. We want to cover the matches so our read­ers know what’s go­ing on. AWC hap­pens to need some help on the pub­lic re­la­tions side due to a staffing short­age, look­ing for some­one who can cover this event for the school as well.

Yuma Sun Sports Re­porter Brian Fogg is step­ping up to the plate, or, in this case, into the goal. In this unique part­ner­ship, Fogg will write for the Sun as well as for AWC, and AWC will pay for Fogg’s travel costs.

We’ve trav­eled with the team be­fore, but we’ve never shared re­sources quite to this ex­tent. How­ever, AWC is a small or­ga­ni­za­tion, and we’re a small com­mu­nity news­pa­per – so we’re try­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent, and ul­ti­mately, our read­ers will ben­e­fit.

This doesn’t change how we cover AWC, but in­stead, gives us a chance to go be­hind the scenes a lit­tle more, and fol­low th­ese ladies on their jour­ney to Na­tion­als, and hope­fully, a na­tional cham­pi­onship.

We wish them the best of luck this week – and read­ers, we hope you en­joy the cov­er­age!

DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS OR NOT?

I was so happy to see the let­ter to the ed­i­tor in the Thurs­day Sun sug­gest­ing that the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity and Cham­ber of Com­merce are not do­ing enough to in­form lo­cal res­i­dents and vis­i­tors about our lo­cal agri­cul­ture.

Crop signs have been used in the past and turned out to be a real pain in the pos­te­rior. Where are the signs go­ing to be mounted that will not in­ter­fere with farm­ing op­er­a­tions? With as many as 8 to 10 or more crops on a mile sec­tion of road, where would they be placed to be ac­cu­rate? With crops grow­ing from 30 to 150 days, who is go­ing to keep track of all the changes? What roads would they be on? High­ways where peo­ple are trav­el­ing 55 mph or faster could cre­ate a real haz­ard as drivers crane their necks to read the signs. Do it on the ‘slower’ county dirt roads, no that cre­ates too much dust, food safety con­cerns, ac­ci­dent con­cerns be­tween looky-loos and farm equip­ment, trac­tors, semis, crew buses, hun­dreds of peo­ple in the fields and of course the por­tipot­ties on field edges.

With the tremen­dous food safety con­cerns that the lo­cal grow­ers have to deal with, the last thing needed is more peo­ple around the agri­cul­tural fields. “Oh, look, they are grow­ing pars­ley and sweet anise, let’s stop and look at it.” No, no and NO! Is it not enough to mar­vel at the per­fectly level fields; ef­fi­cient ir­ri­gation sys­tems; the beau­ti­ful colors of the rain­bow that grow in our fields? Mar­vel at the won­drous dance of peo­ple and ma­chines dur­ing har­vest op­er­a­tions, at a safe dis­tance?

Why not visit farmer’s mar­kets, re­search crops on the com­puter or get any­one of nu­mer­ous pub­li­ca­tions in the li­brary. Agri­cul­ture is the lifeblood of Yuma County and while we are proud of the beau­ti­ful patch­work of crops and fields we pro­duce, we do not want you any closer than the near­est road, driv­ing past. There are fes­ti­vals and events all win­ter that al­low ev­ery­one to see ex­am­ples of crops in a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

Crop signs are ex­pen­sive, time­con­sum­ing and un­nec­es­sary, this is a work­ing com­mu­nity of tal­ented agri­cul­tur­ists, not a dis­play put on for the en­ter­tain­ment of oth­ers. “What the world needs now” is much more than “love, sweet love.” To be the best that we can be we need open eyes, un­der­stand­ing hearts, and em­pa­thy. One ac­tiv­ity that will help de­velop th­ese char­ac­ter­is­tics is to watch a nonHol­ly­wood, in­de­pen­dent, for­eign film such as the ones AWC spon­sors the first Thurs­day of the month at the His­toric Yuma The­atre. Film Devel­op­ment prize-win­ning films are shown at 7 p.m.

The most re­cent film was about an ex­tended fam­ily trapped in an apart­ment in an ac­tive war zone in Syria. Few Amer­i­cans have di­rectly ex­pe­ri­enced street-by-street fight­ing and its ef­fects on civil­ians and the com­bat­ants. Such war is cur­rently go­ing on all over the world, and we Amer­i­cans are there in the midst of it, and yet we sel­dom hear about it.

I need knowl­edge and so I read the New York Times (avail­able at Al­bert­son’s). The Nov. 7 edi­tion had half-page sized ar­ti­cles about Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, et.al. Th­ese are places where lots of Amer­i­cans are en­gaged in work or mil­i­tary ser­vice.

When was the last time you re­ceived ex­ten­sive in­for­ma­tion about any of th­ese places and our ac­tiv­i­ties there?

An­other way to de­velop un­der­stand­ing is to read a clas­sic book. Read­ing books by No­bel Prize win­ners in a good place to start. “The Stranger,” a short book by Al­bert Ca­mus, is an easy in­tro­duc­tion to books that will make a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on your heart and mind. I am cur­rently read­ing “The House of the Dead” by Fy­o­dor Dos­to­evsky, which takes you to a prison in Siberia be­fore the Rus­sian Rev­o­lu­tion.

All of th­ese sources: films, news­pa­pers and great books will not only make you smarter, kin­der and more thought­ful – they will open your eyes to our world. Watch, look, read and lis­ten.

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