Queen Creek High School Alumni GO BULLDOGS!
QUEEN CREEK, Ariz.—On Friday night, Sep. 29, the Queen Creek High School athletic department will honor three of its former student-athletes from the graduating class of 1993 by inducting them into the QCHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
This year’s inductees will include two players from the 1990 softball state championship team and one state wrestling champion.
Tara McClure Hatch was born and raised on the Barney family farm in Queen Creek. She attended K-12 in the QC school district and loved growing up in Queen Creek.
At Queen Creek High School, Tara played volleyball, softball and cheered all four years, as well as played basketball her senior year. She played on the 1990 state championship softball team as the 2nd baseman. She was nominated twice to first-team All-American in volleyball and second-team All-Conference in softball. She also served as captain of her volleyball team and cheer squad.
Among many other academic and athletic achievements, Tara was the student body president, homecoming queen and the valedictorian of the class of ’93. Tara met and married Queen Creek native Michael Hatch in college and graduated from ASU summa cum laude with a degree in Elementary Education. She has six kids, three of which have become Queen Creek Bulldogs, and loves being a mom.
“I am happy to live and be a part of such a growing and vibrant community and I’m honored to be inducted into the Queen Creek High School Hall of Fame,” said Hatch.
The second inductee and member of the state championship softball team is Sylvia Vance Vogel. Also from the class of ’93, Sylvia lettered in volleyball, softball and track all four years of high school. She also cheered for one year. She was a state qualifier in track every year from 1990-1993.
“In softball, I was honored to be part of an elite team of girls that for the first time in school history took state championship in 1990,” said Vogel. “I am honored that QCHS has accepted me into the Hall of Fame.”
Sylvia is currently a member of management with the Department of Economic Security, Family Assistance Administrations with the State of Arizona for the last 11 years. She is married to Matt Vogel and has three children, with her oldest being a senior at Queen Creek High School.
Armando Escalera is the third and final inductee for the 2017 QCHS Hall of Fame ceremony. Armando was part of the first Queen Creek High wrestling team as a four-year varsity letter winner, three-time state qualifier and state place winner in the sport of wrestling.
Since high school, Armando has moved to Flagstaff and is married to wife Katherine for 16 years. Together, they have two children, Anthony and Maya. He is the assistant wrestling coach at Coconino High School, head coach at Sinagua Middle School and the Northern Arizona Grapplers.
His teams have produced five national champions, eight Arizona state champions and 17 Arizona state place winners, including one four-time Arizona state champion and three three-time state champs. He was nominated as one of the top 45 amateur wrestling coaches in the nation in 2015 and is proud to be doing a coaching internship in Colorado Springs for the US Olympic Wrestling Team.
Queen Creek High School will honor these three former athletes at halftime of the homecoming football game on Friday night.
Don was our good friend and fan. He was also our beloved announcer for 12 years.
Don got his start announcing high school basketball in California after volunteering in someone's absence at a basketball game he had gone to to watch his daughter cheer. From that game on he announced at Ponderosa High School in California for 18 years as the "Voice of El-Dorado" and even announced for 11 years at the state basketball playoffs in Arco Areno in Sacramento.
After moving to Arizona in 2004, Don met Tot Workman who was the athletic director at the high school at the time. He gave Don the job announcing. Over the years, he's announced football, baseball, girl's and boy's basketball and even track. He enjoyed announcing basketball because he could show a little more of his personality. He was always making fans and players laugh with his famous sayings like "double double, dribble dribble" and "pack your bags, folks--she's traveling".
Boys basketball head coach Troy Gibson said Don was more than just an announcer. He loved the game and he shared that passion with everyone he met. He helped keep stats, discussed the games alongside the coaches and even offered to announce at away tournaments and games.
"Don was an icon with our team and has been a fixture at the boys home games for the last 11 years," said Gibson. "He was always so supportive of the team and coaches. He was always a part of the coaches conversations on the way home from games. He was a great fan of basketball and a huge supporter of the program. We will miss Don's energy, enthusiasm and passion for Queen Creek basketball."
Don did what he loved up to the very end. He announced his last game on a Tuesday night and passed away just over a week later. He even traveled to away games with the teams.
Though gone, Don's influence and spirit will continue at Queen Creek High School. Boys basketball will start this year by giving one player the Don Curry Award at the end of each season.
"We will be starting a new award that will be given out every year," said Coach Gibson. "The Don Curry-Love of the Game Award will be given to a player in our program who personifies Don's enthusiasm, commitment and loyalty and someone who demonstrates an outstanding example of a true love for the game of basketball."
Don will also be inducted into the Queen Creek High School athletic Hall of Fame.
Throughout the rest of the season, the boys and girls basketball teams will be selling shirts at home games that feature Don's famous saying "double double, dribble dribble" for $6. All of the proceeds from the sells will be given to the Curry Family.
QUEEN CREEK, Ariz.--On Fri., Sept. 23rd, Queen Creek High School inducted boys soccer coach and former Bulldog student Mauricio Ramirez into the QCHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
Ramirez was the only 2016 nominee and accepted the award at halftime during the football homecoming win against Ironwood Ridge.
Ramirez was raised in the town of Queen Creek and went to Queen Creek High School. After graduating from QCHS in 1992, Ramirez attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College and then transferred to Arizona State University where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in graphic design and art history.
His love for art and design eventually afforded him the opportunity to travel to Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and Spain.
After his travels, he returned to Queen Creek to teach graphic design classes at QCHS and has been teaching the Bulldogs for the last 15 years. In addition, he teaches an adult education class in the evening for the Migrant Program of Queen Creek. While teaching, Ramirez has also coached at Queen Creek High School as the varsity boys soccer coach for the last 16 years.
Two years ago, during the 2014-2015 season, he led the boys soccer team to its first undefeated season and state championship in school history. The team was ranked no. 1 in 4A in Arizona and no. 45 nationally. The Dogs defeated San Luis 3-0 in the state championship game.
In his free time, Coach Ramirez enjoys spending time with his beautiful family and friends, mountain biking, riding on the sand dunes in Yuma, playing and coaching soccer, participating in other sports, camping, photography, traveling and designing.
"I'm proud and so honored to be part of the Queen Creek district and the high school staff," said Ramirez. " Working and giving back to my Queen Creek community and schools gives me great pride as a teacher, coach and former student."
Congratulations to Coach Ramirez for this nomination and for his continued support and efforts in teaching and guiding our students and athletes here at Queen Creek High School.