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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona athletes from A to Z

    Antoine Cason – He was projected to leave college early to declare for last year’s NFL draft, but he stayed to wear his No. 5 Wildcats uniform for one more season. The cornerback was named to Playboy’s 2007 preseason All-America team, and is a candidate for the Lott and Thorpe national defensive awards.


    Budinger, Chase and Bayless, Jerryd – These Killer B’s are two of the most talented recruits ever to attend Arizona. Budinger, averaged 15.6 points per game last season and was named the Pacific 10 Conference Freshman of the Year. With Marcus Williams now in the NBA, Budinger is projected to lead the team. But he won’t be alone. Bayless is the nation’s No. 13 player, according to Rivals. Both players are projected to be first-round picks in the NBA draft next spring.


    Cardinal and blue – They aren’t just colors, they’re symbols of pride. They can be loud, even deafening. Wear them, wave them, flaunt them and believe in them. The athletes bleed cardinal and blue on the field, and the fans cry the shades in moments of emotion. But don’t just let it be a part of you. Let it be you.


    Dosty, Whitney – As a freshmen out of Tucson’s Salpointe High School, Dosty made an immediate impact as a starter for the Arizona volleyball team. She was second on the team with 369 kills in 30 matches. Good thing the volleyball team is like a second family for her: her sister, Sybil, is on the ASU basketball team.


    Emily McGregor – Once the top performer of the women’s cross-country team, McGregor had an off season last fall, recuperating from the losses of her mother and twin sister. Now, as a senior, she looks to have a year like her sophomore campaign, when she was the first Wildcat to cross the finish line in every race she competed in.


    Frank Busch – With 18 years under his belt as head coach of the swimming and diving teams, the 2007 Pac-10 women’s swimming coach of the year looks to run another stellar set of aquatically gifted student-athletes. Like several coaches on campus, Busch has created instructional DVDs for young athletes inspired by the Wildcats.


    Guilmet, Preston – What a difference a year can make. After a 3-7 freshman year, Guilmet came back to be an All-American and the Pacific 10 Conference Pitcher of the Year, going 12-2 with a 1.87 ERA. He will be the ace of the squad in the spring, as the Wildcats strive toward their first College World Series since 2005.


    Holmes, Louis – Known for his Hummer and crazy hair styles (mohawk first, then dyed bright red hair), the defensive end is also is also drawing attention on the football field. Wearing No. 1, and on the preseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, he won’t have to strain to get your attention.


    Icecats – “”Hey goalie, you suck! It’s all your fault!”” Oh, the love shared at Icecats games. This men’s club team delivers a bone-crunching, glass-shattering, often bench-clearing good time. The latter is probable with this season’s first two games set against ASU.


    Juniors – An athlete’s junior season tends to be an important one. Quarterback Willie Tuitama looks to shake off his concussion-laden sophomore slump, while three reserves on the men’s basketball team are working harder than ever. On the diamond, Taryne Mowatt (see “”T””) just finished her best season as a junior, and Guilmet looks to have another All-American season.


    Karin Wurm – The all-around competitor advanced to the NCAA Championships last season after her gymnastics team missed the cut as a group. With the team losing just two seniors, Wurm is expected to be the team’s leader
    next season.


    London King – A forward on the Wildcat soccer team, King was a second-team All-American last season. She scored five of the team’s 21 goals in 20 games. The starter is one of the 24 returners – along with stingy goalie McCall Smith, back from knee surgery – who look to kick up the season on the right foot.


    McKale Center – The home court for men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as volleyball, at 34 years young this arena is still ahead of its time. The site of coaches’ offices and state-of-the-art physical training and therapy facilities is also where you can purchase tickets for every home event.


    Njonkou, Amina – You can be sure she’ll be wearing long sleeves under her jersey, along with a headband every game. One of three players on the women’s basketball team from Cameroon, Africa, Njonkou (In-john-koo) is the most consistent player on the women’s basketball team when it comes to attire and statistics. She led the Wildcats with averages of 23.8 points and 10.2 rebounds a game in the team’s 5-0 tour of Italy this summer.



    Olson, Lute – The man who has turned McKale into such a famous, friendly environment. He looks to reach two milestones this season: win No. 600 with the Wildcats and No. 800 as a NCAA Division I coach. With Marcus Williams gone to the NBA, the Silver Fox has produced 53 draft picks. LUUUUUUTE!


    Pedro Oriel – While the rest of his team wears khaki shorts and Polos on the fairways, he wears khaki pants. And while his name is Pedro, everyone calls him Pete. No matter how you look at the Madrid, Spain, native, one thing can be assured. He sure can golf. The fifth man in the team’s rotation will likely become the first man after seven Wildcats completed their eligibility after last season.


    Quebec, Canada – With a year of eligibility left, Jason Labrosse graduated early after last tennis season, but his brother, Alex, remains on the team. Born in Quebec, the brothers were “”two of the most competitive guys on our team,”” said UA head coach Tad Berkowitz.


    Repeat champions – The Arizona softball team showed more heart than The Tin Man could ever have dreamt of. The Wildcats faced five elimination games in the Women’s College World Series in June and still managed to win its second straight national title and eighth overall. Head coach Mike Candrea will be with the U.S. Olympic team, and the first three batters of the last year’s lineup have completed their eligibility, but the team looks to make it a three-peat next season.


    Stoops, Mike and Mark – With 37 years of coaching experience between them, the brothers enter their fourth season with Arizona football, with Mike as the head coach and Mark as a defensive coordinator. Both are defensive wizards, and with Sonny Dykes’ new passing game, look for the Wildcats to finally go bowling at the end of the season.


    Taryne Mowatt – She’s short for a softball pitcher (5 feet 6 inches), and her out pitch is a changeup, but she is still the Blonde Baffler. Pitching more than 1,000 pitches over eight games in seven days at the WCWS, she led her team to another national title. Then she met President Bush and won two ESPY awards. Next stop: the moon.


    Urban, Marissa – Short legs make you run slower? Hogwash. At 5 feet 2 inches, Urban was the first Wildcat to cross the finish line for the women’s cross country team in the five races she took part in last season. Urban’s 5-foot-2 UA buddy Staci Ulibarri also runs on the team.


    Victory – Of course, every victory is sweet, whether it is a win for a national championship or the first win of the season. There are the victories that produce legends and the ones that generate tears. Any way you look at it, a Wildcat win is a special one.


    Walshe, Alison – Her junior season she recorded nine top-20 finishes and three tournament victories. She was also responsible for Arizona’s low round (67) and low tournament (207) of the season, and notched 12 rounds at or under par. Walshe was named a first-team All-American and was a first-team all-Pac-10 selection.


    Xavier Smith – The plan this year is to beef up the passing game on the gridiron, but with the speeding running back Smith, the Wildcats have more options. The contender for a starting position played in 11 games last year with a team-best 5.2 yards per carry on 23 attempts. Playing for his hometown university could give him an extra spark, as well.


    Youth – The Arizona men’s basketball team has brought in five potent freshmen, including the much-anticipated Bayless. The soccer team returns every one of its many youngsters, and the baseball team does the same, minus three seniors. But where the young Wildcats may lack experience they hope to make up for with determination and perseverance.



    Ziegler, C.J. – As a transfer from Pima Community College, Ziegler made a huge impact as the Wildcats’ first baseman last season. He hit a team-best 23 doubles, finished second on the team with a .355 batting average, 63 RBI and tied for first with 13 home runs. He was also picked in the 37th round of the MLB draft. Oh yeah, and he sees Mowatt.

    – complied by Lance Madden

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