Search result for Andrew Nicla

Ice breakers: Arizona High School Hockey Association brings new community, awareness to hockey in Valley

TEMPE – The AHSHA was started to allow high school athletes to participate in high level hockey competition across the state. However, the AIA has not sanctioned it due to equipment costs and limitations with how many schools have participated. With the league gaining traction, hockey in the desert is thriving more than ever.

Notre Dame Preparatory School's hockey team defeated Basha High School in the semifinal of the ASHA playoffs to secure a place in Saturday's championship against Desert Vista High School at Mullett Arena. (Photo by Grace Edwards/Cronkite News)

‘The game needs us’: MLB has diversity problem and no easy solution

PHOENIX – With no United States-born Black baseball players featured in the 2022 World Series between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies, many felt as though baseball had taken a step away from building a diverse game. The next generation of players are growing within the youth community and the MLB DREAM Series in Tempe proved that the game still has more to learn.

Darrell Miller, right, a former major leaguer and coach at the Dream Series, believes that he was pushed to play in the outfield over playing behind the plate because he was “tall and ran a 6.60.” (Photo by Kelsey Grant/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Suns rising? Phoenix turning a corner after first-half struggles

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns struggled through much of the season with injuries piling up, testing the club’s roster depth. But with the return of forward Cameron Johnson and veteran point guard Chris Paul, and star Devin Booker expected back soon, the Suns may be poised to make a run after the upcoming NBA All-Star break.

The Phoenix Suns look poised to make a run after winning six of their last seven games to climb the Western Conference standings. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Superb Bowl Sundays: Arizona has knack for delivering the goods in big game

PHOENIX – Those who have taken part in three previous Super Bowls played in Arizona remember their historical importance, the big plays and the wild finishes. Will Super Bowl LVI at State Farm Stadium in Glendale deliver again?

Arizona is set to host its fourth Super Bowl on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium. The Valley will move into sole possession of fifth place on the list of U.S. metropolitan areas that have hosted the NFL's crown jewel. (Photo by Susan Wong/Cronkite News)

Jimmie Johnson test drives NASCAR’s Next Gen car in Phoenix Raceway return

AVONDALE – It was a big week in the world of NASCAR at Phoenix Raceway. Not only was NASCAR testing new modifications to the Next Gen 7 car, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson got behind the wheel of the new race car for the first time before his return to the sport.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson test drove the Next Gen-7 car at Phoenix Raceway and shared his thoughts after the first day of testing. (Photo by Reece Andrews/Cronkite News)

‘We were always sovereign’: Hia-Ced O’odham seek federal recognition as a tribe

PHOENIX – In Arizona, 22 federally recognized tribes inhabit nearly every region of the state, but the Hia-Ced O’odham community isn’t one of them. Some members are working to change that, and others believe it may be too difficult to achieve.

Lourdes “Lulu” Pereira is a student worker at the Labriola Center and the official archivist for the Hia-Ced Hemajkam LLC, which was established in 2015 to work toward federal recognition and reclamation of ancestral lands. Photo taken Dec. 1, 2022, at Hayden Library in Tempe. (Photo by Campbell Wilmot/Cronkite News)

Big shoes to fill: New Saguaro football coach Zak Hill up for the challenge

SCOTTSDALE – New Saguaro football coach Zak Hill will have his hands full with one of the best high school football teams in the state. The former ASU offensive coordinator comes in after former coach Jason Mohn’s extraordinary 11-year run with the program.

Zak Hill is taking over as the head coach at Saguaro High School after serving as offensive coordinator at Arizona State. (Photo by Reece Andrews/Cronkite News)

Derrick Michael Xzavierro’s history-making odyssey lands him at GCU

PHOENIX – Derrick Michael Xzavierro’s journey to GCU has led him across the world from his home of Indonesia. Though he is taking a redshirt year this season, Xzavierro has already made an impact and history as Indonesia’s first Division I basketball scholarship player.

A long way from home, Derrick Michael Xzavierro has represented the country of Indonesia honorably on the basketball court and inside the Grand Canyon University locker room. (Photo courtesy of GCU athletics)

From NFL to high school sidelines, Conrad Hamilton has found success revitalizing Desert Mountain

SCOTTSDALE – In his fourth season at Desert Mountain, former NFL player Conrad Hamilton has reinstituted a winning culture as one of many former pro football players finding success in the high school coaching ranks.

Conrad Hamilton played six seasons for the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, equipping him with the tools to turn the Desert Mountain football program into a powerhouse as head coach. (Screen grab via Cronkite News video)

SRP researches cloud seeding in White Mountains to create snow amid historic drought

PHOENIX – SRP is researching cloud seeding along the Mogollon Rim as Arizona continues to struggle with its worst drought in 1,200 years. The partnership with the White Mountain Apache Tribe could bring Arizona its first cloud seeding operation.

A turboprop Piper PA31T Cheyenne II airplane sits in storage. These twin-engine airplanes carry both hygroscopic and glaciogenic flares to use for cloud seeding. (Photo courtesy of Gary Walker/SOAR)

Climate change and drought are muting bright fall colors as we know them

FLAGSTAFF – Visitors travel far and wide to view fall colors in northern Arizona, but climate change and ongoing drought are affecting fall foliage as we know it. The PhenoCam Network, based in Flagstaff, is tracking these changes.

A row of bright yellow aspen trees at Arizona Snowbowl north of Flagstaff show off their fall grandeur on Oct. 22, 2022. (Photo by Payton Major/Cronkite News)

Arizona students come to lobby as courts, Congress, fight over Oak Flat

WASHINGTON - A group of Arizona high school students and alumni was in Washington this week to lobby for a bill that would block development of a copper mine at Oak Flat, land that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache.