This is the 30th installment of “Old Pueblo Abuelo,” a thought on positive things happening in the Old Pueblo from a sometimes cranky and often times humorous grandfather actually born in Tucson and writing from my desk in Tucson, the Old Pueblo.…
The Old Pueblo is crisscrossed with literal and figurative caminos, set to help us travel on our various pilgrimages, whether it might be religious, political, educational or personal. My personal journey is ongoing despite too many wrong turns and, possibly, not enough dead ends. Dead ends cause us to reevaluate the path we are on and return to where we were and learn from mistakes.
It’s much easier to reevaluate and learn when you have guide and sometimes that Northern Star comes in the form of a person and it’s up to us to stop and look for it or even be it. The ability to clear a path for others is also a must because helping others helps us learn about ourselves and the ability to see others help others lets us know we are part of a community.
One of our “Northern Stars” is Stacy Iveson. A multisport athlete at Catalina with softball, volleyball, track and field and baseball, the former Stacy Engel played softball for Mike Candrea during his first four years at Arizona and she went on to teach in the Flowing Wells district while coaching Salpointe to a state championship in 1993. Iveson went on to assist Candrea in a variety of championship roles before leaving to lead Pima, where she led the Aztecs to national titles in 2004 and 2006 and then to Yavapai where she earned championships in 2009 and 2011.
She returned to coach at Arizona and she moved into an administrative position in the last few years. I know her path is way too complicated (and confusing) to be summed up in a few sentences, especially when you know she was the starting catcher for the Catalina baseball team, but that piece of info could be a story all by itself. Stacy is set to “retire” on Jan. 1.
Candrea changed the sport of softball around the world and his success coincided with Stacy’s success at Pima. A whole new path was cleared for young girls here in the Old Pueblo and in other similar communities.
One person who should get a lot of credit for clearing the softball path in the Old Pueblo is former Marana girls basketball coach Mike Dyer who filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights in 1986 against the AIA to move girls basketball from the spring to the winter to be with the boys. He won his argument, obviously, and the shift to winter for girls basketball meant an abundance of athletes available to play softball in the spring. We simply wouldn’t be here as a softball mecca had it not been for Dyer.
Two of my daughters played club and high school softball and they have three state championships between them and my youngest played the sport in college and she is now a teacher, another star to set our compass to.
I don’t know where my community would be if not for people like Stacy. I do know it’s a better place with her in it and I wish her well with her future possibilities. Her path is still ahead.
Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org