Tag: Territorial Cup

Tempe Chamber of Commerce Hosts Kickoff Luncheon

Ray Sparky

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce hosted another legendary luncheon in anticipation of the 2014 Sun Devil Football season. Frank Kush was there, Rose Bowl winning quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst was there, the 2013 Pac-12 Coach of the Year Todd Graham was there and so was DieHard Devil.

It was a veritable “Who’s Who” of Arizona State football at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, just a stone’s throw away from Sun Devil Stadium. The ballroom was packed, and the Tempe Chamber of Commerce sold out the event with 520 passionate Sun Devil football fans in attendance.

“We enjoy a wonderful relationship with the University, we’re partners on many different levels” Sean Donovan, Vice President of Media and Program Development told me prior to the event. “This is one opportunity to show our support very publicly and very visibly. We are happy to celebrate the start of the new season and bring the wonderful people and passionate players of Arizona State University to the community.”

Tempe ChamberThe “Voice of the Sun Devils,” Tim Healey, hosted the ceremony and incited the room of fervent Sun Devil football fans with talk of Arizona State truly having “unfinished business.” While it is always nice to say that the Devils are the defending Pac-12 South champion, there is so much more work to be done. The Pac-12 Championship, the Rose Bowl, and, yes, even the National Championship are goals for the 2014 Sun Devil football team.

The daughter of legendary Arizona State basketball and baseball coach, Bill Kajikawa, Dr. Christine Wilkinson spoke to the crowd on behalf of the ASU Alumni Association. Dr. Wilkinson, the President of the Alumni Association, has worn several hats at the University, including interim Athletic Director, and has more knowledge about the school and its history than even the most passionate alum.

Healey’s partner for the past 20+ years, Jeff Van Raaphorst joined him to discuss where the Devils have been and where they are going, and it’s evident that the Rose Bowl is only a step along the way. Van Raaphorst admitted that current ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly has the ability to eclipse his records and has the opportunity to join him among ASU’s elite quarterbacks.

Vice President of University Athletics, Ray Anderson joined the hosts on stage to talk about playing with class. “There will be no trash talking on this team,” Anderson told the crowd. “Sun Devils will play with class, honor and integrity. This will also be evident in how they live their lives off the field as well.”

With Jamil & The Cup

With Jamil & The Cup

I was hoping to see more unorthodox footwear from head football coach Todd Graham at the event. He has worn boots to flip-flops to address the media this year, but today was just a pair of smart, black dress shoes while he spoke with Healey and Van Raaphorst.

“We have unfinished business this year,” Graham said. “Our goal is not only to return to the Pac-12 Championship Game, but also the Rose Bowl and the National Championship. While those goals may be lofty, I believe in our guys. We are faster, smarter and more physical than previous years, so that is what’s expected.”

The Territorial Cup made its appearance when Kelly and offensive lineman Jamil Douglas joined the panel. Kelly and Douglas reinforced the “unfinished business” mantra and voiced their desire to take the Pac-12 and the nation by storm.

When Healey asked Douglas “What part of the Territorial Cup victory was most difficult for you?” He responded “Hoisting the cup after the game.”

“It was more taxing holding the cup up for so long than actually winning it.” Douglas said in closing.

Let’s hope they have no problem keeping the cup for years to come.

 

Territorial Cup Series Trophy Comes Down to the Wire in Arizona

asu ua baseballWhen the Arizona State Sun Devils (33-15-1, 14-10) and Arizona Wildcats (29-20, 10-14) take the field this weekend, they will be playing for more than just baseball supremacy.

The Territorial Cup Series Trophy will also be handed out this weekend. The series matches both schools in 18 varsity sports throughout the season; through 20 contests, the schools are in a dead heat, tied at 8.5 points each.

Here is the breakdown of points so far:

Arizona State

  • Men’s Cross Country
  • Women’s Soccer
  • Football
  • Women’s Basketball
  • Women’s Indoor Track & Field
  • Women’s Tennis
  • Men’s Golf
  • Men’s Track & Field
  • Volleyball—split series
Can the 'Cats get back to Omaha?

Can the ‘Cats get back to Omaha?

Arizona

  • Women’s Cross Country
  • Men’s Basketball
  • Men’s Swimming & Diving
  • Women’s Swimming & Diving
  • Gymnastics
  • Women’s Golf
  • Softball
  • Women’s Track & Field
  • Volleyball—split series

 

To say that this baseball series is huge is selling it short, this is monumental.

Arizona is the defending National Champion and were nearly flawless in the postseason winning 10 straight en route to their fourth title. A program rich in tradition with 16 College World Series appearances has struggled in 2013 and a series loss would most likely end the Wildcats’ three year postseason streak.

The No. 13 Sun Devils, as ranked by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball need at least a series win but a sweep would go a long way in ensuring that they secure a top-16 seed and will host a NCAA Regional Tournament.

The teams split the first two non-conference games played in Tucson earlier this year with the Sun Devils blowing a 8-2 lead in the first contest eventually losing 10-9. The Devils returned the favor two weeks later by erasing an early three-run deficit to win 7-5.

Ryan Kellogg is 10-0 this season

Ryan Kellogg is 10-0 this season

The teams dominate the Pac-12 standings with Arizona leading in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, runs batted in, triples and walks. Arizona State leads the conference in slugging percentage, doubles, home runs and total bases.

The top-three individual conference leaders in runs scored, runs batted in, hits, triples and total bases are from one of the Arizona schools.

The pitching matchups are also intriguing with Konner Wade (4-5, 4.38) taking the mound for Arizona against Arizona State’s Trevor Williams (5-5, 3.59) on Friday. The Pac-12’s leader in wins, Ryan Kellogg (10-0, 3.36) will pitch on Saturday for the Sun Devils facing Arizona’s James Farris (4-5, 4.20). Sunday’s matinee features Tyler Crawford (5-2, 4.02) for the visiting Wildcats against Zak Miller (4-0, 4.28) defending the home field.

This weekend is rivalry weekend across the Pac-12 with the Civil War in Oregon claiming top billing but don’t overlook this heated matchup that will bring enough hitting and high scoring to heat up an already scorching desert landscape.