By Matt Lewis
CHANDLER, ARIZ. – After venturing through the city of Prescott, Ariz. my friend, Mark and I decided it was a great day to celebrate the birthday of Arizona’s Territorial Capitol. Prescott celebrated 150 years or a sesquicentennial this week.
From a video of the historical museum of the city I learned that the town was named after William Hickland Prescott. I also learned that at the infamous Whiskey Row cowboys and miners would have a drink at each bar along the row. I also learned that early on in the history of the city there were several fires due to oil lamps.
The University of Arizona Athletic Department wrapped up their four-stop tour of the state in Prescott as well. Mark and I – both alumni of the university – were going mostly to check out the event, but ended up enjoying our time in the city of Prescott as well.
The Mayor of Prescott decreed the city to be “Wildcat Country.” Then the coaches of the Men’s Basketball program (Sean Miller), the Football program (Rich Rodriguez) and the Women’s Basketball program (Niya Butts) – and Athletic Director Greg Byrne – spoke about the future of their respective athletic programs and answered questions from alumni, like Mark.
Coach Miller was particularly excited about one recruit from California. He said he was an incoming freshman who won four consecutive years in high school at the highest division. He said that has maybe only ever been done once before. He also talked about the renovations to the basketball arena, McKale Center.
Coach Rodriguez talked about the new locker room facilities for players and mentioned how in the past the facilities used to be a bit of an embarrassment, but now they stand as some of the tops in the Pacific Coast 12 Conference.
Athletic Director Byrne answered questions about television packages, especially pertaining to the Prescott area.
All speakers/coaches drew applause and some laughs when they spoke to a packed conference room at the Hassayampa Inn near downtown.
We got there in the early afternoon and toured the historical museum and the Governor’s Mansion. The tour lent itself to a myriad of great photographs! The weather was also a nice escape from the heat of the Valley of the Sun.