Armando Escalera (Class of 1993)
Armando was part of the first Queen Creek High wrestling team as a four-year varsity letter winner, three-time state qualifier and state place winner in the sport of wrestling.
Since high school, Armando has moved to Flagstaff and is married to wife Katherine for 16 years. Together, they have two children, Anthony and Maya. He is the assistant wrestling coach at Coconino High School, head coach at Sinagua Middle School and the Northern Arizona Grapplers.
His teams have produced five national champions, eight Arizona state champions and 17 Arizona state place winners, including one four-time Arizona state champion and three three-time state champs. He was nominated as one of the top 45 amateur wrestling coaches in the nation in 2015 and is proud to be doing a coaching internship in Colorado Springs for the US Olympic Wrestling Team.
Brooke Burns (Class of 1990)
Burns attended Queen Creek schools from 1st to 12th grade and played volleyball, basketball and softball, and participated in cheer all four years of high school. She was a member of the state championship softball team in 1990 and went on to play softball at Phoenix College for two years, before graduating from ASU.
She’s been married to her husband, Britt, for 22 years and has four children. Burns has been a stay-at-home mom for the last 18 years and has enjoyed watching her kids grow up. She’s coached sports teams, enjoys Crossfit and has a wedding flower business with her sisters. She also runs a boot camp out of her garage.
Chad Cummard (Class of 1990)
Chad was a Bulldog from 1987-1990 . He was a four-year letterman in baseball, a four-year letterman in basketball and a two-year letterman in football for the Bulldogs. He was the starting second baseman on Queen Creek’s only baseball state championship team in 1989, where he earned all-conference selections. He was an All-Arizona selectee in basketball and an all-conference selectee in football. During his years of football, his connection with brother and quarterback Reed Cummard was known as the “Cummard Connection”. Reed would throw to his running back brother, Chad, to score the touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Outside of athletics, Chad spent his time as the student body president. He also participated in national honors society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Chad was the boys state delegate and earned his eagle scout award.
Chad is married to Talena and they have eight kids together–Dallas, Brooklyn, Payton, Chandler, Tate, Tylee, Jersey and Grady. After a short move away from Queen Creek, Chad has been back in his hometown for the last 11 years. He says “he’s always been a proud Bulldog and will always support QC.”
Hancock, who died at the age of 72, left behind a legacy that will last forever. He was first a teacher, administrator and Governing Board member in the Chandler Unified School District for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in the building of Chandler Hamilton High School and the hiring of some of the district’s more successful coaches – John Wrenn, Jim Ewan, Jerry Loper, Tim McBurney, etc.
The gymnasium at Hamilton High was named in his honor in 1998, and an elementary school in the Arden Park community also bears his name.
Hancock was born in Dublin, Texas, and moved with his family in 1939 to Bisbee, Ariz., where he graduated from high school in 1957. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northern Arizona University.
From 2004 to 2008, he was a member of the governing board of the Queen Creek Unified School District.
Miller, a fellow governing board member, recalled that when Hancock would go out and socialize, he would run into former students.
“There was a smile when they’d say, ‘You caused me some difficulty.’ He was loved all over this town.”
In the past few years, Hancock was an active volunteer in athletics at Queen Creek High School, said athletic director Paul Reynolds. He was especially passionate about photography and put many of the Queen Creek athletes on the map with his photos.
“He was a great friend and a great man,” Reynolds said. “I learned a lot from him. . . . A lot of the coaches really respected Mr. Hancock.”
He is survived by his wife, Jane; and his children, Brian (Kim) of Mesa, Shane (Seidie) of Costa Rica; Shad (Jenelle) of Gilbert; and Summer Romero (Alberto) of Queen Creek. He had seven grandchildren.
Don was a beloved friend and fan of Queen Creek High School, and our sports announcer for 12 years.
Don got his start announcing high school basketball in California after volunteering in someone’s absence at a basketball game he had gone to to watch his daughter cheer. From that game on he announced at Ponderosa High School in California for 18 years as the “Voice of El-Dorado” and even announced for 11 years at the state basketball playoffs in Arco Areno in Sacramento.
After moving to Arizona in 2004, Don met Tot Workman who was the athletic director at the high school at the time. He gave Don the job announcing. Over the years, he’s announced football, baseball, girl’s and boy’s basketball and even track. He enjoyed announcing basketball because he could show a little more of his personality. He was always making fans and players laugh with his famous sayings like “double double, dribble dribble” and “pack your bags, folks–she’s traveling”.
Don did what he loved up to the very end. He announced his last game on a Tuesday night and passed away just over a week later. He even traveled to away games with the teams.
Though gone, Don’s influence and spirit will continue at Queen Creek High School. Boys basketball will honor him by giving one player the Don Curry Award at the end of each season.
“We will be starting a new award that will be given out every year,” said Coach Gibson. “The Don Curry-Love of the Game Award will be given to a player in our program who personifies Don’s enthusiasm, commitment and loyalty and someone who demonstrates an outstanding example of a true love for the game of basketball.”
Heather Schroder (Class of 1990)
Heather was a Bulldog from 1988-1990. She played basketball, volleyball and ran track all four years of high school, in which two of those were at Queen Creek High School. Her junior year she was the state champion in the 400 and 800 and held the state record in the 800 meter. She also won the 800 in the “Meet of Champions”. Heather was privileged to be coached by her stepfather, Coach Kennedy, in track & field. Coach Kennedy also coached fellow inductee Chad Cummard in football. At the end of high school, Heather was awarded a full scholarship and signed to play basketball, her first love, at Central Arizona College.
Outside of athletics, Heather was a member of the national honors society and was named the salutatorian of the class of 1990. She was also the senior class treasurer and a member of SADD and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Heather lived in San Tan Valley for many years and has taught 4th, 5th and 6th graders for 11 years. She is currently living in Miles City, Montana where she teaches fifth grade. Heather “feels it an honor to be recognized and is excited to see how much her alma mater has grown.”
Coach Jim Beall
Coach Beall passed away on Aug. 1 at the age of 65. Coach Beall was a member of the Bulldog Family as a security guard at the time of his leukemia diagnosis in 2017. However, it’s his decades on the football field that have profoundly affected so many of our lives. Coach Jim Beall hung up his Varsity coaching hat here with the Bulldogs and retired from coaching shortly after assisting the QCHS Varsity football team in 2013 and finishing the season back at the state championship. Coach Glen Adams commented, “The young men at Queen Creek were privileged to have been the last group of men he coached directly, but there will be thousands of young people influenced by his example in the end.”
What many at Queen Creek may not have realized is that Coach Beall had already won three football state championships with a career so long and deep in this state that it had earned him a place in the Arizona High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He won back-to-back titles in Snowflake and then moved over to Payson where he dreamt big and built them up to a state championship title as well. In Payson he also met a future QCHS head coach, Shaun Hardt, and the two became fast, close friends—even traveling together as they pursued their masters and recreationally with their families. Shaun would help Jim with the football program, and Jim would return the favor with the track program. Shaun fondly recalled the occasion where Jim accidentally lit his shirt on fire with the starting pistol and the excitement that ensued as they tried to extinguish it—all while Jim’s wife DeAnn was announcing over the loudspeaker. Shaun remarked, “Whatever Jim did, he did to the fullest….If you hung around Jimbo for any time your mood would automatically be positive no matter what mood you were in in the first place. Jim loved life, his friends, and his family. His work and passion will never be forgotten.” After leaving Payson, Coach Beall came down to the valley where he founded the Higley High School football program and led the team to their first and only football state championship appearance.
Higley and Queen Creek were tough football rivals for those years and the Bulldogs were already feeling the influence of this master coach due to the fact that the current QCHS head coach at the time, Curt LeBlanc, had also worked as an assistant to Coach Beall years earlier in Payson. Coach LeBlanc, now head football coach at Coronado High School, posted earlier today, “Because of Jim Beall I got to experience a state championship. Because of Jim Beall I got to learn what it means to be a head coach…for the right reasons. Any successes that I am fortunate enough to experience in this profession is shared with this man.” The influence at QCHS continues on with Coach Glen Adams–who assisted Coach Beall during his time at Higley. Adams has now become QC’s strength and conditioning coach (just as Coach Beall was at Higley) and is also presently the Varsity football defensive coordinator. Beall gave Adams his first high school coaching job–having confidence in him that surpassed his own–and almost 20 years later has remained a voice of advice on life and football that will be sorely missed. Adams remarked, “It was like having another dad. His players may still not know what a great man they played for.”
But perhaps one of the most enduring connections to our Bulldog family comes through our Athletic Director. One of Coach Beall’s earliest Arizona head coaching jobs was at Snowflake in the 1980’s, where he was hired by their Athletic Director– Paul Reynold’s father. There he coached a young Paul Reynolds during his years as a high school football player in Snowflake and then continued to lend his support and encouragement as Paul pursued his football career with ASU and the Rattler’s. Reynolds reflected on how Beall’s role as a prominent and long-term mentor in his life has had such a profound effect. As he reflected on some of the memories, Paul said, “Everywhere he went, he won. And he always won with such class! It was just amazing. But even beyond that—he was a great, great man.” It seems especially fitting that as they had begun Jim’s career together as Lobos, that they were able to finish it together as Bulldogs.
Above all of his successes on the field and in his career, anyone who knew Coach Beall knew that he prized and cherished his own family above all else and loved them dearly. He is survived by his stalwart and devoted wife DeAnn, (who has spent countless hours on athletic fields, cheering on her husband, volunteering, and even keeping his stats), three beautiful daughters—Becca Beall, Kasey Beall, and Samantha Ervien, and two sons–Jim Paul (JP) Beall and Turner Beall. JP & Turner have also gone on to walk in their father’s footsteps here at QCHS with JP spending a few years coaching on our JV Football Staff and Turner currently serving as our head boys volleyball coach. They have expressed so much gratitude for all of the love and support their family has felt. Turner captured the thoughts of so many of us last night when he posted, “It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see ya later….love you always.” Thank you for everything Coach, until we meet again…..
Jose Campos wasn’t able to be at the induction, but was also recognized as a 2018-2019 inductee. Campos played four years of baseball and was also a member of the state championship baseball team in 1989. He also played three years of football and four years of basketball. He has also had two daughters graduate from QCHS.
Martha Rodriguez Atilano (Class of 1995)
Mrs. Atilano, as we know her at the high school, is currently in her sixth year as a Spanish teacher and her fourth as the World Languages department chair at QCHS and loves the opportunity she has to teach at her alma mater.
Atilano is a Queen Creek native and attended Queen Creek schools throughout her childhood and teenage years. She competed in basketball and softball all four years at QCHS, as well as JV volleyball for one year, and was part of the varsity cheer squad. She was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and participated in student council.
After graduating in 1995, Atilano attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College and then went on to graduate with honors from Arizona State University. She began her teaching career at Queen Creek Middle School in 2000. At QCMS, she enjoyed coaching basketball and softball and also helped out with student council. Before coming to QCHS, Mrs. Atilano also taught at Newell Barney.
Mrs. Atilano has been married to Jeff Atilano for 20 years and they have four children. Her oldest daughter, Veronika, is a recent graduate of QCHS and now attends Central Arizona College. Her other three children—Steven, Alayna and Michael—are currently Bulldogs. This year marks Mrs. Atilano’s 20th year teaching in Queen Creek.
“It has been exciting to see the development and the growth to our community and to our schools,” said Atilano. “I am truly honored to be inducted into the Queen Creek High School Athletic Hall of Fame. I am forever Bulldog strong.”
Mauricio Ramirez (Class of 1992)
Mauricio was raised in the town of Queen Creek and went to Queen Creek High School. After graduating from QCHS in 1992, Ramirez attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College and then transferred to Arizona State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and art history.
His love for art and design eventually afforded him the opportunity to travel to Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and Spain.After his travels, he returned to Queen Creek to teach graphic design classes at QCHS and has been teaching the Bulldogs for the last 15 years. In addition, he teaches an adult education class in the evening for the Migrant Program of Queen Creek. While teaching, Ramirez has also coached at Queen Creek High School as the varsity boys soccer coach for the last 16 years.
Two years ago, during the 2014-2015 season, he led the boys soccer team to its first undefeated season and state championship in school history. The team was ranked no. 1 in 4A in Arizona and no. 45 nationally. The Dogs defeated San Luis 3-0 in the state championship game.
In his free time, Coach Ramirez enjoys spending time with his beautiful family and friends, mountain biking, riding on the sand dunes in Yuma, playing and coaching soccer, participating in other sports, camping, photography, traveling and designing.
“I’m proud and so honored to be part of the Queen Creek district and the high school staff,” said Ramirez. ” Working and giving back to my Queen Creek community and schools gives me great pride as a teacher, coach and former student.”
Reed Cummard was a four-year letterman at QCHS in both football and baseball. He was also on the inaugural Bulldog wrestling team in 1990. In 1989 he played on the state championship baseball team. Cummard is married, with three daughters and one granddaughter. Two of his daughters graduated from QCHS. He is currently an executive director for JP Morgan Chase, where he leads a national sales team.
Sylvia Vance Vogel (Class of 1993)
From the class of 1993, Sylvia lettered in volleyball, softball and track all four years of high school. She also cheered for one year. She was a state qualifier in track every year from 1990-1993.
“In softball, I was honored to be part of an elite team of girls that for the first time in school history took state championship in 1990,” said Vogel. “I am honored that QCHS has accepted me into the Hall of Fame.”
Sylvia is currently a member of management with the Department of Economic Security, Family Assistance Administrations with the State of Arizona for the last 11 years. She is married to Matt Vogel and has three children, with her oldest being a senior at Queen Creek High School.
Tara McClure Hatch (Class of 1993)
Tara McClure Hatch was born and raised on the Barney family farm in Queen Creek. She attended K-12 in the QC school district and loved growing up in Queen Creek.
At Queen Creek High School, Tara played volleyball, softball and cheered all four years, as well as played basketball her senior year. She played on the 1990 state championship softball team as the 2nd baseman. She was nominated twice to first-team All-American in volleyball and second-team All-Conference in softball. She also served as captain of her volleyball team and cheer squad.
Among many other academic and athletic achievements, Tara was the student body president, homecoming queen and the valedictorian of the class of ’93. Tara met and married Queen Creek native Michael Hatch in college and graduated from ASU summa cum laude with a degree in Elementary Education. She has six kids, three of which have become Queen Creek Bulldogs, and loves being a mom.
“I am happy to live and be a part of such a growing and vibrant community and I’m honored to be inducted into the Queen Creek High School Hall of Fame,” said Hatch.