2018 Season Recap: We are the champions

Entering the 2018 USPSA season, the Arizona Heat we’re in the middle of a rebuilding year with Head Coach Cindy Wells. Returning to the team we’re veteran athletes Gabe Trujillo and Eddie McGuire, along with new addition Jake Bell from Minnesota. 

The trio joined Heat mainstays Mark Hardin, Clark Demland and Mike Brady, so everyone was eager to see how the starting unit would come together. Trujillo and McGuire have experienced Championship successful in the past, so expectations were high for the club as the team kicked off the season in Sept. 2017. 

As the team competed in competitions like the Duel in the Desert and USPSA League Days, the results were mixed. 

Continuing to improve, the Heat traveled to San Jose in March to compete in the Battle of the Bay.  In four games, Arizona finished with a 2-2 record. 

Throughout the year, everyone continued to learn each other’s strengths and build the chemistry needed to get that championship-winning formula. A starting unit of Clark Demland at goal with a front of Trujillo, McGuire and Bell proved to be a winning combination. 

There were still a lot of questions entering the 2018 MK Battery Presidents Cup, but they were quickly answered in the first game of pool play. 

A 4-0 shutout of Turnstone showed that the Heat were ready to play. Arizona outscored their opponents 12-6 in pool play and their winning ways continued through the playoffs. After two wins, Arizona found themselves in the Championship game against Chippewa Valley. 

The Presidents Cup match was easily one of the most entertaining matches of the weekend. Arizona was easily in control during the first half, jumping out to a 4-1 lead at halftime. But in the second half, the Hooligans rallied to take a 6-5 lead late into the second half. 

With time running out, the Heat remained calm and collected, scoring three goals to win the Championship with a score of 8-6. The Arizona Heat were the 2018 Presidents Conference Cup Champions, and earned a promotion to the Champions Conference next season. 

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As the 2018 season came to an end, the Heat are now Champions, but the accolades don’t end there. Captain Gabe Trujillo also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team after his incredible tournament performance. 

With the core player set to return next season, next year is looking bright for the Arizona Heat.