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Throwers Classic honors former Camelback HS track coach killed in 2022 shooting

David Denogean was shot while walking his dog on November 25, 2022
Posted at 10:36 PM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-09 00:36:11-05

PHOENIX — It's been nearly a year and a half since a Valley teacher and track coach was shot to death. His former athletes still keeping his legacy alive by sharing what they learned with others.

Ezequiel Delgado joined track and field in his junior year. Now, as a senior, he is Camelback High School's top thrower. He has excelled in discus and shot put and has been recognized across the state.

"I get to tell people that he's the one who's taught me everything, you know," said Delgado.

Coach David Denogean believed in Delgado from the beginning, supporting him on and off the field.

"There'll be times, like ups and downs, where I was like, 'Oh, I can't do this.' But then he always be like, 'You got this, like, just work on your technique,'" said Delgado.

He is one of many athletes that Denogean left a mark on during his coaching career. They, along with head girl's coach Tori Anderson, decided a throwers-only meet would be a perfect way to honor his legacy. Friday was the second year it was held, with 16 teams across Arizona taking part.

"Everybody has a chance and we will measure the marks for every kid so that they all can be in the books... because I believe that was something that he would have appreciated if we had it for our throwers," said Coach Anderson.

Denogean was shot and killed while walking his dog — seemingly at random — near 12th Street and Maryland Avenue on November 25, 2022. There have been no arrests in the case. Denogean's parents believe events like the throwers classic are what will help solve the case.

"By doing this, you know, David's name is still out there... we still need to continue to push forward and keeping David's memory alive in the public," said Frank Denogean, David's father.

The entire family finds comfort in coming back to the places that David loved. They enjoy running into his former athletes and friends.

"Just meeting all the people that, you know, he's impacted has really helped us as a family, helped us heal," said Judy Denogean, David's mother.

"Now we're just trying to carry on his name, and so we have this event. So, I feel like when people ask, it's like another way for them to remember like, 'Oh, you know, I've heard that name," said Delgado.

Delgado continues to improve each and every day. He is even teaching others what Denogean once taught him and is making sure to always hold his advice close to heart.

"We know that David is involved in that, that Zeke channels some of David's spirit and kindness, his patience, his diligence, his way of explaining things in ways that kids can get it," said Coach Anderson.