It's been almost two months since the prep soccer season wrapped up, but only now are state officials announcing the members the 1999 boys' and girls' all-state teams.
Apparently, the late notice is a surprise to almost everyone including players, parents and coaches.
Longhorn boys' coach Dave Greiner, who led the team to the state semifinals, said he had not yet seen the final team selections and it was a mystery why the announcement of the teams had taken so long.
His best guess for the delay was that state coaches had been slow sending their ballots to Show Low, where Cougar coach Bobbi Wasson tallies the votes.
Linda Swartwood, the mother of all-state first-team selection Sidney Swartwood, said she had no idea her daughter had received one of the highest honors which can be afforded a prep soccer player.
The announcements of the team might be well guarded secrets but the PHS players can revel in the fact they did quite well when the accolades were finally handed out.
Joining Swartwood, a senior, on the girl's all-state first team was teammate Ashley Hollobaugh.
As a junior, Hollobaugh returns to the Lady Horn fold next season.
Payson High did not have any players on the all-state honorable mention list.
Representing the school on the boys' all-state first-team were Jeremy Conner, Justin Cline and David Shaw. All three are seniors.
Joey Klein, the team's stellar goalie, was named to the all-state second team.
Honorable-mention honors were doled out to Tyler Perna and Keith Stevens.
Klein, Perna and Stevens are also seniors.
Making all-state is a huge honor but the late selection and announcement of the teams has everyone scratching their head in bewilderment.
In other fall sports, the situation is exactly reversed. The choices are made at the conclusion of the regular season and the results announced the Monday after the state championship game is played.
The annual Fiesta Bowl-sponsored youth football clinic will be held Jan. 1 at the Arizona State University practice facility located at the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Rural Road in Tempe.
The clinic is open to girls and boys in grades 4 through 8. Check-in begins at 12:30 p.m., and the session is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic is limited to the first 500 youngsters to register.
To obtain application forms or for more information, call Laura Holloway at (480) 517-6270.
Registration forms must be returned by Dec. 17.
In addition to improving their football skills, the young clinicians rub shoulders with some of the best collegiate players in the nation who are on hand to tutor the aspiring players.