Postseason Honors Continue To Flow For Horns Football


Payson High School senior Jimbo Armstrong is hoping there's a collegiate athletic future on the horizon.

And if the accolades continue to flow in as they have in the past, coaches might soon be pounding on his door asking for his services.

The most recent honor to flow the youngster's way was as Payson High's only first-team member of the all-state football squad which was chosen by high school coaches.

Armstrong, an inside linebacker for the PHS varsity the past three seasons, was named to the state's Class 3A first-team defense.

The honor comes on the heels of having been named among the "Best of the Rest" of the All-Arizona team and an All-East first team selection.

In addition to playing linebacker, Armstrong often found himself at the nose guard slot when the Longhorn coaching staff opted for a new wrinkle in the defensive scheme. At either position, Armstrong wreaked enough havoc on opposing teams' game plans to have coaches acknowledge him at season's end as one of the state's best.

On the collegiate level, Armstrong might not find himself in a Division 1A program his first year.

But should he turn in a stellar performance at a smaller college, he could end up clinging to an athletic scholarship.

The Longhorns -- which finished 5-4-1 and in third place in the East division -- had only one other player named to the state's first and second team.

Senior Bryan Zumbro, probably better known for his exploits as a standout pitcher on the PHS defending state championship baseball squad, was selected to the second team offense as a lineman.

The past two seasons, Zumbro has been the Longhorn's starting center and has shouldered much of the blocking responsibility in Payson's power option offense.

This year, Zumbro was called upon to play much more defense that he did in 1998 when the Horns were 13-0 state champs.

Honorable mention accolades were dished out to several other Longhorn players including Kacy Parker and Cade Bradley on defense, and Dusty Brockett and Justin Kaufmann on offense.

The senior members of the team, which include Armstrong, Zumbro, Bradley, Parker and Kaufmann, could be in line for even more honors when the Arizona Coaches Association names its players for the annual North vs. South All-Star game.

That star clash is contested each summer at Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher as part of the annual coaches' convention.

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