Four State Crowns Cause For Smiles


Payson High School Athletic Director Barry Smith had plenty of reasons to smile Saturday afternoon as he watched the Longhorn baseball team whip Cactus Shadows in the final game of the state tournament.

The victory produced the school's third state championship of the 1998-99 school year. Earlier in the season, the football and wrestling team won titles.

Three state championships for a school is almost unheard of.

But how much wider would Smith's grin have extended had he known that later that evening in Tucson, the Lady Longhorn track and field team was going to produce a fourth state championship?

Even retiring PUSD Superintendent Russ Kinzer, who watched the baseball game in Peoria, was in awe.

"I've been here 21 years and never have we won more than one state championship (in a year). Now we have three," he said.

With four titles now in tow, Kinzer's grin might now rival that of Smith.

Former coach on hand
In addition to Smith and Kinzer, former PHS baseball coach and principal Tom Meck watched the Longhorns win the state title.

Longtime baseball fans might remember that it was Meck who last guided the Horns to a state championship baseball game. In 1976 the Horns advanced to the gold-medal clash in a game played at Arizona State University. Much to the chagrin of local fans, Payson lost to the Prospectors, 9-5.

Current coach Teddy Pettet was a member of that team. In 1979, the Horns again advanced to the state championship under Meck. That time, Payson lost to Hayden, 13-3, in Diablo stadium.

Help wanted
Bike-N-Hike and Manzanita Cyclery will sponsor a BMX track grooming day from 8 a.m. until noon, Saturday, at the Town of Payson's bicycle moto-cross track located just west of Rumsey Park. Volunteers of all ages are needed to help spruce up the facility.

P&R officials are asking volunteers to bring their own shovel and rake to the work day. Refreshments will be provided for all those who pitch in and help. All workers are also eligible to win a bike safety helmet.

Similar cleanup days were scheduled for earlier this spring but bad weather forced cancellation. For more information on the project, call the P&R department at 474-4581, ext. 272.

For dad
With Father's Day around the corner, you might be looking for the perfect gift.

One of the most unique gifts for dear old dad, or granddad, might be a trip to the Arizona State University-sponsored father/son camp to be held June 18-19. Fathers and sons go through drills and competition together. Sun Devil coach Rob Evans promises lots of fun for all. The camp wraps up with a barbecue for the campers and their family members. The cost of the camp is $100.

Call Dan O'Dowd at (602) 965-3261 for more information.

They're ready
Publicity pamphlets that detail Town Parks and Recreation events and activities for the spring and summer seasons are now available. Stop by the P&R offices located at Green Valley Park to pick up yours. Once in hand, you'll never be left wondering what there's to do in Payson during the summer months.

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