Payson High School's talented and hard-working student-athletes are to be congratulated for their unprecedented state championships in four varsity sports this school year.
Wrestling coach Dennis Pirch and his matmen win state championships so often it's almost easy to take their achievement for granted -- but we shouldn't. Their success makes the Longhorn wrestling squad the state favorite nearly every year. This level of achievement is testimony to the value of hard work and discipline.
The other three PHS state championship teams had to overcome formidable opponents to earn their trophies. The Longhorn football squad ended Blue Ridge's 64-game winning streak. The girls' track team beat Safford, which had won 12 straight state championships. And the baseball team toppled Cave Creek and its 35-game winning streak.
At a time when teen-agers are often vilified for the way they dress and act, when children take guns to their schools and kill their classmates and teachers, our Payson high athletes and their successes remind us that there are plenty of "good seeds" in our schools.
Of course, good seeds take careful nurturing, and as any good gardener knows, that means constant care and attention. There are many in the community -- teachers, parents, volunteers, and of course the coaches -- who have provided invaluable care and attention. We thank all of these giving people.
The students' victories reflect well on the rest of the community and on the support provided to our children and schools. But our biggest round of applause goes to the athletes themselves: