Football Players Dedicate Season To Longtime Fan


Fans of both teams at Payson High's stirring football victory over Snowflake on Friday evening couldn't help but take notice of the decals on the Longhorn players' helmets that read "RITA."

The players donned the stickers to honor Rita Krieger the mother of standout lineman Ben Krieger.

Rita has been diagnosed with cancer and is waging a tremendous battle to beat the disease at a Phoenix cancer center.

Hearing of her plight, several of the players asked permission to wear the stickers and dedicate their efforts this season to her.

Rita has been a longtime supporter of the team dating back to the seasons her son played youth and middle school football at RCMS.

The Longhorn players purchased the custom-made decals with donations received from a member of the Tonto Apache Tribe.

What are you thinking?

This comes from the "Can you believe it?" department.

Game officials say they've received calls from anglers around the state who want to fish for Gila trout in Dude Creek.

The endangered trout was introduced to the creek in late September and exists in only one other spot in the United States -- a remote creek in New Mexico.

Common sense tells you the trout can't be legally taken or possessed until they are downlisted from the endangered species.

But some overzealous anglers are apparently eager to fish for them right away.

Biologists say the Gila trout could be downlisted in as little as five years but that's no guarantee.

A game and fish survey of anglers asked their opinions on closing Dude Creek to fishing. More than 70 percent responded favorably to the idea.

The results of that survey will be presented to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission at a public meeting to be held Saturday in Phoenix.

At it again

Northern Arizona University students Clifford Pirch and Preston Mercer, both of Payson, continue to do well on the bass fishing tournament circuit.

The pair took time away from their studies Oct. 9 to compete in the opening tournament of the 1999-2000 AllSTAR Bass Team season. The affair was held at Roosevelt Lake which is practically a second home for Pirch and Mercer

By finishing ninth among the 108 teams that participated, the duo pocketed $350 in prize money.

Their catch weighed in at 11.35 pounds.

The winners of the tournament, Dean Farrell of Glendale and Larry Cross of Calimesa, Calif., weighed in at 16.29 pounds and took home $3,500.

On the lanes

In the Super Seniors league at Payson Bowl, Dot Clark turned in quite an unusual feat bowling a game in which she recorded nothing but spares.

Her final tally, 185, was respectable enough, but husband Jim says she would like to have had a few strikes tossed into the mix.

Her all-spare act wasn't the first in her long-time bowling career.

"She did it before in her younger days," her husband said.

Janet Rusandich walked away with high game (213) and high series (313) honors.

In men's play among the seniors, Eli Rusandich won high game (224) and Charles Sparks (592) high series.

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