A pair of East region toughies boasting solid golf reputations received a slap-in-the-face preview of what to expect from the Longhorns when the regional tournament is played April 26 at Rim Golf Club.
Both Show Low and Snowflake fell to the homestanding Horns in a three-way meet contested April 6 at the course of Payson's exclusive Rim Club.
Since early season, Horns coach Dave Bradley predicted that hosting the regional tournament would be a big boost for his young Longhorns. If the championship finale at Rim plays out as the last meet did, Bradley's crew could be sporting a new moniker of East region champions.
In winning the 18-hole crown, the Horns finished with a team tally of 349 -- four strokes better than runner-up Show Low.
Snowflake (381) -- in past years a state championship threat -- was never in the running.
Individual low-medalist honors were taken by a Show Low golfer who turned in a sterling tally of 76.
For Payson, freshman Dallas Rensch carded an 81 to finish second overall.
Trailing in the scoring were Tyson McKee (86), Tyler Perna (87), Tyler Schrum (95) and Jeff Higgins (98).
In junior varsity action, the Longhorn understudies traveled to Holbrook where they (174) easily took the measure of Blue Ridge (208) and Winslow (237).
For unknown reason, host Holbrook was disqualified, Bradley said.
Kyle Kent led the Horn hit parade with a 41. One stroke behind was fellow freshman David Curtiss (42). Stephanie Marrs (47) and John McDermott (48) also contributed to the Horn cause.