It's not often a Payson High School team locks horns with a prep opponent representing the state of Washington.
But that's exactly what will be happen at 2 p.m. March 8 on the campus of Fountain Hills High School.
There, the Longhorns will play host to Washington's Stanwood High School as a part of a double-header that continues at 5 p.m. with Payson taking on Phoenix Christian.
Longhorn coach Teddy Pettet said he was able to schedule the unusual interstate game against Stanwood as part of the Washington school's week-long stay in Arizona in which the team will play a series of games against mostly Phoenix-area schools.
Pettet, who will not be able to attend the games because he will be out of state, said he's unsure of which of his pitchers will be called upon to hurl against Stanwood and Phoenix Christian.
"We'll probably mix them up and throw everybody to get ready (for region play)," he said.
In Pettet's absence, jayvee coach Jerry Daniels will assume the varsity reins.
In traveling to Fountain Hills Saturday, the team will be returning to action after a week's respite due to spring break.
The last time the Horns took to the diamond for regulation play was March 8 to 11 in the Miami Invitational Tournament.
Originally, the Horns were to play San Carlos, Florence, Coolidge, Superior and Miami in the fray. However, due to the snow and rain that blanketed the area at the onset of the week, the tournament scheduled was revamped.
After shuffling the schedule deck, Horns opened the tournament one day late with 13-9 wins over both Show Low and Coolidge.
Against Superior, the Horns prevailed 13-8. A tournament finale against homestanding Miami wrapped up in a 6-6 tie when umpires ended the contest on the two-hour time-limit rule.
With the three wins, the defending state champion and currently fifth-ranked Horns improved their overall season's credentials to 5-5-1.
In the tournament, hitting honors were garnered by an untested sophomore in his first year of varsity play. Ky Bradley, batting clean-up, finished with seven hits in 11 plate appearances. His contributions included three doubles, a home run and seven RBIs.
Bradley says a portion of his success at the plate was earned by jumping on first offerings. "On the first pitch, they (opposing pitchers) were throwing fast balls down the middle," Bradley said.
"They were easy to hit."
Through 11 games and 19 at-bats, Bradley has established himself as one of the best hitters on the team, posting a lofty .421 batting average.
Another youngster who has worked himself into becoming a legitimate varsity offensive threat is freshman Waylon Pettet -- the coach's nephew.
In the Miami tournament, he finished a respectable 3-for-11 at the plate. Even more impressive, he currently sports a team-leading .455 batting average which includes four doubles and one triple. His total bases tally of 15 ties him with Scotty Garduno for the team lead.
"He's been a real surprise," coach Pettet said.
In addition to stellar hitting, both Bradley and Waylon Pettet have been called upon to pitch.
Pettet hurled two innings in the Miami shoot-out, but was not involved in the decision.
Bradley was credited with the pitching win over Superior.
Against Show Low, Kacy Parker -- still recovering from recent knee surgery -- picked up the win. Joey Klein earned the victory against Coolidge.
Bryan Zumbro, the pitching ace from last year's state championship squad, hurled the tie against Miami and gave up but one earned run while striking out a whopping 11 Vandal hitters.