Prior to Friday evening's 14-7 loss to Class 2A St. Johns, the state's pollsters were split on just how good the 2000 edition of the Longhorn football team was.
Those at the Mesa Tribune held Payson in high regard, ranking the Longhorns then 2-0 second in the state behind top-ranked Blue Ridge.
But over at the Arizona Republic, the regard for Payson's gridiron abilities was low. In the Republic poll, Payson was not ranked.
Both polls did agree that Blue Ridge was No. 1. The Yellow Jackets responded by upsetting defending state champion Show Low 31-0 Friday evening.
Although Snowflake was not ranked last week, small-town football fans should keep an eye on the Lobos who are fresh off convincing wins over Globe and Holbrook. After being down the last few seasons, the once proud Lobos might have the athletes to again become an East power.
On a roll
Saturday turned into a good day for the state's collegiate football teams. Arizona State University upset 25th ranked Colorado State 13-10, the University of Arizona manhandled San Diego State 17-3 and Northern Arizona University outscored Cal State Northridge 49-26.
New Mexico power visits
The next wrestling campaign should produce a whale of a challenge for the five-time defending state champion Longhorns.
Coach Dennis Pirch and his staff have recently scheduled a clash with one of the top teams in the United States.
Aztec, N.M. visits Wilson Dome Jan. 27 and will bring along with it a top-20 national power ranking and a string of 10 state championships.
Always looking for top notch teams to challenge his athletes, Pirch has been able to attract an out-of-state power that could prove to be the Horns' equal.
The scare the Longhorn football staff received at Wednesday's practice was one no coach ever wants to experience.
Early in the practice, jayvee lineman James Huddlestun a sophomore who also plays on the varsity squad went down with a head/neck injury.
Those types of athletic injuries are deemed very serious, so every precaution was taken including a call to Payson Fire Department paramedics who were quickly on the scene.
Huddlestun was treated, transported to the hospital and was deemed OK to return to school the following day.
As a precaution, he was kept out of Thursday's game against Round Valley. Doctors said he cannot return to practice for another 10 days.
The sight of fire and ambulance personnel working over a downed youngster at a sports practice is a horrifying experience.