Local youth basketball coach Grant Kepp and his Hot Shots girls team played their way to a silver medal at the Grand Canyon State Winter games held in Mesa.
Kepp says the girls lost to Arizona Fire in the first round of the tournament, but had the resiliency to come roaring back to take three consecutive wins.
In the championship round, the Hot Shots lost for a second time to a very good Arizona Fire team. According to Kepp, the girls are eagerly looking forward to the GC summer games to be played in June.
On the Hot Shots team are Talese Pettet, Shelby Bennett, Haylee Huff, Amanda Korth, Brittany Owens, Kody Kepp and K.J. Kepp.
The team wouldn't have been able to make the trip to Mesa had it not been for charitable contributions from Payson Concrete, Roy Haught, Shelby School, Payson Sports and the Tonto Apaches. Kepp says he and the team members are extremely grateful for the financial support.
Crews are still working on the track improvement project at the Payson High School, and it's still unknown if they'll have it completed in time for the April 21 Payson Rotary Club's Freshman/Sophomore Invitational.
The past week, crews have been laying the foundation for a retaining wall and bleachers on the south side of the track near Wilson Dome. That project will have to be completed before the temporary fence on the track comes down and crews can begin readying the running surface.
With less than a month to go, time to finish the project is running out. A five-way meet April 25 might be canceled if the track is not ready.
The five-way and the Rotary Invitational are the only two home meets on the Longhorns' 2001 schedule.
The construction delays also affect the Rim Country Middle School track and field team that was scheduled to host meets this spring.
Like PHS track coach Chuck Hardt, Maverick coach Randy Wilcox has his fingers crossed hoping work crews can speed up completion of the project.
Time is running out
Mogollon Sporting Association member Jack Koon is busy hawking tickets to the organization's benefit banquet May 12 at the Mazatzal Casino.
Koon says he can sell you a ticket for $60 if you purchase it before April 1. After that date, the tickets go for $75 each.
Also, if you buy your tickets before the deadline, you'll be entered in a special early-bird drawing.
The festive event kicks off at 5 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour. At 6 p.m. the dinner prime rib or stuffed chicken breast gets under way. At 7 p.m., the evening gets rolling with a lively auction and raffles.
The proceeds from the annual benefit go to help fund local environmental projects and to youth programs.
Many of the boys and girls sports teams have reaped the benefits of the MSA's hard work.
Band, chorus and spirit groups have also received funds as have wildlife enhancement projects and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
To purchase tickets, call Koon at 474-1662.