Some of today's pampered, overpaid professional athletes could take lessons in humility from Payson High School freshman Billy Bob Hoyt.
In a conversation Sunday just before the golf team departed for the state championships near Show Low, Hoyt the East Region's Golfer of the Year said his goal in the tournament was "anything to help the team. I want to play well so the team can win."
What a breath of fresh air. Billy stressed "team" over the "what's in it for me" attitude we see in so many spoiled, selfish professional athletes.
Maybe attitudes like Billy Bob's are what make watching high school sports so much more fun than the pro game.
In the Hardt family, running is a way of life.
For proof, check out the Payson High School track and field record book.
The boy's record in the mile run of 4:30.5 is held by Shaun Hardt who now works as a volunteer assistant on the Payson High team.
Shaun Hardt set the school mark as a junior at PHS. The following year, he gave up long-distance running to become a pole vaulter.
Shaun's daughter, Whitney, is the girls record holder in the 1,600 meter run. Whitney a freshman set the school standard last month.
More running records could fall to the Hardts when Kari reaches high school.
A member of the Rim Country Middle School track and cross country teams, Kari has shown a great deal of promise.
Speaking of records, the 1998 Payson High School baseball team is acknowledged in the 2001 Arizona Interscholastic Association Baseball/Softball championship program as holding the mark for most hits (11) in a state title game.
The Horns set the mark in a 23-11 win over Cactus Shadows.
Also, the team stands second in the most runs scored in an inning, with 12. That mark was also set in 1998 against Cactus Shadows.
Only Hayden-Winkleman scored more runs in a single inning. That school set the standard in 1983 against Bradshaw Mountain.
What's remarkable about Payson's two-state hitting and scoring records is that they were set against a very good team.
Cactus Shadows entered the '98 title game as the defending state champion and state top-ranked with a 27-0 record. CS also had manhandled Payson twice in the regular season.
The Payson Women's Golf Association nine hole contingent finally took to the links after being rained out April 12.
April 19 in an "odd holes 1/2 handicap" tournament, Gladys Fox finished first by outdueling runner-up Sue Covert and bronze medalist Gretta Barry.
In a "fewest putts' formatted tournament held April 26, Pearl Mandry was first, Berry second and Mary Gene Mueller third.
The Gila County Health Department has jumped on the bandwagon of doctors who will be on hand May 9 to give physical examinations to students for next year's sports programs.
Every fall, just about the time sports and the new school year begin, young athletes are left scrambling for the physical examinations they need to participate in sports. The flood of patients overwhelms local doctors, who don't have the time to squeeze in the young athletes before practices begin.
To combat that last-minute rush, the school district along with local doctors and nurses offer physical examinations at a reduced rate for both Rim Country Middle and Payson High school students.
This year, they will be given May 9 in Wilson Dome. Last names beginning with A to G will be given the exams from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., exams for students with last names from H to O will be given.
Students with last names from P to Z may report from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Health Department will offer free immunizations at the same time. Parents don't need to attend for the exams, but they need to be there in order for their children to get their immunizations.
The cost for the physicals is only $10.