Lady Horns To March In Parade Of Champions


Along with all the other Class 3A state champions crowned this past year, the Lady Longhorn cross country team will participate in a Parade of Champions at halftime of the state championship football game.

That clash, which pits Blue Ridge against Coolidge, is at 7 p.m. Saturday evening at Tempe McClintock High School.

Lady Horn coach Chuck Hardt said his team had received an invitation to be in the parade and would probably participate in the festivities.

The Lady Horns will be honored for winning the Class 3A cross country championship held Nov. 3 at Anthem. The state win Payson High's first in cross country was also one of the biggest upsets in recent small-school sports history.

Prior to the championship meet, Hopi, Tuba City and Ganado were heavy favorites, mostly because all three had beaten Payson during the course of the regular season.

In fact, Hopi whipped the Lady Horns on four different occasions.

Mat time

Because it showcases mostly athletes who are second, third and fourth string members of their school squads, the Chance Amon Memorial Wrestling Tournament is one of the most unique events in the state. Many of the raw, untested wrestlers enter the tournament having never competed in front of a crowd.

The invitational began years ago to give fledgling wrestlers an opportunity to shine one they might not have during the course of the regular White Mountain League middle school season.

The most recent edition of the memorial tournament was held Saturday in the old Payson High School gymnasium.

Remaining true to the tradition of the tournament, Rim Country Middle School coach David Daniels held out his first team wrestlers and allowed the reserves to participate

What made the event even more special was the fact that former PHS wrestling coach Dennis Pirch and his wife Kathy served as the tournament directors. They took years of wrestling expertise to the Amon tournament which ensured it went off without a hitch. Both wore Cornell University sweatshirts to the tournament given to them by their son Christopher who is a student-athlete at the college.

On the same day coach Pirch and his wife were overseeing the Chance Amon invitational, Christopher was competing for the Cornell wrestling team at a tournament held on the school's campus

You can bet that mom and dad were focused on the goings on of the Payson tournament, but their hearts were at Cornell.

Coach Pirch, the founder of the PHS wrestling program, resigned last spring after a career that spanned 28 years.

Blue Ridge emerged victorious at the Amon tournament racking up 228 points. Trailing were St. Johns (179), Joseph City (127), Payson (86) and Pine (44).

One more call for Little League

Behind the success of any Little League baseball team is a crew of dedicated volunteers who work to ensure each young player receives the best athletic experience possible.

The Payson Little League organization is laying the foundation for next season but needs more volunteers to serve on its board of directors.

According to Little League President Don Bell, statutes dictate that the majority of board members must be nonmanagers and noncoaches.

Bell issued a call for volunteers to serve on the board. Those wishing to participate in the program must contact him before Nov. 23. Bell may be reached after 4 p.m. at 474-4303.

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