With the Class 3A state cross country championships slated to be held, for the first time ever, at Anthem, parents coaches, fans and athletes are wondering where the heck the newly built community is and how do we get there?
A bedroom community north of Phoenix, Anthem is not exactly a hot bed of prep sports.
In fact, I know of no other high school post-season event ever held there.
Coach Chuck Hardt and his team will be traveling to Anthem Nov. 3, so he's researched the most convenient way to reach the community.
For those traveling to the state meet, this is the route Hardt recommends:
Take Beeline Highway south to Shea Boulevard. Travel west to Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. Then drive northwest on Frank Lloyd Wright to Scottsdale Road. Turn north on Scottsdale Road to Loop 101. Take Loop 101 west to North Interstate 17. Drive I-17 ( about 10 to 15 miles) to Anthem Way. Exit on Anthem Way and turn right to reach the meet site at Anthem Community Center.
Champs in the making?
Because it's virtually impossible to compare a team to any of its predecessors, the debate will continue about how good the latest edition of the Payson High School freshman football squad really is.
One fact is for certain, however. That is, none of the other 3A freshman teams in the state were any match for Payson.
Consider these week-by-week scores:
Payson 36, St. Johns 6
Payson 61, Wickenburg 0
Payson 54, Queen Creek 0
Payson 44, Phoenix Christian 0
Payson 21, Snowflake 18
Payson 54, Round Valley 0
Payson 20, Alchesay 0
Payson 32, Blue Ridge 21
Payson wins by forfeit against Show Low
During the course of the season, only Snowflake was able to give the powerful freshmen much of a tussle.
Another talented freshman group appears to be in the making with the eighth-grade class at Rim Country Middle School. The Mavericks, coached by Dave Blalock and Ned Schall, turned in undefeated records during both their seventh- and eighth-grade seasons.
Blalock cautiously predicts that in the 2004 football season, when the current freshmen are seniors and today's eighth-grade students are juniors, Payson High could have the makings of a state championship team.
Only time will tell.
Brackets now public
The Arizona Interscholastic Association recently finalized the 16-team 2001 3A State Volleyball Championship tournament bracket.
If the Lady Longhorns earn at least a state fourth-place finish at the regional championships tomorrow (Saturday), Payson would open the tournament at 3:15 p.m. Nov. 2 on court No. 1 at Phoenix Greenway High School. The opponent would be the West region champion.
If the Lady Horns can pull off an upset and finish third in the regionals, the team could begin state play at 11:45 a.m. Nov. 2 on court No. 2 at Greenway. The foe would be the West region runner-up.