Important Lesson In Resuming

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There wasn't much Rim country debate about whether or not to play Friday's high school football game against Holbrook.

Sure, professional and college teams canceled or postponed their games for the national day of mourning. A few high schools around the state also decided to play on Saturday rather than Friday. One source estimates about 30 states played high school games on Friday.

In Payson, freshman and jayvee football games were held Thursday and a varsity game the following day.

And that's the way it should have been in the world of small-town Friday night football.

Just as school classes were held in the aftermath of our nation's worst tragedy, football because it is part of a student's education should have been played. Some classroom teachers won't want to hear it, but greater lessons can be learned on the football field than the classroom.

Not lessons about algebra, biology or literature lessons about life.

In hours of practice, preparation and competition, student-athletes learn valuable lessons about pride, unity, teamwork, dedication, leadership and camaraderie.

They also are exposed to the disappointments of defeat and the thrills of victory.

Legendary coach Vince Lombardi best summed up the sport when he said, "football is a game of many lessons in courage, stamina and teamwork. It's a spartan game and requires spartan qualities. Sacrifice, self-discipline, dedication these are spartan qualities."

Friday's football game and the benefit steak dinner held prior to kickoff afforded community members the opportunity to gather and work their way through the grief of the nation's greatest tragedy.

Neighbors and friends sat side by side at dinner and at the game, trying to make some sense of the surreal acts of the terrorists.

The game, as emotional at is was, was a rallying point for young and old alike. It also lent a bit of normalcy to a week filled with traumatic events.

Sure, the entire evening didn't feel right and it shouldn't have. But, high school football represents what is right about America.

It would have been wrong to turn out our community's Friday night lights.

Another meet

If you are one of those who picked up an early edition of the PHS cross country schedule, you'll want to pencil in a meet set for tomorrow (Wednesday) at Mountain View Park located at 7th Ave. and Peoria in Phoenix.

Because the meet was a late addition, it's not on the schedule.

The high school portion of the meet will begin at 5 p.m. and the middle school runners will take to the course immediately afterward.

In addition to the Longhorns, the meet has drawn teams from Chaparral, Sunnyslope and Prescott.

Pair back, reassigned to frosh

The father-and-son coaching team of Denny and Bret Morse are back on the PHS staff.

Last week, head coach Steve Saban removed the two from the varsity coaching staff where they had worked several years.

Days later, after a meeting between Saban and the Morses, it was decided to reassign the two coaches to the freshmen level where they will work with another father-and-son coaching team, Jerry and David Daniels.

The Morses will coach special teams.

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