When the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association weekly rankings came out recently, the Longhorns found themselves rated among the state's best.
With a 12-3-2 record, the Longhorns are ranked third in the 3A conference.
Coach Teddy Pettet, who has been at the helm of the program since 1989, says he can't remember a team of his being ranked higher.
Even the 1999 team that won the state championship was never ranked among the top-three during the course of the regular season.
In the coaches poll, defending state champion Fountain Hills holds down the top spot with a 12-2 record. In second place is Chandler Seton Catholic at 10-4.
Trailing the Longhorns are: Show Low (fourth; 12-3), Coolidge (fifth; 10-4), Eloy Santa Cruz (sixth; 18-5), Sahuarita (seventh; 11-4), Safford (eighth; 12-2), Chino Valley (ninth; 10-4) and Globe (10th; 9-6).
Among those teams, Payson has lost to Fountain Hills and Globe, but whipped Chino Valley.
It'll be interesting to see if the Longhorns can cling to their lofty ranking when the next ABCA ranking comes out later this week.
While the rankings are nice, they don't contribute to the Longhorns' pursuit of a state tournament berth. To advance to the 3A's big show, the Horns need to continue to improve on their East region 3-0 record.
They'll have the opportunity to do just that in a 4 p.m. game April 9 on the PHS diamond against the Show Low Cougars (3-0 in the East).
If both the Horns and Cats continue to win, the East region lead will be at stake in the game.
It should be a barnburner.
For this old coach, the Payson vs. Show Low baseball game will feature a bit of nostalgia.
When our family lived in Show Low years ago, I coached and taught current Cougars baseball coach David Nickolaus.
David, now a teacher at SLHS, quarterbacked our 1983 football team to the East regional championship and Show Low High's first win over archrival Snowflake.
He also was a darn fine basketball player on a couple of teams I coached.
Those years are filled with many fond memories and David is a big part of them.
If he is as good a coach as he was a student, athlete and citizen, he'll do a fine job for the green and gold.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Payson Parks board will be held on April 10, not April 16, as reported in an Payson Roundup editorial published March 29.
The meeting will begin at 5:15 in the Parks and Recreation office located at Green Valley Park.
One of the topics of discussions will center around the ongoing problems at the skate facility located at Rumsey Park.
Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.