A pair of Payson High School football standouts have been named to the Class 1A-3A All-State first team.
Mike Barr and Waylon Pettet were selected Sunday to the prestigious team by the Arizona Republic sports staff with input and balloting from state high school coaches.
Barr, a 6-foot-7-inch, 230-pound junior, was named to the first team offense as a tight end. He was one of only three juniors selected to the squad.
Pettet, the Horns leading rusher last season, was named as a return specialist on the defensive team and not a running back.
Starting running back honors were doled out to Bourgade Catholic's Quinton Bellamy and Aaron Morton of Orme.
Backs Ryan Golden of Globe and Coolidge's Elijah White were named to the second team offense.
In 10 games last season, Pettet rushed for 1,270 yards on 128 carries and scored 12 touchdowns. His 8.6-yards-per-carry average was one of the top marks in the 3A conference. Throw in his 22 receptions for 405 yards and Payson had a well-rounded back who could both run and catch the ball.
Apparently, the newspaper staff and voting coaches thought Bellamy and Morton were more deserving of running back first team honors.
As a kick returner, which is what apparently influenced his selection to the all-state team, Pettet returned 14 kickoffs for 410 yards and two touchdowns.
Barr was the Horns' leading receiver last season with 22 catches for 405 yards and five touchdowns. In addition to his ability to go high in the air and wrestle the ball away from defenders, Barr built a reputation as a strong blocker.
Barr will return to the Longhorn fold next year, but Pettet is set to graduate this spring with the class of 2003. During the summer months, Pettet will join teammate Jake Swartwood in the annual Arizona Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star game in Casa Grande.