To Payson High School boys soccer coach Roger Wholly's way of thinking, being voted to the 1A-3A All-State Soccer team was a huge accomplishment. That's because only 45 players were named to the first, second and honorable mention teams from a pool of 520 student-athletes who participated in prep soccer last fall.
With those statistics in mind, Wholly is lavish in his praise of the two Longhorn players, Travis and Nick Sanders, who were selected to the star squad in a voting of coaches held at season's end. The pair, Wholly said, was the backbone of the team all season.
Travis, a PHS junior, was named to the second team. Nick, a senior, was tapped honorable mention.
Player of the Year honors were doled out to Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket star Chase Coker. The Yellow Jackets also had two other players, Thomas Patrick and Raul Aguilera, chosen first team.
Ace in the hole
A caller, James Saucier, says his friend, Ken Kemppainen, swatted a hole-in-one while the two were golfing last week at Payson Golf Course.
Kemppainen scored the ace on the 143-yard 5th-hole using a nine iron.
AIA to acknowledge champs
The Arizona Interscholastic Association has plans to honor state championship basketball teams from 25 and 50 years ago. The ceremonies will take place at this weekend's state championship finals to be held at America West Arena in Phoenix.
One of the most intriguing teams to be acknowledged will be the 1952 Phoenix Carver Monarchs that compiled a 21-7 record and won the Class B crown.
The team was coached by the late Leon Jordan, who was the father of Minnesota Viking tight end Steve Jordan.
Longtime sports fans in our state will remember Carver High as the school African-Americans attended before integration. Closed in 1954, it is located just three blocks south of America West Arena.
Only one starter, Charlie Lucky, is still living from that championship team.
One year after winning the state championship, the Monarchs were denied a second successive title by a Scottsdale High School team coached by Hall of Famer Jiggs Hardt.
Scottsdale beat the Monarchs in the semifinals of the Class B tournament played in Flagstaff.
Jiggs is the father of PHS track and field coach Chuck Hardt and the grandfather of Lady Longhorn basketball coach Shaun Hardt.
Skiing conditions at Sunrise Park Resort are far from ideal, but most of the lifts, runs and facilities are open.
Over the weekend, the resort had 26 inches of unconsolidated base at the top of Sunrise Mountain and 22 inches at the base. Sunrise and Apache Mountains were 100 percent open. Cyclone Mountain was 90 percent open.
Officials were warning that hard pack conditions, along with possible obstacles and hazards, could create challenges even for those familiar with the mountain runs. Officials also were hoping that snow predications for this week would improve the conditions. Call (620) 735-7699 or (800) 772-7669 for updated snow conditions.