Tonto Apache Team Grabs 5 Gold Medals


Tonto Apache track and field coach Billy Joe Winchester wasn't expecting the seven team members who participated in an amateur meet held last Saturday at Glendale Community College to do well.

The team hasn't had enough practice to succeed, he said.

But the youngsters pulled off a huge surprise for their coach by winning five gold medals.

Competing in the midget boys age group, Miguel Lopez won both the shot-put and the discus.

In the bantam boys shot-put, Valentine Doka won a gold medal.

Other champions included Charlie Lopez (youth boys discus) and Kendal Begay (youth girls shot-put).

All who won first-place honors set personal records, Winchester said.

Santana Curtis, Heather Waterman and Jarred Begay also competed for the local team.

Angling laurels

For more than a decade, Chris Purtee has honed his fishing skills in Rim country streams, on the waters of Green Valley Park and at Roosevelt Lake.

Most recently, his expertise paid monetary dividends when he teamed up with his father, Tracy Purtee, to finish seventh at the BestBet Aluminum Boat Team Bass Fishing Tournament March 16 at Lake Pleasant.

The father-and-son pair weighed in 8.14 pounds of fish.

In addition to the top-10 finish, the Purtees landed the event's big fish winner a 5.08-pound largemouth.

For their fishing efforts, the two earned $250 in prize money.

The tournament winners, Richard Anderson of Phoenix and Bob Thelen of Gilbert, boated a six-fish limit that tipped the scales at 13.36 pounds. The pair shared $1,750 in prize money.

According to BestBet officials, some anglers had success fishing 6-inch hand-poured finesse worms on a drop-shot rig in the coves on the east side of the lake.

Others used 4-inch finesse worms in brush 15 to 20 feet deep in Humbug Bay.

The Castle Creek arm also produced some fish.

Although 45 teams weighed in fish, only seven caught their limits.

The next BestBet Aluminum Boat Team Bass Fishing Tournament is April 27 at San Carlos Lake.

For more information, call (480) 894-2775.

On to camp

Before 14 Payson teenagers can compete in the University of Nebraska Big Red Football School this summer, they must earn $412 each to pay the tuition.

To help the youngsters earn the money, Payson High School teacher and coach Bob Hoyt who spearheaded the drive to send the boys to the gridiron camp has slated a car wash and bake sale March 30 at Bud's Plumbing, 606 W. Main.

Last year, a similar event earned $1,000, which helped send five teenagers to the Nebraska camp.

The $1,000 was matched by a donation from Wal-Mart. Hoyt says he hopes this year's car wash and sale will raise even more money.

For more information on the car wash or bake sale, call Hoyt at 472-6384.

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