Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley has wrapped up the final revisions in the winter sports schedule.
In wrestling, the lone change is a dual meet Jan 22.
On original schedules, the foe in the 6:30 p.m. match was to be the Alchesay
Falcons. In a late change, Payson will now take on Estrella Foothills in Wilson Dome.
In boys basketball, there are three late schedule changes. A Jan. 17 East regional clash against Alchesay was to be played in Wilson Dome. Instead, it will be contested in Whiteriver.
The Jan. 31 game vs. Alchesay that was to be in Whiteriver will now be played in Wilson Dome.
Also, a game against Blue Ridge in Wilson Dome that was on early schedules for Jan. 18 has been switched to Jan. 16.
The alterations on the girls basketball schedule include moving the Jan. 18 contest against Blue Ridge in Wilson Dome to Jan. 16.
Like the boys basketball agenda, the game sites against Alchesay have been flip-flopped.
On Jan 17, the two teams clash in Whiteriver. On Jan. 31, they meet in Wilson Dome.
All three schedules feature highlights outside the grueling East region campaign.
Longhorn basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser’s charges are focusing on the Eastern Arizona College tournament Dec. 26 to 28 in Thatcher. There, the Horns will have the opportunity to test their skills against teams they don’t meet during the course of the regular season.
Loutzenheiser also will be taking his players to western Arizona Dec. 12 to 14 to participate in the Mohave tournament.
During the early weeks of the season, the team will be without the services of forward/center Mike Barr who drew raves this summer with his performance at a San Diego all-star camp. Barr injured his knee in the football season and could be sidelined until the new year.
A highlight of the Lady Longhorn season will be the Payson Invitational Dec. 27 and 28 in the old gymnasium and Wilson Dome. That fray is expected to attract more than 20 teams, including several 4A and 5A schools as well as the powerful reservation teams.
Dec. 5 to 7, the Lady Longhorns will be in River Valley to defend the tournament Pepsi Invitational championship title the team won there last year.
This season, the Lady Horns will be under the direction of first-year coach Krystal Garvin. A longtime freshman and jayvee volleyball and basketball coach, Garvin replaces Shaun Hardt who resigned last spring to accept the head football coaching position at Round Valley High School.
The Longhorn wrestling team travels Dec. 6 and 7 to the Mesa Westwood Warrior Classic. There, the Horn wrestlers will wage mat war against some of the best 4A and 5A teams in the state.
For a decade, the highlights of the home wrestling season have been the Rim Country Duals and the Tim Van Horn Invitational. This year, the duals will be Dec. 20 and 21 and the Van Horn Jan. 17 and 18.
Coach Dave LaMotte predicts the two prestigious frays will continue to feature storied mat competition that waggles the tongues of the state’s wrestling fans.