If prep soccer rankings were compiled as they are in some other high school sports, the Longhorns might be listed among the elite.
The team's 12-2-1 record (4-1 in the region) is among the best in the state. Further enhancing the team's solid reputation was a 5-1 pounding the Horns administered to Chino Valley on Saturday at Rumsey Park.
Coach Roger Wholly and some longtime fans are proclaiming the 2002 edition of the Longhorns to possibly be the best in the history of boys soccer at PHS.
From the onset of the game against Chino Valley, there was never any doubt as to which was the superior squad.
Goals from Travis Sanders, Andrew Karlowski, Trevor LaHaye and Mike Orozco paved the way to the lopsided victory.
In regional action Oct. 2 at Rumsey Park, the Horns ran wild over the Falcons 10-0.
Logan Hopkins, Michael Fanizza and Trent Hubbard scored two goals each. Lance Chabot, Martin Dorris, Jeremy Davies and Harley Taylor contributed one goal each.
Following the win, Wholly said all-around team play was the catalyst for the win.
"We worked the wings and crossings into the middle; we played as a team," he said.
Wholly also attributed much of the success of the Longhorns to goalie Mark Hillegas. This season, Hillegas has held opponents to .64 goals per game.
"He's been outstanding," Wholly said.
Overall, Payson has scored 54 goals and held their opponents to just nine.
In addition to chalking up a pair of victories last week, the Longhorns received more good news when Ryan Peters announced that he would probably be cleared to play in the near future.
Peters, who plays a forward position, was inured Sept. 11 against Blue Ridge and has been out of the lineup since.
Randy Perham, who was injured in a Sept. 18 game against Snowflake, is expected to return in time for postseason play.
Payson returns to action tomorrow (Wednesday afternoon) when the team travels to Holbrook to take on the Roadrunners. Game times are 4 p.m. (jayvee) and 6 p.m. (varsity).