After compiling a 3-1 record and finishing as runners-up in the Third Annual Cool Mountain Soccer Tournament in Round Valley, the Longhorns were eager to flex their newfound muscle Sept. 11. Mother Nature, however, dampened those aspirations.
Monsoon rain flooded the soccer field at the Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside.
"(Blue Ridge officials) called and said they had two to three inches of water standing on the field," PHS coach Roger Wholly said.
Wholly tried to convince Blue Ridge to travel to Payson and play the game on the new artificial surface field at Rumsey Park.
Although the Lady Longhorns were scheduled to host Blue Ridge on the field that afternoon, the schedule could have been rearranged to accommodate both boys and girls games, Wholly said.
Blue Ridge school officials, however, declined.
The game will be rescheduled as soon as coaches from both teams agree upon the date.
Next up for the Longhorns is a showdown tomorrow (Wednesday) against the Snowflake Lobos. Game time is 4 p.m. at Rumsey South. A jayvee game will be played at 2 p.m.
Because Snowflake gave Payson all it could handle last season, Wholly calls the clash a "revenge game."
At the Cool Mountain Tournament Sept 6 and 7, the Longhorns opened with wins over Round Valley 6-1, Chino Valley 2-1 and Grand Canyon 4-0. The good fortunes ended in the championship finale when the Horns were ambushed 4-2 by the team from Kirtland Central in New Mexico.
Early in the gold-medal showdown, Payson took a 1-0 lead on Ryan Peters' goal. Only a minute later, Kirtland countered with a goal of its own.
By the 16th minute, Kirtland had scored two more goals to take a 3-1 lead.
Payson came roaring back with a goal by Travis Sanders in the 26th minute to close the Kirtland cushion to 3-2.
The second half turned into a defensive battle in which the only score was an insurance goal by Kirtland.
Wholly said the silver-medal finish "was the best the team has ever done in a tournament."
Offensive honors went to Mike Orozco who tallied four goals. Against Round Valley, he chalked up two of those scores.
The tournament also marked the varsity debut of two jayvee players who turned in commendable performances. Freshmen Derek Wimpee and Harley Taylor were brought up to varsity especially for the tournament. Both saw considerable action and scored goals.
Wholly also cited the play of Randy Perham, Patrick Karlowski, Ryan Peters and Andrew Karlowski as crucial to the Longhorn effort.