Tonight's Game Should Be A Blow Out

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If you are one of the many readers taking part in the Roundup's Pigskin Payoff football contest, you might want to think lopsided scores when you tally up tonight's (Friday) Payson vs. Tuba City football clash.

Tuba City is notoriously weak and the Longhorns might have one of their best teams in years. Last week, Payson soundly thumped Holbrook 67-6.

The Roadrunners, who were 2-0 before losing to Payson, beat Tuba City early this season. Of course, anything can happen in high school football, but this game looks to be a blow out.

Schedule change

If you are one of the many football fans who have a PHS schedule that states the Payson vs. Tuba City game will be played in Tuba City, that's incorrect.

Because Tuba City is renovating its football field, the game was recently moved to Payson. Kick off is 7 p.m.

At halftime, ceremonies to dedicate the new all-weather track will be held. The ceremonies will honor the many who pitched in to help see the track through to its completion.

Elks shoot on tap

Tomorrow (Saturday) at Green Valley Park, the Payson Elks will host their annual soccer Shoot Out. Registration, which is free, begins at 8 a.m. and the competition at 9 a.m. The event is open to all youths 7 to 13 years of age. For the shoot, youngsters will compete in both boys and girls age groups.

For young athletes, the competition is a lot of fun. The Elks are encouraging all to participate.

More Coach K fans

In the Sept. 10 edition of the Payson Roundup, I wrote in Sports Talk about 90-year-old retired Arizona State University teacher and coach Bill Kajikawa.

In the early 1970s, I took a "Theory of Coaching Football Class" from him. I found the man to be utterly fascinating and an inspiration to all the students in the class.

It seems I'm not the only Rim country resident who was influenced by coach Kajikawa.

Troy Neal wrote to say that it was Kajikawa who in 1956 gave him a basketball scholarship to Arizona State.

"That was taking a big chance on a kid from a small school," Troy said.

If Troy hadn't gotten that scholarship, he says he "would probably still be chopping cotton in Wilcox (his hometown)."

Troy clipped my article from the Roundup and mailed it to several of his former Arizona State teammates.

Troy is a successful rancher who, along with his wife Judy, oversees the 76 Ranch south of Payson. I first met him 30 years ago on the Tempe McClintock High basketball courts while playing in the city men's league.

He played on a team called GlenArm Land Company and I played with a band of teachers and coaches known as the Tempe Educators. After playing against him for several seasons, I can tell you he was a very fine basketball player.

When not shooting hoops, Troy was teaching hardwood skills to students at Tempe High School where he was the boys basketball coach. After leaving coaching, he owned and operated University Sporting Goods in Tempe Center. It was his store where most of the ASU students and Tempe-area coaches bought their athletic apparel.

Troy later took up motivational speaking and turned it into a successful endeavor. The Neal's children and grandchildren reside in Payson.

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