Rim Crew Highlight Of Valley Colleges


The Phoenix College Bears vs. Mesa College Thunderbirds football game Oct. 18 took on a decidedly Rim country flair.

The coach of the Thunderbirds is former Payson High School coach Dan Dunn. A starting wide receiver for MCC was Dan's son, Patrick. The teenager formerly attended Payson schools and played youth football locally.

The Phoenix College roster featured two Payson High School graduates -- brothers Hunter and Taylor Walden. Hunter is the starting quarterback for the Bears and Taylor plays linebacker.

The Thunderbirds won the hard-fought contest 37-20 to improve their record to 3-3.

After leaving Payson in 1995, Dan coached several seasons at Red Mountain High School before taking over at MCC last summer.

Spring golf, again?

Rumors are running rampant that the 4A conference might soon shift their golf seasons from the fall to the spring. That would be a touch of irony for those associated with the Longhorn golf team. When Payson was a member of the 3A conference, the sport was played during the spring months.

Payson joined the 4A conference in an AIA realignment last year and the golf team prepared itself for fall play.

At the time, coach Bret Morse said he was looking forward to playing golf in the fall when the weather was much more favorable. During the spring in the 3A towns of Show Low, Pinetop and Lakeside, the Horns often played in freezing cold and snowy conditions.

If the 4A moves golf to spring, the Horns will find themselves back where they were when PHS was a 3A school.

Apparently golf professionals who run the golf facilities in the Valley have talked to coaches about shifting their season to the spring.

The pros, who usually let high schools use the courses free of charge, would rather have the prep players on the courses in the spring months rather than in the fall when there is more demand for the facilities.

If the season does shift, it will undoubtedly affect the sport choices of some athletes. For example, when Payson joined the 4A conference, Billy Bob Hoyt had to give up football in order to play his favorite sport of golf. Hoyt, now a senior, had played three years of football at PHS.

The Southwest Section PGA is expected to make a decision on switching to spring play by the end of the month.

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