For those who spent much time around the Payson High School campus last spring and summer, it appeared the installation of the floor in old Longhorn gym was a laborious process that had no end in sight.
Athletic Director Dave Bradley says that's not true. At midweek, Bradley said the gym floor will be completed by today (Friday) and ready for the Lady Longhorn Invitational Volleyball Tournament. All that remained on Wednesday was for workers to apply the two layers of finish the floor needed.
You can bet the family farm, PHS volleyball coach Chris Schwind breathed a sigh of relief when she learned the facility would be ready. Without it, the volleyball invitational format would have been in jeopardy.
The name Bill Nixon is a familiar one to the athletes and fans who have been involved in high school sports over the past four decades. Thousands have enjoyed his sports stories and columns published in the Phoenix Gazette, Arizona Daily Star, Bisbee Review, Arizona Republic and Arizona Times. During his 43-career, Nixon also worked for KTAR radio.
At one point in his career, Nixon selected and published his own all-state football teams. Traditionally, the selection of those teams had been reserved for the Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Star.
The 81-year-old Nixon is one of the few sports writers remaining who can claim to have covered Wilford "Whizzer" White when he played for Mesa High School. White is the father of former ASU and Dallas Cowboy great Danny White.
Nixon also claims he covered a high school football game in which Frank Gifford played. The Hall of Fame member and ex-Giant star was a member of the Bakersfield, Calif. High School team that was playing Phoenix Union.
Nixon, now a resident of Prescott, will be honored Sept. 8 at the Arizona Interscholastic Association annual workshop to be held in the Mile-High City.
AIA officials will give Nixon the "Skip" Bryant Media Support Award that annually goes to the member of the Arizona media who did, or has done, an outstanding job covering high school sports in a positive manner. The award is named after longtime sportscaster Skip Bryant, whose 45 years of sports coverage included a stint at the Tempe Daily News.
Previous recipients of the Bryant Award include Phoenix sportscaster George Allen, Collegiate Baseball editor Lou Pavlovick and Arizona Informant sports editor Jerome Blanton.
New youth soccer league organizing
Fledgling soccer players born between August of 1990 and July of 1991 will soon have the opportunity to compete on a Rim country year-round club soccer team.
Most of the 12- and 13-year-old athletes, will probably come from the ranks of the middle school's seventh and eighth grades.
Team founder and coach Kim Wholly emphasizes that the new squad will be a club team and not affiliated with Rim Country Middle School or the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department.
According to Wholly, the fledgling team will participate in an American Youth Soccer Association league headquartered in Camp Verde.
Youths interested in participating on the new team may sign-up at Rim Country Middle School.
Once Wholly gauges the interest in forming the team, she and other AYSA officials will host a parent meeting in which details of play including fees, practice dates and playing schedules will be discussed.
For more information, call Wholly at 474-8785.