Benefit Barbecue Set For April 29

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The Longhorn softball and baseball teams' annual benefit barbecue will be held 4 to 7 p.m. April 29 --ot April 30, as originally planned.

The date of the popular fund-raiser was moved up a day because Flagstaff Coconino, Payson's foe that day, asked the game be changed from April 30 to April 29.

"They didn't want to play on a Friday," barbecue host Charlene Hunt said. "When the games were moved, we also moved the barbecue."

Last year, the benefit drew an estimated 500 people who stayed on after the barbecue to cheer the baseball and softball teams against the Show Low Cougars.

Hunt anticipates the turn-out this spring could be even greater.

"Much of the community comes out," she said. "They look forward to it."

The meal will consist of deep pit barbecued beef, cowboy beans and roll prepared by Albert Hunt.

Over the years, Hunt -- also a school board member -- has built a reputation as being one of the finest cowboy cooks in Arizona.

To prepare the beef, he uses a pit at the Round Valley home of Dr. John Vandruff. He normally burns about a cord of oak cooking the meat. The hard oak produces better coals than other types of wood, he said.

After the oak has burned for about eight hours and turns white-hot, Hunt covers the coals with large rocks, then the wrapped meat is set atop the rocks and the pit is covered with an iron lid. About six inches of soil is then shoveled on the lid.

After simmering underground for about 12 hours, the meat emerges juicy and fork-tender.

Hunt and friends will take the smoked beef to the softball field where it will be served up to the hundreds of hungry patrons and sports fans.

At 3:30 p.m., junior varsity baseball and softball games will be played on the two PHS diamonds.

Varsity games vs. Coconino begin at 7 p.m.

Charlene Hunt describes the event as an opportunity to have a fine meal, support PHS teams and enjoy a bit of small-town fellowship.

Tickets are $5 and are available from any softball or baseball player. Charlene Hunt will deliver tickets to those who contact her at (928) 978-3221.

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