In one of the most unusual occurrences to ever sideline a prep sporting event, the Lady Longhorn soccer team forfeited their Jan. 17 Grand Canyon Region game in Page.
Coach Randy Wilcox was forced to forfeit the game to the Dust Devils because many of his players chose to participate in a school-sponsored ski trip to Purgatory, Colo.
Wilcox admitted he was a bit distraught about the forfeit but said as a coach, his hands were tied.
The forfeit drops the Lady Horns' Grand Canyon Region record to 0-3 and their overall mark to 6-8-1.
What makes the forfeit even harder to understand is that the Lady Horns had a good chance of picking up their first regional win in Page. The Dust Devils have won just one game this season.
"We could have been 1-2 (in the region) instead of 0-3," Wilcox said.
Down the road, when the postseason playoffs begin Jan. 26, the forfeit could have huge consequences.
If the Lady Horns finish as the cellar dweller, where they now reside, the team would take a last-place seed into the regional tournament. Last-place seeds rarely last through the first round of tournaments.
In the Grand Canyon games the Lady Horns played, Payson fell 4-1 to state eighth-ranked Flagstaff Jan. 10, and 7-0 to Sinagua on Jan. 14.
In the loss to Flagstaff, Jessica Coleman scored the Lady Horns' only goal after an assist from Amy Wilcox.
Payson will have the opportunity to nail down its first regional win tomorrow (Wednesday) at Rumsey Park against Coconino. Game time is 3 p.m.
Wilcox said he did not have any scouting report on the Panthers, but did know they were a much-improved team over last season.
The regular season wraps up at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23 at Rumsey Park against the Mingus Marauders.
"They are a big physical team," Wilcox said. "They will give us a real good test."