Penning the June 1 story of the 7-year-old Scottsdale boy who was accidentally shot to death in Strawberry by his older brother stirred some disturbing memories in this old coach.
The recollections were of a boy I taught and coached more than 30 years ago in Tempe.
"Cappy" was a member of the school basketball team and the Little League baseball squad I coached early in my career. I remember him as our team's best pitcher and an all-city basketball player.
I didn't coach him in football, but he was a topnotch player for a Tempe Pop Warner team. He was a great kid to have in the classroom, too.
As I recall, Cappy was at home after school when he was accidentally shot to death by his older brother -- very similar to the accident this past weekend.
After Cappy's death, I remember loading many of my students in my dad's 1967 sedan and driving them to the funeral.
Stuck in my memory is the sight of Cappy -- one of my students and players lying in an open casket. Cappy was to be buried in his football uniform, pads, helmet and all. One of my kids, who was on Cappy's football team, turned to me and said "Gee, Mr. Foster, God's getting a darn good linebacker."
Those of us who knew Cappy for those few short precious years will never forget him.
About 20 years after the funeral, I received a call from one of my former students and an old friend of Cappy's. He told me he was married and still living in Tempe. He said life was good and he was celebrating the birth of a baby boy.
He and his wife had settled on a name for the newborn. The boy was to be called "Cappy."
Friends of the late Payson High School assistant coach Jack Morris are offering a huge "thank-you" to George Rogers, owner of Printing by George.
The coach's friends wanted a picture of him to hang in the Payson High School weight room as a reminder of all the former coach did for the football program.
From a coaching picture of Jack his wife owned, George was able to crop and enlarge an image into a very nice 11x17 color photo that will soon go up in the weight room.
George did all of the work for free and went so far as to make extra copies for friends and family.
Again, thanks George.
Barrel racing this Saturday
The National Barrel Horse Association will be hosting a jackpot barrel race at the Payson Event Center on Saturday, June 5. The race will start at 3 p.m. with registration beginning at 2 p.m. The entry fee is $20 per run with 80 percent of the fee being paid back to the winners.
It is an open race with no age groups or class divisions. The event will wrap up with the morning barrel racing clinic sponsored by Payson Parks and Recreation.
For more information, call Charlene Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 268.