Emotional Night For Phs Football Players


One of the most emotional nights in Payson High School football history wrapped up Friday evening with a failed two-point conversion attempt that would have sent the Longhorns, and visiting Flagstaff Sinagua Mustangs, into overtime.


James Gibson (#30) is consoled by his uncle Steve Taylor (left), and his aunt Darlene, during Parent Night ceremonies at the Payson vs. Sinagua football game Friday evening on Longhorn field.

The misfire on the extra point pass attempt, which occurred with 50 seconds remaining on the game clock, allowed Sinagua to survive a 14-12 victory.

As exciting as the gridiron clash was, a stirring tribute to senior running back James Gibson took center stage the rest of the evening.

Earlier in the week, Gibson's mother, Darlene Gibson-Morales, died at 46-years-of-age.

Throughout the week, students, teammates and friends of James consoled and rallied around him during his time of grieving.

Supporters also kicked off an effort to collect almost $7,000 in burial funds for James' mother.

James, who was very close to his mother, said he is deeply moved by the resounding support he is receiving from the community.

This final game of the season, designated "Parent's Night," placed special recognition on James, whose uncle Steve Taylor and wife Darlene, joined him on the field during the parents' tribute.

Graveside services for James' mother will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park on Upper Round Valley Road.

See the Tuesday print edition of the Payson Roundup for a complete story of the final game of the 2004 football season.

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