Students Celebrate Longhorn Pride

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During a Payson High School homecoming kickoff Thursday morning, senior Andy Hansen and his fellow students were told upcoming spirit festivities would include a costume theme for each day.

Sept. 23, Thursday, would be "Super Hero Day," and Hansen knew immediately who he'd honor: "Captain Kangaroo. He's always been my hero."

Sophomore Miles Huff selected a more traditional super hero saying his choice was Superman.

The festivities start Sept. 20 with an "Eye of the Tiger Sports Day." Students and teachers are to dress in their favorite sports team's uniform or colors.

The day heats up with a bon fire and pep rally from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the parking lot at the Payson Event Center.

Tuesday is "Toga Day" and students are to dress in their favorite Roman-style attire. A "Game Night" will be from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the high school parking lot.

Rumors on campus are that the sponsoring student government organization has chosen one of the games to be an eating contest. At 6 feet, 230 pounds, Kyle Allen predicted he'd be the odds-on favorite to bring home the bacon for the freshman class.

Wednesday is Rawhide Day. Students and faculty are to round 'em up, and head 'em out as their favorite cowboy or cowgirl.

Float building, for Friday's parade, will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in the auto shop.

The week-long festivities, which will be themed "Go Back" (in time), reach a pinnacle Friday with a parade, cross country run, tailgate party, football game and dance.

Friday also has been designated "Purple and Gold" day and students are to dress in school colors.

The annual Sludge to the Judge Run begins at 1:40 p.m near the Northern Gila County Sanitary District plant and proceeds along Main Street before wrapping up in front of the county offices on Main and Beeline.

Notre Dame, Blue Ridge, Mingus and Tucson Mountain View are slated to participate.

The Sludge to the Judge will be preceded at 1:15 p.m. by the Sawmill Mile, hosted by Rim Country Middle School.

Immediately after the run, the homecoming parade begins at Julia Randall Elementary School and proceeds east on Main Street before turning north on Colcord, then to Meadow and ending at the Longhorn Road high school parking lot. A student government-sponsored tailgate party will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the north parking lot. The menu will include hamburgers and brats. Tickets priced at $5 are available from any student council member.

At 7 p.m. on the PHS field, the Longhorn football team plays host to the Prescott Badgers.

Prior to the opening kickoff, the No. 70 football jersey that former Longhorn football player and coach Jack Morris wore during his years at Payson High School (1983-87) will be retired in his memory. Coach Jerry Rhoades will present the football jersey to Morris' widow, Dawn, and family. Jack Morris, 34, died Feb. 21 after suffering a stroke. At the time, he was the Longhorns' line coach.

At halftime, homecoming king, queen and attendants will be announced to the audience.

Immediately after the game, the traditional homecoming dance will be held in the gymnasium.

For more information about the festivities, call (928) 474-2233.

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