The Payson High School football team will honor one of its former coaches and players just moments prior to 7 p.m. kickoff Friday night in Longhorn stadium against the Prescott Badgers.
The ceremony will be highlighted by the retiring of the jersey No. 70 that the late Jack Morris wore during his playing career (1983 to 86) at Payson High School. In addition to being a member of the 1986 team that reached the state championship, Morris was an assistant coach on the Horns 1998 state championship squad.
His younger brother, Cable, was a star player on that team.
Prior to the 34-year-old's death Feb. 21, Jack was the line coach for the Longhorns and also served stints as a coach at Rim Country Middle School and on the PHS freshmen and junior varsity teams.
At tonight's ceremony, head coach Jerry Rhoades will present the No. 70 jersey to Morris's widow, Dawn, and other family members.
Plans are for the jersey to be encased and hung in either Wilson Dome or the weight room. With the retiring, the number is not to be worn again at Payson High School.
Morris is remembered in PHS football circles as the coach who took great pride in the performances of his linemen and a man whose love of football and family was never-ending.
In 1986, he was a member of the Longhorns' Bruise Brothers offensive line that also included his best friend Mark Velasco, Eric Anderson, John Stiavelli, Mike Beisemeyer, Russ Cubbison, Matt Rambo and Jimmy Welker. The group helped pave the way for the Longhorns to reach the state championship game.
Morris often said it was his experiences with the Bruise Brothers that motivated him to become a line coach.
Brenna Zumbro left Payson a month ago to attend Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. on a partial athletic scholarship.
For four years on the Lady Longhorn softball team, she had been one of the best pitchers in Arizona high school sports.
Zumbro's goal was to continue her pitching career at Whitworth.
Now that she's on the school campus, attending classes and working on her pitching, Zumbro has learned she also has been awarded a prestigious academic scholarship.
The Whitworth Scholarship she received is worth $4,000 per school year.
Her mother, Val, was caught off guard by the additional scholarship money.
"That explains why her tuition wasn't as much as I thought it was going to be," she said.
The Whitworth academic scholarships go to students who maintain a 3.5 GPA, rank in the top 20 percent of their graduating class and score 1,150 on SAT or 25 on ACT tests.
The scholarship is renewable for four years if she maintains a 3.0 GPA.
Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college that is ranked among the top 10 colleges and best values in the West by U.S. News and World Report.
Zumbro said she was attracted to the college for its softball program and its rigorous open education. The school has about 2,300 students.