As we mingled in the Flagstaff High School gymnasium Friday evening prior to the start of basketball games there, several Paysonites remarked how fitting it is that the school has most of their trophies and memorabilia located in one single place -- a gym lobby trophy case.
By walking just a few steps, it's possible to see trophies, pictures, citations and awards that date back to the 1920s. The awards displayed there also are from all the sports the high school offers.
Strolling by the trophy case, I recognized many Flagstaff names from the late 1950s and early 1960s when I attended Winslow High School. During that era, Winslow and Flagstaff High --here was only one high school in Flagstaff then -- were heated rivals. In those days, those Eagles I was now eyeing pictures of were dreaded foes. Today, they are gentle reminders of a bygone era.
The trophy case also contains awards earned by soldiers during World War II and features a tribute to veterans.
The trophy case is both a history lesson and tribute to those who once proudly wore the Eagle green and white.
Why not at PHS?
It behooves all associated with Payson High School to take a page out of Flagstaff's plan and find a central location for a school trophy case.
At present, the wrestling team has a nice display -- in Wilson Dome and the practice room --f the hundreds of awards they have won over the years.
Cross country and track and field coach Chuck Hardt has an impressive collection of trophies and awards in his room in old PHS gym next to the boys weight room.
Athletic Director Dave Bradley has memorabilia from his golf, basketball and coaching days in his office.
When Teddy Pettet had a classroom at PHS, he too had some of the baseball hardware his teams had won on display.
In the Wilson Dome snack bar area, a color picture of the Longhorns 1998 state football championship hangs alone on one wall. Across the lobby on another wall, the track and field school records hang.
Boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser has his coach of the year trophy and team pictures on display in his classroom
Around campus and in classrooms, trophies and awards are scattered for lack of a better place to be displayed.
If all coaches and administrators could agree, collecting all of the sports memorabilia and putting it on display in one location --possibly the Wilson Dome snack bar area --ould do great things to build school pride.
As it is now, students, visitors and alumni have no single spot on campus they can visit for a glimpse of school culture and history.
And that's a bit sad.