Hang on Payson High School basketball and football coaches, reinforcements are on the way.
The fresh troops arrive next school year in the form of the Class of 2009, which posted some impressive athletic accomplishment as Rim Country Middle School eighth-graders.
After cruising through the White Mountain League football season undefeated, many of the same players went on to help the Mavs basketball team post a 13-0 record and win both the WML regular season and tournament championship.
The Mavericks opened the regular season-ending WML tournament Feb. 26 in Holbrook with a 44-21 win over the Round Valley Elks. Cody York paced the Mavs offensively with 10 points.
In a 45-29 victory over Holbrook in the tournament's second round, Tyler Savage finished with a team high 16 points. Matt Wilson controlled the boards corralling 10 rebounds.
The twin victories propelled the Mavs into the championship round against longtime rival Snowflake.
Fueled by a stingy defense that gave up only four points to the Lobos in the first quarter, RCMS coasted to a 50-36 victory and the school's second league title in three sports seasons. Savage paced the team with 21 points and nine rebounds.
The team was coached by Joe La Salandra who will now turn his attention to coaching the Payson High School junior varsity team.
The athletes now have the option of turning out for the school's track and field or baseball teams.