Longtime Longhorn sports fans will remember Dennis Hansen as a former Payson High School assistant football and track and field coach. At PHS, Dennis was also a journalism teacher.
Since leaving the Rim Country in the late 1980s to teach and coach in Tucson, Hansen has returned to Payson each summer to host the Philippines Open Golf Tournament he founded 28 years ago.
Don't ask why it's called the "Philippines" Open, I don't know and I'm not sure Dennis does either. All I know is the players dress in tropical shirts.
Following the most recent tournament, held July 30, Dennis decided to return to his journalist roots and pen a story for the Payson Roundup.
Here's Dennis' account of what went on at the tournament:
David Sharp and Skip Whatcott were teammates on their high school golf squad in Douglas in 1975. Last Saturday at the Payson Golf Course, they teamed up again, shooting a 59, to run away with the two-man scramble division of the 28th Philippines Open Golf Tournament.
Sharp, from Arkadelphia, Ark., and Whatcott from Gilbert had 11 sub-par holes, including an eagle on par five number one. Their only letdown was a bogey on the par three fifth hole.
Brothers Bryan and Craig Endreson, from Phoenix, three-time winners of the event in previous years, brought home the silver medal with a score of 69.
In the four-man scramble division, the Balls Everywhere team took the medalist honors in a hole handicap tie-breaker with a score of 62. That team consisted of Bill Tybur, Washington Park, Josh Tybur, Chris Merrill and Steve DesGeorges, all from Phoenix.
This year's tourney marked the 21st time that the event has been held at the Payson Golf Course. In all, 82 players, including five from Payson, entered this year's tournament, which benefits Tucson Mountain View High School's cross country team.
Payson's Dave Bradley joined forces with Gary Jones from London via Tucson, to claim third place in the two-man division with an 18 hole score of 70.
Loutz in North Carolina
An e-mail received from former Payson High School boys basketball coach Mike Loutzenheiser said he and his family are adjusting to life in their new North Carolina home.
Mike is the defensive coordinator on a high school football team and teaches special education. He said the state is a hotbed for football and much of the town he lives in rallies around the team.
Mike admits he misses his friends in Payson, where he grew up, but he's looking forward to the challenges of his new teaching and coaching position.
An inaugural Demolition Derby, sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, Mazatzal Casino and Honeycutt Rodeo, will be held 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Payson Event Center.
Payson Parks and Recreation Department Park Supervisor Nelson Beck predicts the derby "will be one of the best spectator events of the season and a ton of fun will be had by all."
To make the event even more enticing, sponsors have added $1,000 in prize money. The entry fee is $40 if paid before Aug. 25. After that date, it is $60. Entry forms and complete derby rules can be picked up at the parks office located at Green Valley Park. For more information, call Beck at (928) 474-5242, ext. 306.
Officials still needed
Payson High School athletic director Dave Bradley continues to scour the community for high school sports officials. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, have knowledge of the rules of the sports they officiate and a love of athletics and kids, Bradley said. Officials must also possess good physical ability, self-confidence, personal integrity and the determination to work hard.
While the requirements to becoming an official are demanding, Bradley said there are plenty of rewards in the profession, including staying involved in sports, exercise, chance to work with kids and extra pocket money.
First year officials can expect to officiate freshman and jayvee games locally for which they'll be compensated $25 to $35 per game.
Veteran officials may be called upon to travel the state. They will receive up to $50 per game and will be paid a mileage fee for travel.
Prospective officials must pay a registration fee of $45 for the first sport officiated and $25 for each additional. They will also spend some money on uniforms and equipment.
For more information, call Bradley at (928) 474-2233.