Longhorn boys and girls basketball fish fry fund-raisers have long been a popular dinner option for Rim Country prep sports fans.
They are also a great way to enjoy a lip-smacking dinner, small town camaraderie and support the PHS hoop teams.
A couple of years ago, the event was held on an evening Payson was playing host to Chinle.
Wildcat fans, who travel the state in support of their beloved team, unexpectedly decided to enjoy the meal.
The overflow crowd resulted in a dinner line that flowed out of the middle school cafeteria and spilled onto the playground.
It also kept event organizers, including Duke Wilbanks, hopping from grocery store to grocery store trying to find food staples to feed the mob.
This year's sponsors say they are more than ready to host any size crowd that shows up for the next fish fry to be held 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria. Admission is $3 per child, $6 per adult, and $25 per family.
Fans may buy tickets at the door or from any PHS basketball player.
Call (928) 474-2233 for more information.
Small town sports
In covering East region football this season, I've noticed a phenomena that exists in small town rural Arizona that cannot be found in larger, metropolitan high schools.
The last names of many of the players from Show Low, Snowflake, Round Valley, Blue Ridge, Winslow and Payson are the same as they were decades ago.
Which means, they are probably the sons, nephews and maybe grandsons, of players who attended those schools years ago.
Watching Show Low play Payson weeks ago, I saw that the Cougar lineup included sons of football players who I coached at SLHS in the early 1980s.
You won't find second and third generation players on a team representing Sunrise Mountain, Desert Vista, Desert Ridge and North Canyon, because the schools have only been open a few years.
Having athletes whose fathers and uncles played for the same school builds a type of spirit, tradition and pride that can't be found in many Phoenix and Tucson schools.
It also has to be a big thrill for the fathers to have the opportunity to see their sons represent the same school they did in younger years.
AIA needs officials
With basketball and wrestling seasons about to start, the Arizona Interscholastic Association is encouraging interested individuals to get involved in high schools sports officiating.
Recently, the AIA attempted to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about officiating.
However, the organization also encourages prospective officials to possess physical ability, self-confidence, the dedications and determinations necessary to work hard, and above all, personal integrity.
The athletes and coaches look upon each contest as being the most important thing happening in their lives at that moment, and the official must look upon each contest the same way and react accordingly.
This avocation is not for everyone, but if you have the interest and the attributes described above, you may find this to be some of the most rewarding work in which you will ever be involved.