A new tradition is starting at Payson High School, and most students will agree that it is the perfect filler between Homecoming and Character Counts Week. It's called Winterfest Week, and this year was the third time it has been celebrated at PHS. Winterfest very much resembles Homecoming, with the basketball being the focus instead of football.
The traditional Ugly Longhorn was put out Friday night before the week of Winterfest, and brought back by the sophomores Monday morning.
The week kicked off with an assembly on Monday, complete with a fashion show to demonstrate what to wear on the upcoming dress-up days. Tuesday was Beanie and Scarf day, and students dressed all in white on Wednesday for White-Out Day. Thursday was Winter Sports Day, with students dressed as basketball players, snowboarders, etc.
Everyone was encouraged to come to the Tuesday night basketball games against Blue Ridge, as well as the highly anticipated games against Alchesay on Wednesday, which had been canceled in mid-January. Due to weather, the Alchesay games were again postponed.
Thursday night was the Warball tournament at Payson High School, with an outstanding turnout of at least 20 players and several spectators. The seniors came away with a win, and were able to hold their own against juniors, sophomores, and frosh combined. Anna Van Zile and Doug Eckhardt were referees, until Eckhardt decided to join the underclassmen's team. PHS welcomed back Patrick Walker, a graduate of 2006, to fill in.
At Friday's game against Round Valley, the Winterfest court was crowned during boys varsity halftime. This part of Winterfest is unique in that the students don't pick the court. The winners are chosen by teachers based on academics, attitude, and overall school spirit. Freshmen Lord and Lady were Cliff Lopez and Lucy Schouten; Shane Keith and Jenna Roberts took the sophomore Duke and Duchess positions. For juniors, the Prince and Princess were Mark McCarty and Brittney McDaniel. Seniors Rhea Cosay and Miles Huff were crowned King and Queen.
When it seems like students and staff alike at PHS lose spirit each year, it's comforting to know that there are events such as Winterfest that keep things interesting, especially amidst all the scheduling and construction conflicts, it's activities like this that keep up the morale. Hopefully, we will continue to have everyone participate and keep the events a success.