Coaches Discuss Tournament Forfeit

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Today's Sports Talk column will be turned over to Lady Longhorn basketball coaches Grant Coley, Margin Bawden and Stacy Anderson who will address the recent disqualification of the PHS basketball team from the state tournament and the Arizona Interscholastic Association's ruling that will require the team to forfeit most of its regular season and tournament games.

To the parents and supporters of the '06-'07 Lady Longhorns:

It is with a heavy heart that we address you all today. The recent events of the postseason have certainly taken a toll on us all and have tested our resolve and our heart. It was an unimaginable season that saw us achieve goals that were merely dreams when we all took the court for the first time in the beginning of the season. Those dreams became a reality as our Lady Longhorns played their hearts out and showed determination and discipline far beyond their years and age.

The 3A conference championship delivered us an off-court obstacle that we overcame and the team played on, despite the fact that their very safety was in question. Regardless of this fact, the girls emerged victorious in every way possible. A season of hard work and ups and downs finally seemed to be over as our goal of reaching the state tournament became a reality.

Then the unthinkable happened. Technicalities, anonymous tips and administrative mistakes took precedence over wins and gumption. The worst-case scenario stared us in the face and we were in an utter state of shock.

When we were at our lowest and the situation was almost too much to fathom, the support that we received from parents and supporters of the Lady Longhorns was the remedy we sorely needed.

The outpouring of thoughts, prayers and well wishes gave us strength. The ruling and the postseason coming to a premature end is not what I want to focus on here. I want to focus on the victories and the things that no ruling can ever take away. No decision can take away the heart and determination with which these girls played every single time they set foot on that court. They cannot take away the rebounds, the assists, the wins and the trophy that proudly reads "3A East Conference Champions."

Stand tall and stand proud with Longhorn pride.

Thank you all for your unwavering support from the start. Without it, we couldn't have done it.

Sincerely,

Coach Coley

Coach Bawden

Coach Anderson

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