Former Phs Football Coach Honored In Pennsylvania


Former Payson High School football coach Dan Dunn was inducted Sunday into the Mercer County Hall of Fame in Pennsylvania. The ceremony was held in West Middlesex, Pa.

Dunn coached the Longhorns from 1992 to 1995.

He currently is the head football coach and athletic director at Mesa Community College.

Dunn was an All-State, two-way football player at Sharon High School in Pennsylvania before accepting a scholarship in the early 1960s to play for Frank Kush at Arizona State University.

Despite being slowed by a knee injury at ASU, he was a member of the Western Athletic Conference all-academic team.

After graduating from ASU, Dunn taught and coached on the Northern Arizona reservation, at Gilbert High School, Mesa Red Mountain and Mesa College.

His teaching and coaching career spans 37 years.

Dunn continues to be a part-time resident of Payson in a cabin he owns just south of town.

Baseball signup

Payson Little League signup will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 27 in the old Payson High School gym and on the Longhorn baseball field.

The fee is $75 per player and $70 for each additional player from the same family. New players should bring a copy of their birth certificate to registration.

The signup will be held as part of an Arizona Diamondbacks visit to Payson.

The Arizona visit features the opportunity to meet former Arizona and Chicago Cubs star, Mark Grace, the chance to attend a four-hour Diamondbacks Training Center clinic and the opportunity to register for summer Payson Little League play. There will also be free pizza and soda pop.

It all takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 27 in the old Payson High School gymnasium and, weather permitting, on the Longhorn baseball field.

Payson Little League, Arizona Public Service and the Arizona Diamondbacks will jointly sponsor the festivities.

The contingent of Diamondback representatives scheduled to attend includes pitcher Doug Slater, catcher Chris Snyder, coach Glenn Sherlock and broadcasters Jeff Munn and Grace.

Diamondbacks representatives will arrive at 11 a.m. and depart at 12:30 p.m., according to Diamondback Community Affairs Director Karen Conway.

During the stay, the Diamondbacks will participate in an autograph session, answer fans' questions and host a Little League awards ceremony, in which members of Payson's 2006 all-star teams will be recognized.

Also, the first 100 aspiring local Little League players who register will be eligible to participate in the baseball clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To register for the clinic, call Ann Henley at (928) 474-7627.

During the clinic, Diamondback coaches will teach the proper fundamentals of throwing, catching, hitting and base running.

Campers and parents can anticipate the clinic will be a shortened version of the Diamondback Training Center camps held each summer in Payson.

For more information about Little League, call (928)-472-9331.

Benefit dinner

The Payson High School Longhorn wrestling team, fresh from competing in the Van Horn Invitational, is set to host another of the benefit spaghetti dinners that have long provided sports fans with a lip-smacking meal at a budget price.

The Italian feast will be held 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria. Tickets are $3 for children, $6 for adults and $20 for a family pass.

As good as the meals are, PHS assistant wrestling coach Don Heizer touts them as important to the sports program and the community.

"It's a time and place where we can all gather and enjoy the fellowship of one another," Heizer said. "It's the type of thing we can have in a small town."

The benefit raises funds the wrestling team uses for travel and to purchase equipment not available in the school's athletic budget. Heizer estimates the dinners now earn more than $2,000 thanks to donations of food items from the Mazatzal Casino, Bashas' and Safeway.

"Without the money earned at the dinners, we would not be able to do a lot of the things for kids we now do," Heizer said.

The coach also sees the dinners as events that benefit everyone.

"It's a win-win situation," he said. "The team earns the money it needs and the people get a great meal at a low price."

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