Payson Crowds Must Beat Out Falcon Fans


Tad Neal is among those Longhorn basketball supporters who would like to see an overflow crowd turn out for a Jan. 31 game in Wilson Dome against Alchesay.

Neal said, a huge pro-Falcon crowd turned out Jan. 25 in Whiteriver for a Payson vs. Alchesay game. It's only fitting the Longhorn players receive that same type of support for the upcoming clash.

In an effort to promote the crucial East region skirmish, Neal helped spearhead a drive to render the game even more appealing.

Among the attractions will be free admission for senior citizens and PHS students wearing school colors of purple and gold.

Also at halftime, a 50-50 drawing will be held in which half the money will be donated to the winning ticket holder and the remaining amount to the basketball program.

Drawing tickets are $1 each and there is no limit on the number that may be purchased.

At the last home game, the drawing generated $250, of which $125 was to be given to Kendra Lewinson, the mother of PHS player Oliver Lewinson.

"She had the winning ticket, but when she came down on the court she immediately gave it back, saying she wanted it all to go the basketball program," Neal said.

Also on the halftime agenda is a shooting contest, sponsored by the Tonto Apache Tribe.

Holders of 50/50 tickets are eligible to participate in the halftime shoot. A successful free throw wins the shooter a dinner for two at the Mazatzal Casino Cedar Ridge Restaurant. The shooter can pass on the free throw and opt instead for a three-point attempt from 19 feet, 9 inches away. Any sharpshooter who sinks the super shot will receive 25 gallons of gasoline from the reservation Mobile station.

For the real risk takers, a successful half-court shot wins the shooter a prize an LCD flat-panel TV, valued at $1,000.

At the last contest, Lucas Barr tried his luck at a half-court shot for the television prize, but the attempt was short.

Also, at the remaining three home games, 50 mini-basketballs will be thrown into the stands. Each basketball will have a coupon or gift certificate taped to the ball.

The prizes include tickets to Sawmill Theatres, oil changes at Fletcher's Tire, Fargo's Restaurant gift certificates, free car washes at Giant Carwash, Dairy Queen ice cream sundaes, free pizzas from Pizza Factory and more.

"These were a big hit at the last game," Neal said.

Pirch on the airwaves

The third annual Outdoor Rendezvous had organizer Dennis Pirch explaining the event Saturday and Sunday morning on a Phoenix radio show that goes by the catchy moniker "Shake, Rattle and Troll."

Pirch told listeners, the Outdoor Rendezvous will begin at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Tackle Box in Tonto Basin and could draw record crowds.

Most importantly, Pirch said, the Rendezvous is a free way for outdoor enthusiasts to pick up tips and advice from some of the finest hunters and fishermen in the state.

Those tips can be acquired at a series of 11 informative seminars held throughout the day. The seminars begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until early afternoon.

Also, raffle prizes will be awarded, a chili cook-off conducted and a sidewalk sale held throughout the day.

"Bring your used outdoor equipment and a table to set up in the parking lot," Pirch said.

He promises some very fine equipment can be purchased at reasonable prices.

For more information, call The Tackle Box at (928) 479-2108.

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