As a former football coach at Show Low High School, I received plenty of good-natured ribbing from friends and former students and players in the White Mountains after the Cougars defeated Coolidge 26-0 for the state championship.
We should all be happy Show Low won the state title and upheld the East's reputation as the finest and most competitive region in the state.
The Cougars have made us all proud. It would have been more gratifying if Payson had won the title. But the next best thing is for our neighbors in Show Low to win it.
As satisfying as bringing home the state championship trophy had to be, it might have been a state semifinal win over Blue Ridge and a regular season victory against Snowflake that fans, coaches and players will long cherish.
I remember that Show Low's wins over the archrival Lobos and Yellow Jackets set off town and schoolwide celebrations that lasted into the following week.
The revelry didn't just involve athletes and students, the parents and senior citizens were often in the middle of the celebrations.
The competitive rivalry between the schools exists partly because the three are geographically close to one another. That closeness allows the players to often know one another on a first-name basis. Winning gives the players, parents and even coaches bragging rights for the following year. Also, because many of the players' parents attended the three high schools, the teenagers ties to their teams run deep into their roots.
Club Rim volleyball will be hosting team tryouts for 12 and 14-year-old players from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in Wilson Dome.
The tryout fee is $25.
Notification of those players selected to participate on Club Rim 12- and 14-year-old teams will be within one week of the try-out date.
All new players must bring to tryouts a copy of their birth certificate and current vaccinations (tetanus, polio, and measles) to complete the "Arizona Region Individual Membership Form" and a "Player Medical History and Release Form."
As a player on Club Rim, each player will be responsible to pay a $40 Arizona Region Junior Volleyball fee and a $125 uniform fee.
The 12-year-olds' season runs from Dec. 4 thru May 3 and the 14-year-olds' season runs from January thru May. Players will also need to pay a $l00-per-month membership fee to Club Rim.
A complete season will be a financial commitment of $690. Players are encouraged to acquire sponsors to assist with their monthly membership fees.
A letter asking for sponsorship is available through the Club Rim Director.
The age groups are:
12 and Under Division: Players who are born on or after Sept. 1, 1995
14 and Under Division: Players who are born on or after Sept. 1, 1993
As a member of Club Rim, players will elevate the level of play above what is currently available in their school program.
Many girls aspire to play volleyball at the collegiate level. In order to make this dream a reality, they must belong to a volleyball club to be seen by college recruiters, Club Rim officials said.
Involvement in Club Rim allows girls the opportunity to receive college volleyball scholarships.
Club Rim is a nonprofit organization governed by an executive board of directors. The executive board is in charge of administration and operations, transacting business, policy development, and other issues related to Club Rim. For more information contact Donna Moore, Club Rim Director at (928) 474-4400.