Can Of Food Gets You Into Phs Game

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Admission to today's football scrimmage against Camp Verde is one can of nonperishable food. The game tips off at 5 p.m. in PHS stadium.

If you can muster more than one can, that would be greatly appreciated, because the donations help a worthy cause -- the Pine Strawberry Food Bank.

Last week, the Friends and Neighbors (FAN) Club, cheerleaders, football players and coaches learned food bank supplies were dwindling and decided they'd like to do something to help out.

So, the three groups got together and hatched the idea to charge at least one can of food for admission, which will then be delivered to the food bank.

What the players, boosters and spirit line have chosen to do is a magnificent gesture because in Pine and Strawberry, there are at least 50 families -- some with small children -- who depend on the bank for basic food supplies.

In addition to showing up for the scrimmage with a can of food, take the time to thank cheer, football and FAN Club members for their commitment to the less fortunate residents of the Rim Country.

Longhorn football

star turns dentist

There was a very familiar face at Aug. 18 Longhorn football practice.

Dr. Eric Anderson was on hand volunteering his time to custom fit mouthpieces for all the players.

Anderson, fellow dentist Joey Spears and several assistants, took impressions of the players' teeth and will mold the state-of-art mouthpieces in the school's purple color.

That process is a vast improvement over the previous method of fitting the mouth guards, which was to immerse them in boiling water and after they cooled, bite into them to create a fit.

The new mouthpieces should also provide the players with more protection for their teeth.

What most of those teenagers probably didn't know when they were being fitted by Anderson is that he was once one of the finest football players to ever don a PHS uniform.

Eric was a three-year varsity letter winner (1985, 1986 and 1987) and an all-region and all-state selection.

He was a junior on the 1986 team that reached the state championship and a senior on the squad that won the A West crown.

What was unique about Eric is that he had the strength, stamina and determination to play guard on the offensive line but the speed, agility and skill to be an award-winning cornerback on defense.

Those types of two-way players are rare and a vanishing species.

As an offensive guard, Eric weighed about 160 pounds and lined up alongside 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound tackle Mike Beisemeyer. The two were quite a sight standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the line of scrimmage.

Once Eric took to the field he seldom had a breather, because he also played on all special teams.

Football wasn't his only athletic accomplishment, he also was a state champion wrestler and the 1988 state tournament's most outstanding wrestler.

In track and field, Eric was a sub-two-minute half-miler and starred on relay teams.

As a senior, his peers thought enough of him to elect him homecoming king and he was an honor roll student.

Most importantly for his coaches and teachers, he was a modest, likeable teenager with a strong work ethic.

It would behoove all those players Eric was fitting mouthpieces on, from freshman to varsity, to try to live up to the high standards he set during his years as a Longhorn.

Bares, Broncs and Bulls

Casper Baca, a New Mexico Rodeo stock contractor is itching to bring the Bares, Broncs and Bulls competition to the Payson Event Center. The events, which begin at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30, will include bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding.

Also a highlight on the evening will be ranch bronc riding which, Baca says, "is wild and crazy."

In it, cowboys do not have to mark their horses coming out of the chutes, may use two hands on the reins and can compete on regulation saddles.

During the evening, the top-10 mounted shooters -- wearing Wild West garb and firing vintage pistols -- will put on a special shooting demonstration.

It will be similar to the one that was featured during the most recent Payson rodeo.

Baca is hosting the Payson competition as part of his United American Tour.

Earlier this year, the tour made stops in Durango, Colo., Page, Farmington, N.M., Gallup, N.M. and at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque.

The Baca Rodeo Company added incentive money of $500 to each Payson event.

The introduction, which is a tribute to the armed forces, is set to the music of Toby Keith's hit country song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue."

Also included in the grand entry show is a special showing of the livestock.

"It's called a bucking horse stampede," Baca said.

During it, horses are herded through the arena as the announcer describes the history of the bucking horse and rodeo.

The upcoming evening will also be highlighted by clown acts, special novelty toss giveaways and autograph sessions after the event.

After Baca opened his own rodeo company in 1986, he has sent roughstock bucking horses and bulls to PRCA rodeos and PBR bull riding shows around the country.

Baca stakes claim to having the only bull -- the infamous "High Rise" -- to make it to the PBR World Finals a record eight times.

Bares, Bulls & Broncs is being sponsored by Steve Coury Automotive, Corral West and Mazatzal Hotel and Casino. The admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children. To enter the competition, call (505) 287-9534 or go to: www.paysonrimcountry.com/laborday.

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