There is an age-old cliché among coaches that goes something like, "to win a championship, you have to beat 'em all, so it doesn't matter when you play 'em."
It is usually uttered after a coach learns that his team will have to play a championship favorite in the early rounds of a tournament.
There is, however, a counter-argument to that well-worn philosophy.
Some coaches argue that the two best teams should face one another in the final game.
That sets up a for all-the-marbles showdown between the two premier teams.
If the two best teams in a tournament meet before the final round, a contending team is eliminated and the drama and suspense is lessened.
That counterargument is among the reasons many local fans are elated that the Longhorn boys basketball team could now play No. 1 Estrella Foothills in the state tournament championship game.
If Payson had not been lifted to a three-seed from a four-seed (see accompanying sports story), the Horns would have had to meet Estrella Foothills in a state semifinal game.
As it stands now, we could all soon enjoy what could be a state- title battle between the 3A conferences two finest teams -- Payson and Estrella Foothills.
Town of Payson Trails and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator Mary McMullen is reminding everyone that her office's upcoming agenda of offerings features some very appealing programs.
- The Boulders Loop Trail PATS Hike at 10 a.m. Feb. 16. It's free, but participants must register (either at Parks and Recreation prior to Saturday, Feb. 16th, or the day of the event).
Show up at the Boulders Loop Trailhead, which is at the very east end of Granite Dells Road.
- The PATS Mountain Bike Ride at 1 p.m. Feb. 24. It will be led by and instructor and is free.
But, participants must register in advance at the Parks and Recreation Office.Show up at the Event Center/Gila County Trailhead to begin (by the rodeo grounds).
- The Youth Fishing Day with the Arizona Game and Fish Depart-ment will be held 9 a.m. to noon March 1 at Green Valley Park.
Up to 100 loaner rods will be available to use at no charge, plus a limited supply of bait for trout, bass and sunfish for the entire family.Fishing license requirements will be waived during the hours of the event.
- The Fly Rod Building Demo Classes, which begin at 10 a.m. on March 8, 15 and 22, are also free. But participants must register prior to March 8 to secure their space in class.
Participants will learn in three successive classes how to build their own fly rods.
- The Youth Archery After-School Program will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 18-April 10 for grades 4-7, April 15-May 8 for grades 8-12
The fee is $30 per child and space is limited. This is a pilot program thru the Arizona Game and Fish Department, led by Certified Youth Archery Instructors at the Jim Jones Shooting Range from 4-5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.