Payson Athletes Left Off All-State Teams


Longhorn athletes received little notice when the 2008 boys and girls all-state soccer teams were announced Sunday.

Also, Payson High School's wrestling program suffered a rare setback when not a single Horn grappler was named to the All-Arizona team.

In Class 1A-3A soccer, Lady Longhorn Kirscha Wholly earned honorable mention accolades. Only two players from the East region, Snowflake's Hillary Gutvik and Anya Widmaier of Blue Ridge were named to the all-state team.

In 1A-3A boys soccer, Chad Lammers was chosen honorable mention. Again East players didn't have an impact on the all-state team as only Blue Ridge's Christopher Breckenridge was named.

On the All-Arizona wrestling team, Payson's Mark McCarty (152) was noticeably absent despite finishing the season with a 45-3 record and earning the Class 3A state championship.

In his weight division, Chandler Basha 5A state champion Ryan Jimenez was named first team. Honorable mentions honors among the 152-pounders were doled out to Sean Kane of Glendale Ironwood and Camp Verde 1A-2A state champion Jacob Wolfe.

Not having a Payson wrestler named All-Arizona is very uncommon in prep wrestling circles. In the past decade, the Horns have produced numerous All-Arizona wrestlers including Larry Wilbanks, Zack Lee, Nate Lee, Porter Wilbanks and R. C. LaHaye

The all-state soccer and All-Arizona wrestling teams are chosen by the Arizona Republic sports staff. Republic staff members say a coaches ballot, all-region teams, interviews with coaches, statistics and reporters observations were used in the selection process.

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