Let the big show begin.
And it does Nov. 8 when16 state football qualifiers from around Arizona battle on the home fields of the highest seed for the right to continue to the second round in pursuit of the granddaddy of all football prizes — the state championship.
Winning the trophy is the dream of every prep player from the moment dreaded two-a-day practices begin during the first week of August.
Ask them and they’ll tell you that the work, sweat and often tears that go along with high school football are small prices to pay for the right to someday be called a champion.
But when the dust finally settles in the tournament, Nov. 29 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, only one team will be left standing.
The Longhorns have been that team only twice in the 40-year history of the sport at the school.
Both teams — the 1981 squad and the 1998 crew — not only won state titles, they finished the year undefeated.
With this season’s 16 qualifiers now seeded into the tournament bracket via Arizona Interscholastic Association Power Points, let’s make some predictions about how the postseason will unfold.
Opening round seedings:
No. 16 Holbrook at No. 1 Payson.
No. 9 Snowflake at No. 8 Safford
No. 12 Chino Valley at No. 5 Round Valley
No. 13 Coolidge at No. 4 Wickenburg
No. 14 Show Low at No. 3 Fountain Hills
No. 11 Window Rock at No. 6 Winslow
No. 10 Empire at No. 6 Estrella Foothills
No. 15 Santa Cruz at No. 2 Blue Ridge
Second round predictions:
Payson vs. Safford
Round Valley vs. Wickenburg
Fountain Hills vs. Winslow
Empire vs. Blue Ridge
Payson vs. Round Valley
Fountain Hills vs. Blue Ridge
Payson vs. Blue Ridge
And the champions in a close, hard-fought game will be, drum roll please, the Payson Longhorns.
Club Rim tryouts
The Club Rim volleyball teams will host tryouts beginning at 10 a.m. on Nov. 8 and Nov. 22.
The first tryouts are for players in grades four through eight.
The tryouts on Nov. 22 are for aspiring high school players.
The try-out fee is $25.
Last season, Club Rim fielded four teams in Arizona Region Club Volleyball all of which performed well throughout the season.
For more information, call Donna Moore at (928) 474-4400.
The Tonto Rim Sports Club will hold an archery shoot Sunday, Nov. 9 at the Jim Jones Shooting Range.
Registration is at 7 a.m. and competition will include 28 3D targets. The registration fee is $30 for families, $20 for adults and $15 for youth. Children under 14 years shoot for free.
For more information, call Less Conner at (928) 472-7443 or (928) 978-7801.
Turkey Trot 5K
This 3.1-mile fitness run begins and finishes at Green Valley Park.
The race will start at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 15. Check-in is