If that newly hired young lady at the front desk of the Payson Roundup looks familiar, there’s a reason.
Although she now goes by her married name of Erin Fitt, she’s known by many in the Rim Country as Erin Dahlman — the hot shooting guard who led the Lady Longhorns to some of their finest seasons.
From 1995 to 1997, Erin started at point guard for the Lady Horns and built a reputation as an all-around player who thrived on the court moxie of a true “gym rat.”
Although that term might not sound complimentary to most, it’s the highest form of praise that can be paid a high school player because it represents dedication, effort and commitment.
From the time Erin first enrolled as a seventh-grader at Rim Country Middle School, she fit the description.
In fact, her devotion to the sport earned her the nickname “Hoops” at RCMS.
Prior to 1998, Erin’s senior season, then-coach Jerry Daniels asked her to move from point guard to the off guard position, because she could best help the team there.
Always a team-oriented player, Erin agreed to shift positions.
Every coach Erin had during her tenure at RCMS and PHS agreed there was never an ego problem with the young player known for her shooting ability from beyond the three-point arc.
During the ensuing campaign, her court moxie, outside shooting, ball handling skills and defense fueled the Lady Horns to the best season (23-5) in the history of the school. The team also won the Central Region championship, set both single-season (2,782 points) and single-game (102 vs. Globe) scoring records and established a school mark for most consecutive wins (13). During the history-making season, Payson lost to only one Class 3A team, Snowflake.
Although Erin and her teammates came up one game short of attaining their goal of playing in the final four at then-American West Arena, the season remains the finest in the history of PHS girls basketball.
After scoring a team-high 30 three-pointers and dishing out 40 assists, Erin was named both all-region and all-state first team.
As good as she was on the hardwood, her achievements were not limited to sports. She also excelled in academics and was praised by most all of her teachers as a pleasure to have in the classroom.
After graduation from PHS, Erin took her skills to Yavapai College in Prescott, where she played for two seasons.
From there, she moved on the Southwestern Bible College in Phoenix, to play at a college where former NBA star and Phoenix Suns coach Paul Westphal once coached.
In June of 2008, after marrying Jimmy Fitt — a local school teacher — Erin returned to her Payson roots.
A month later, she joined the Roundup staff where she is considered, as she was for the Lady Horns, a valuable part of the team.