Big-School Coach Talks With Phs


One of Arizona’s most successful high school football coaches, Jesse Parker, was in Payson yesterday discussing the vacant Payson High School position.

School administrators are tight-lipped about the visit and could make no commitment or offers because job positions are frozen in the district and no new hirings are being done.

Parker, who’s 309 wins ties him with Amphitheater’s Vern Friedli for most victories in the state, said he was intrigued by the vacant PHS job even though he has coached only on the 5A “big school” level.

Having the legendary coach show an interest in Payson is a boon for the school and community because he is perhaps the most well known coach in Arizona with a long list of accomplishments including membership in the Arizona Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Parker spent the last 10 years at Gilbert where he was 65-48 and led the Tigers into the state semifinals twice. His coaching career began in 1969 at Camelback where he was 48-27-2 with one state title. At Mesa Mountain View from 1976 to 1994, he was 185-43-2 with four state titles.

He left Mountain View to coach at Texas High in Texarkana before returning to the state in 1999 to coach Gilbert.

Parker has built a reputation as a hard-nosed, old-school coach who instills both discipline and self confidence in his players.


The Payson FLW tournament committee, including Jim Goughnour and Dennis Pirch, would like to give a huge thank you to sponsors of last weekend’s successful bass tournament at Roosevelt Lake.

Goughnour and Pirch said the sponsors were a big reason the tournament was a hit with anglers and fans.

The thanks go to: Hostess, Pepsi, Rim Country Custom Rods and Repairs, Mazatzal Hotel and Casino, Walmart, Community Securities Services, Payson Concrete, Roy Haught Excavating, ERA, the Payson Roundup, Town of Payson, KMOG, Chili’s, El Rancho, Chapman Auto Center, Roadrunner Disposal, Tonto Basin Disposal, Good Samaritan Society Majestic Rim, Highway 188 Tackle & Supply, Arizona Respiratory Services, C&M Communications, Just For You in Tonto Basin, Tonto Basin Chamber of Commerce, Sunstate Equipment of Payson, Southwest Ranger Boats and The Tackle Box.

Tonto Rim archery shoot

Retired law enforcement officer and avid archer Les Conner is hoping for a banner turnout at an upcoming Tonto Rim Sports Club 3D archery shoot.

“Because there are so many archery hunters in this area, it would be a great thing to get this type of archery up and going,” he said. “We think this is going to be really popular.”

The shoot will be held May 17 at the TRSC Jim Jones Shooting Range, located just south of Payson.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the shoot starts one hour later. The registration fee is $30 for families, $20 for adults and $15 for youth 14 to 18 years of age. Children under 14 years may enter for free. The competition is open to the public.

Conner, who took up archery about 11 years ago, and was a member of a California archery club before moving to Payson, says if the turnout for the upcoming event is encouraging, he’ll host even more, “Maybe every three months or possibly every month.”

The targets are of bear, deer, mountain lion and other wild animals.

For more information about the upcoming event, call TRSC Public Relations Officer Charles Thompson at (928) 468-1521.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.