This spring, a pair of Payson High School graduates will be the recipients of the first-ever Ted Pettet Scholarships valued at $2,000 each.
The Mogollon Sporting Association, of which Pettet is a co-founder, is funding the new scholarships, which will go to one boy and one girl.
The scholarships were announced Dec. 19 during halftime of the Payson High vs. Sedona boys basketball game.
MSA member Gary Barcom, also an MSA co-founder, told the audience that the scholarships were being named in Pettet’s honor because of his many contributions to the town and school district.
Pettet was Payson’s first mayor, once coached basketball and baseball, founded the track and field team and taught at the school for 22 years. He was also a Payson High School athletic director, a Little League coach and served on Gila Community College’s board of directors.
“It is an honor to be recognized and a privilege to have lived in Payson for the last 50 years,” Pettet said.
He also described himself as a “modern-day pioneer who didn’t arrive in a covered wagon but rather a ’55 Chevy pickup.”
To be eligible for the two scholarships, applicants must be graduating seniors who have lettered in two varsity sports or one varsity sport and band.
“We know how important it is for students to do things successfully outside the classroom,” Pettet said. “So we wanted to honor that.”
Also, applicants will be judged on financial need.
The game the scholarships were announced also marked the reunion of former athletes who played basketball for Pettet when he coached from 1958 to 1962.