A pair of former Payson High School coaches are experiencing different degrees of success with their new teams.
At Dakota State University, Josh Anderson, who last year led the Longhorn football team to an undefeated season and the state championship, is struggling as his team gets off to a 0-4 start.
At Southwestern Randolph High in Asheboro, N.C., former Longhorn head basketball coach and football assistant Mike Loutzenheiser appears to have turned the school’s gridiron program around.
Loutzenheiser took over a Cougar program two years ago that was struggling, but has the team at 3-3 this season, despite a rash of injuries.
“We have been dismantled; seven starters out,” Loutzenheiser said.
The situation was so bleak, Loutzenheiser turned to his son, Troy, to be a starter at quarterback, despite the fact the teen hadn’t taken a snap until three weeks ago.
While the Loutzenheiser family lived in Payson, Troy played youth football in the Central Arizona Youth Football Association.
Loutzenheiser said his goal was to separate the father-son relationship enough for both he and Troy to be successful.
At Dakota State, most of Anderson’s troubles stem from him being forced to play younger, untested athletes against more seasoned, veteran players.
It will be awhile before his recruits have the experience and maturity to be successful on the collegiate level.
Rendezvous on the Mogollon
If you’re a dual sport adventure rider, you’ll want to join others from around Arizona for the Mogollon Rendezvous.
To be held Oct. 24-25, the event is sponsored by Arizona Trail Riders and is a stop on the American Motorcycle Association Dual Sport series sponsored by KTM and BMW.
Dual Sport riders are motorcyclists who ride both on- and off-road with a goal of promoting responsible cycling.
Dan Basinski is among the locals who will enter the Mogollon Rendezvous. He also is helping plan the event.
He says the two-day rides will feature routes suited for all levels of riders on twisty paved highways and challenging off-road sections.
The routes will include A (expert), B (intermediate) and C (novice) courses.
This year, the rally will be headquartered at the Payson Elks Lodge.
Each ride begins at the lodge with a breakfast buffet before riders descend either to rugged high desert riding or climb to elevations that reach 7,500 feet atop the Mogollon Rim.
On Saturday evening, the lodge will host a buffet for all riders.
ATR, the sponsoring organization, is a nonprofit group that has about 150-plus members of all riding abilities. While its main focus is trail riding, ATR also promotes desert racing and dual sports events. One of ATR’s most popular events in the annual club trip to Las Vegas for Maxxis Endurocross.
Members also participate in numerous trail maintenance and clean up programs in conjunction with state and federal agencies including the U.S. Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Last year, ATR sponsored a local cycling event similar to the upcoming Mogollon Rendezvous. On a warm fall day, the cycles roared onto Highway 260 bound for an off-highway scramble that would take the riders over Rim Country Jeep trails, fire roads and deserted highways.
The event was a bit unusual in cycling circles in that riders were asked to rely only on GPS units rather than the route sheets and roll-charts they are usually given for navigational purposes.
Basinski said that event was a success prompting ATR officials to plan other events in the Rim Country. For more information about ATR, visit: www.arizonatrailriders.org.