Former Payson High school football standout turned Department of Public Safety officer Jimmy Oestmann is spending his off time serving as tournament director for the Third Annual Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund Golf tournament.
This year, the benefit will be held May 8 at Payson Golf Course, and Oestmann is anticipating both a competitive tournament and a festive time for all who enter.
The four-person best ball scramble is limited to 28 teams, so Oestmann is advising those interested to register as soon as possible. The deadline is April 26.
Registration forms are available at Mogollon Health Alliance’s offices located at 308 E. Aero or by calling (928) 472-2588.
The fee is $260 per team, or $65 per person.
The green fees include 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch and a goodie bag.
Also, prizes will include $400 for first, $200 for second and $100 for third. Following the tournament, several raffle prizes will also be given out.
Mulligans may be purchased on the morning of the tournament for $10 each.
Check in is at 7 a.m. and tee time is one hour later.
Track meet date changed
The Chuck Hardt Coed Invitational originally scheduled for tomorrow, April 7, has been rescheduled for today, April 6, beginning at 2 p.m.
PHS assistant track coach Chuck Yale said the date was changed to accommodate AIMS testing at the school.
Mingus, Sedona, Blue Ridge, Show Low, Fountain Hills and Payson are scheduled to compete.
Hardt was a longtime PHS PE teacher and track and coach who also founded the cross-country program.
Because of Hardt’s longtime contributions to the program, the Payson Co-ed Invitational was renamed two years ago the Chuck Hardt Co-ed Invitational.
For the inaugural Chuck Hardt Coed Invitational, the former coach served as event starter, a job he’s done hundreds of times over the past two decades.
Hardt is expected to again serve today as honorary starter.
Hardt said last spring that he was flattered the meet was re-named after him, but contended there were other coaches who also had made significant contributions to the program.
He named Bill Lawson and Dan Reid, coaches in the 1980s and 90s.
Hardt also fondly recalls the early years of the cross-country program and the challenges he had finding team members.
“In those days we had runners I called “Notch Babies” because they didn’t fit in the other programs so they became runners,” he said.
“To get athletes, I had to recruit from my PE classes and the hallways.”
Hardt taught in the PUSD from 1976 until retiring, and was an assistant coach on the PHS state championship basketball (1979) and football (1981) teams.
In 2006-2007, he was head coach of the Longhorn basketball team that finished as state runner-up.
During his tenure, he racked up enough Coach of the Year plaques to cover an entire wall of the family home.
In retirement, Hardt has taken up sports officiating.