Surprising almost all, the Longhorn wrestling team grappled its way to a second place finish in the 2010 AIA Class 3A State Tournament held Feb. 12 and 13 at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
The Horns finished with 152.50 pounds to trail only state champion Safford (267) in the final team standings.
Rendering the Horns feat a stunning accomplishment was that PHS took only eight qualifiers, in 14 weight classes, to the state finale.
Some schools had has many as 12 qualifiers .
The three teams that beat Payson last week in the East region championships all trailed PHS in the final state standings.
Snowflake (144) was third, Show Low took fourth (132.50) and Blue Ridge (127) was fifth.
The Horns produced only one individual state champion – 140 pound senior Ben Sandoval who wrapped up the fray with a 4-0 record and was 13-4 for the season.
In the finals, Sandoval pinned Safford’s Zach Garcia in 2:25.