School district and town parks and recreation officials spent yesterday, Jan. 25, muddling through games and events cancelled last week while trying to figure out when and where to reschedule.
The cancellations were due to the raging storm that struck the Rim Country last week, dropping more than seven inches of snow, closing highways, schools and forcing the postponement of almost every event scheduled.
Among the PUSD basketball games called off were clashes Jan. 20 vs. Alchesay in Wilson Dome and Jan. 22 in Blue Ridge.
The Payson Invitational Wrestling Tournament, which was to be held Jan. 22 and 23, was also cancelled.
“That was a shame, because we had all those really nice trophies we were going to give out,” said assistant wrestling coach Joseph Harris. “Now we have them, and no one to give them to.”
The storm’s repercussions were also felt in the normally sun-drenched Valley area, where Arizona Interscholastic Association officials made the unusual decision to delay the start of 3A state tournaments to allow school officials time to make up games that were postponed, and also possibly change the playing dates of season-ending regional tournaments.
The state tournament was originally to tip off on Feb. 12, but now the boys tournament begins Feb. 15 and the girls on Feb. 16.
The postponements also forced some site changes.
Originally, quarterfinal games were to be played on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
Now they will be contested at the site of the highest seed.
The final four and championship games for both boys and girls are Feb. 26 and 27 at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
The Payson Invitational Wrestling Tournament will not be scheduled, said Harris, because the teams originally committed to participate have other schedule obligations on the dates the tournament could possibly be made up.
“We are thinking about going some other place for a tournament, maybe Mogollon,” Harris said.
The wrestling team’s benefit spaghetti dinner that was to be held Jan. 21 was postponed and will now be held Jan. 28.
The dinner will be served 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria.
Tickets, $6 per person and $20 for families, are available from any wrestler or at the door.
The basketball games against Alchesay have been rescheduled and will be played tomorrow, Jan. 27, in Wilson Dome. Game times remain the usual 4:30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
As of press time, the games vs. Blue Ridge have not been rescheduled.
PHS athletic secretary Stephanie Shield said as soon as the makeup dates are agreed upon, she will make them public.
On the town P&R agenda, youth basketball league games originally scheduled for Jan. 23 were postponed due to the storm, but makeup dates have not been decided.
In 3A wrestling, the dates for the East regional tournament and the state finals remain the same. Regionals are set for Feb. 6 at Blue Ridge, and the state shootout is Feb. 12 and 13 in Prescott.
As for the East regional boys and girls basketball tournament, there has been no decision on whether to hold them on the original dates or move them up on the calendar.
As of press time, the tournament dates remain Feb. 3, 5 and 6.
The Feb. 3 games are at the site of the highest seed, and the final two days’ games will be played in Wilson Dome.
If the regional tournament is not moved, all makeup games in the East would have to be completed in the course of a seven-day period.
That is rendered doubly difficult because games were already scheduled for that time period, reducing the number of possible makeup dates.
Payson now has regular-season games today, Jan. 26 vs. St. Johns, Jan. 29 vs. Snowflake and Jan. 30 at St. Johns.
Also this week, Payson has the make-up game on Jan. 27 vs. Alchesay, and a makeup date must be found for the postponed Blue Ridge clashes.
So, the PHS hoop squads now have four games in less than a week, with a possibility of a fifth.