Horn Stars Primed To Shine


A pair of former Payson High School football standouts will soon join a long list of Longhorn alumni to have played in the Arizona Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star game.

Logan Garner and Max Johnson, both graduates with the class of 2010, were chosen Dec. 13 to compete in the annual all-star game to be played 7 p.m. June 18 at Glendale Community College.


Logan Garner


Max Johnosn

Both will be members of the North team.

Among the alumni to have played in the game during the past three decades are Greg Armstrong, Curt Rambo, Mark Hanna, Ty Chilson, Carl Whittle, Mark Velasco, Ty Goodman, Mark Hochstetler, Matt Wilson and Luke Apfel.

The all-star game is organized by the state’s football coaches to honor the accomplishments of the state’s high school senior student athletes.

The annual celestial clash has been played over the years at several venues including Northern Arizona University, Eastern Arizona College, Casa Grande and at the Surprise Sports Complex the past six seasons.

This year, it has been moved to Glendale Community College, where it will be televised on Cox 7.

The all-stars, who were chosen at the conclusion of last season in a voting of AzFCA members, will check in on June 15 to the ASU West Campus in Glendale where they will live and practice until game time.

The stars

Prior to being named an all-star, Garner was tapped All-East region first team offense and was 3A All-State honorable mention on offense.

Garner, an acknowledged team leader all season long, started the season at center but, after suffering a hand injury that hampered him from snapping the ball correctly, moved to guard.

At 5-feet, 9-inches, 230 pounds, he was a physical presence on both the offensive and defensive lines.

He has committed to play next season at Dakota State University, where he will be united with his former PHS coach Josh Anderson, who will be in his second year at the helm of the DSU program.

In addition to Nick Johnson’s naming to the all-star team, he was All-East first team defense and an all-state honorable mention also on defense.

Johnson was also the only Longhorn player named to the Arizona Republic’s 1A-3A Conference All-State team. For it, he was chosen honorable mention.

Playing middle linebacker, where he could roam from sideline to sideline, he wrapped up the season as the East’s leading tackler, with 153 stops.

Although he was honored for defense rather than offense, Nick Johnson also was the Horns’ starting fullback, and led the team in rushing with 435 yards on 92 carries.

Also for Payson in the all-star selection process, two-way lineman Mason Dacanay was selected as a game alternate.

At the time, then PHS coach Matt Mayo said he expected Dacanay to eventually be called to the North team.

However, Dacanay was in Illinois the past week and his father said he didn’t believe the teen had yet been contacted about playing.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.