Sparky And Wilbur To Tug Family Loyalties

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It would be fun and entertaining to be a fly on the wall in the Nossek home next fall when Arizona State University plays the University of Arizona in the two schools’ bitter rivalry football game.

The banter might be, “Fall down Arizona, fall down black and blue” and from the other side of the room we’d hear “Bear Down Red and Blue, let ’em know who’s who.”

Of course the Wildcat cheers will be coming from Scott Nossek, a Payson physical therapist and longtime Arizona booster.

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Maddie Nossek

His teenage daughter, Maddie, will supply the Devil wit.

Although she’s been raised in a Cat den, she turned into a devoted Devils’ disciple last week after taking her official recruiting visit to the campus of Arizona State in Tempe.

As a track and field star at Payson High last season, she was there as a Sun Devil scholarship recruit. After a day filled with activities, coaches were impressed enough with her to issue an invitation to join the ASU team next season. Nossek, a state track champion in two events and one of the country’s finest heptathletes, is set to accept ASU’s offer.

“It was so much more than I hoped for,” she said. “I thought I would have to walk on.”

Nossek graduates this week from PHS with the class of 2010.

But before she reports to ASU to begin her collegiate track and field career, she will participate in the prestigious 35th Great Southwest Track and Field Classic to be held June 3 to June 5 on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

There, she’ll lock horns against some of the finest athletes from throughout the United States and in some events, other parts of the world.

Although her primary focus will be on the seven-event heptathlon, she also might compete in the open high jump and long jump.

“We’re going to wait and until later to make that decision,” she said.

Nossek’s appearance in the Great Southwest will not be her first. Last year, as a PHS junior, she competed, finishing 14th.

The showing impressed PHS coach Jonathan Ball who said at the time, “She established herself as a front runner for next year’s Great Southwest as eight athletes in front of her were seniors this year.”

Most impressive about Nossek’s performance at the Great Southwest is that of the seven events she competed in, she had never participated in three.

After watching his star perform, Ball predicted, “With hard work, she can become one of the best heptathletes in the region and one of the best in the nation.”

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Scott Nossek

It’s no secret that Nossek has put in the hard work the coach asked for. Proof exists in her outstanding performances throughout the track and field season, an invitation to last weekend’s Meet of Champions, a ducat to the Great Southwest and an invitation from Arizona State University.

Now that her Payson High career is at an end and college waits just over the horizon, all that’s left for her to do is convince her father to hang up his Wildcat red and blue in favor of his daughter’s maroon and gold. She might even be able, next fall, to convince him to chime in at football time with “Fight Devils down the field, fight with your might and never yield.”

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