Longhorns Will Honor Two Former Players At Home Opener

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Fans attending the Sept. 2 football game vs. Camp Verde should plan on arriving in Longhorn stadium about 15 minutes prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff so they can take in what promises to be a moving ceremony.

During it, Longhorn football players and their coaches will pay tribute to former PHS star Blair River and his family.

Blair died of complications from the flu on Feb. 28 in a Valley-area hospital.

He was only 29 at the time of his death.

Blair was a starting defensive lineman on the Longhorns’ 1998 state champion football team and a member of the 1998-99 PHS state champion wrestling squad. He also won the individual heavyweight state title that same year.

Since the onset of preseason practices, PHS players have worn the decal “58” on the back of their helmets. That’s because Blair wore number 58 during his playing years with the Longhorns.

Also on the Longhorn helmets is the decal “DH” — a tribute to Dallas Haught who was injured during the summer in a motorcycle accident and continues to recover in a Valley area hospital.

Dallas would have been a Longhorn team member this year.

In addition to being part of what will be a truly emotional preseason ceremony, fans are sure to be treated to a highly competitive game against a Camp Verde team that analysts from around the state are predicting will be one of the finest Cowboy teams in years.

Quad run for children

Among the fund-raisers that annually help earn money for the Justice McNeeley Foundation children’s charity is a quad poker run on trails and pathways around Pine and Strawberry.

The eighth annual event is set for Sept. 17 and the entry fee to receive a hand of five cards is $10.

The actual run begins about 10 a.m. at the Rimside Grill and Cabins just south of Pine on the Beeline Highway.

Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the Grill will be offering a breakfast special for $3.99.

Following the run, prizes will be given for both the best and worst poker hands.

Also in the afternoon hours a horseshoe tournament, raffles, auctions and a 50/50 drawing will highlight the celebration.

Entry fee for the horseshoe tournament is $10.

Among the raffle prizes is a Gentron Pro 2, 3000w portable generator valued at $500.

Also at the Rimside is a very nice volleyball court — the presence of which usually spawns several pick-up games.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Bryan Higgens and the Whiskey Creek band will provide music.

Those who participated in a motorcycle poker ride in June to earn money to buy a specialized walker to help a blind boy learn to walk, returned from the benefit singing the praises of Higgens who provided the music at a post-ride celebration at the Chalet in Strawberry.

For more information about the upcoming quad ride, go to: www.justicemcneeley foundation.org/home.

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