When New York Senator William Marcy declared, “to the victor belongs the spoils” he could have been referring to the selection of the 2011 All-Arizona Division IV football team rather than the victory of Jackson Democrats in the election of 1828.
In choosing the All-Division team, The Arizona Republic sports staff focused on undefeated state champion Blue Ridge (14-0) naming eight players to either the first team offense or defense and one player to the second team offense.
Which means of the 11 Yellow Jackets players on the field at one time, all but two received All-Division recognition.
Some veteran coaches are saying that number is the greatest in recent memory.
State runner-up Show Low (11-4) also fared well in the selection process having six players elected to either the first or second team offense or defense and two chosen second team offense.
Chance Randall was Payson’s lone selection to first or second team, making the second team defense as a linebacker.
The Horns did have two athletes — Aaron Barnes and Cody Crisp — receive honorable mention laurels.
Randall, 5 feet, 11 inches, and 220 pounds, was one of the finest linebackers in the state, anchoring a Horn defense that kept the score close in several of the team’s gut-wrenching losses.
Randall, who played fullback on offense, finished the year as the division’s second-ranked defender with 137 tackles, or an average of 13.7 per game.
He was also a three-time Player of the Week selection, having been chosen Sept. 2 vs. Camp Verde, Sept. 23 vs. Show Low, and Oct. 14 vs. River Valley.
PHS coach Byron Quinlan praises Randall “as having a natural nose for the ball.”
In addition to being chosen all-division second team, Randall was named to the All-Section III first team defense.
Barnes, a tailback who transferred to PHS at the onset of the year from the Midwest, wrapped up the year ranked fifth in rushing among all running backs in Division IV.
In 144 attempts, Barnes picked up 1,079 yards or a 107.9 average per game. He also scored four touchdowns.
Like Randall, he was chosen to the Section III first team.
Barnes was Payson High’s Player of the Week following an Aug. 26 win over Chino Valley and again on Oct. 28 after the Horns wrapped up the season with a win at Globe.
In addition to Crisp receiving all-division honorable mention accolades, he was earlier named to the Section III first team as a defensive end.
The Payson honorees, and others from around the state, will now wait for the naming of the all-division players chosen in computer voting by coaches.
Also just over the horizon is the announcement of the seniors who will participate in the Arizona Football Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star game when it is played next summer.