Like any good running back, former Longhorn star Payson Herring wishes he’d had more carries in the Arizona Football Association 2A-5A North vs. South All-Star game, but he is relishing in the knowledge he was on the winning team.
Herring and his South teammates walloped the North 35-7 in the game played June 24 in Surprise Stadium.
Herring entered the all-star clash with lofty credentials including being named all-region and all-state in addition to his selection to the prestigious postseason team.
But South coach Roy Lopez of Tempe Marcos de Niza opted to not use Herring extensively at the position he is most comfortable, running back, instead inserting him at cornerback and special teams.
Obviously disappointed, Herring said his goal continued to be to contribute as best he could at the other positions he was assigned.
For the South, Phoenix Horizon graduate Ryan Stanford was a one-man wrecking crew at quarterback, throwing two touchdown passes in the first half and another in the second half to lead the South celestials to the 28-point triumph.
Eagar Round Valley defensive back Rulon Udall, a player Longhorn team members know all too well, having played against him twice during the 2010 season, intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.
Having a Payson player, Herring, play on the South team was more than a bit odd since PHS athletes have not been on the South All-Star team since 1987 when Ty Goodman, Mark Velasco, Ty Chilson and Matt Rambo were all-stars.
Almost every other year, Payson all-stars were members of the North.
PHS coach Jim Quinlan explained the change was because the game format was changed this year from a 1A to 3A all-star game to 2A to 5A matchup.
“The players from 5A II, 4A I and 3A and 2A East and North (regions) were put on the South,” said Quinlan. “It was different.”
Payson’s Westin Gibson was to play in the all-star game, but after signing a letter of intent to next year play baseball at South Mountain Community College he opted out of the football showdown.
The evening after the 2A-5A Arizona game another all-star shindig was held in Surprise Stadium, this time pitting a team from Southern California against an All-Star team from Arizona that had on its roster Show Low quarterback Rathen Ricedorff and Blue Ridge standout Sheldon Jacks.
Ricedorff, who holds the Arizona record for most TD passes in a game with nine, didn’t have a particularly good game throwing two interceptions.
SC romped over the Arizona stars 27-7 on an evening in which the temperature at kick off was soaring above 110 degrees.