Bid adieu to the winter sports and welcome with open arms the spring programs of baseball, softball, golf and track and field.
The track and field campaign tips off tomorrow, March 5, at the Desert Classic in Gilbert.
For the upcoming season, coaches Jonathan Ball and Chuck Yale will scour the roster looking for the athletes to replace Maddie Nossek, who graduated last spring and now attends Arizona State University.
Nossek was one of the finest athletes to ever don a PHS uniform and it might take several different athletes to rack up the points she did singlehandedly.
The golf team does not play until March 19, when coach Bret Morse takes his charges to near Safford for the Thatcher Invitational.
Fans hoping to see the linksters in action will be forced to fire up the family buggy and hit the pavement, because the team does not have a home match this year.
The biggest challenge facing Morse this year will be to find replacements for three of last year’s top-five golfers, who graduated with the class of 2010.
The team does, however, have two returning letter winners — Tyler Apps and Jeffrey Kelly — who could become some of the best individuals in Division III.
The baseball team has been hard at work preparing for a rigorous schedule that includes two tournaments in which the Longhorns have not previously competed.
They are the Wolves Classic tournament to be held March 31 to April 2 in Goodyear and the Mesa Citrus Baseball Classic scheduled to begin April 21.
In softball, the Lady Longhorns traveled yesterday, Thursday, to Buckeye where they are battling in the three-day Hawks Invitational. On March 18-19 the Lady Horns host the Gracie Lee Haught Tournament. Tournament director Charlene Brown is predicting could be the best ever due to the presence of several of the state’s finest teams.
Action in all four sports continues throughout the spring before wrapping up in early May with post-season tournaments.
For the baseball and softball teams, the campaign will be the final one in which they compete in the region-conference format.
Last year, the Arizona Interscholastic Association did away with regions and conferences, replacing them with sections and divisions.
For the individual sports, including golf and track and field, the section-division alignment went into effect this season.
Next season, the baseball and softball teams will compete in D-III, Section III.
Golf and track and field is aligned in D-III with no section assigned.