If the Section III wrestling tournament had wrapped up after the first eight weight classes, Payson would have been in the running for a gold medal finish.
The possibility would have existed because the Longhorns had five medalists in the 106- to 152-pound weight divisions.
In the six weight divisions greater than 152, the Horns had just one medalist — 195-pound Anselmo Vasquez who was third.
Jacob Spear, competing among the 138-pounders, turned in one of the Longhorns’ best finishes placing second to Taylor Martin of Flagstaff Coconino.
For the year, Spear was 41-6.
Conner Anderson also earned silver medal honors, finishing second to Snowflake’s Jacob Lucas.
Anderson wrapped up the campaign with a commendable 30-14 record.
Also in the Longhorn effort, a trio of wrestlers, Dallin Macnab, William McCrary and Zac Wilson managed fourth place showings.
Macnab, a 113-pound entry, compiled a 35-11 mark during the year.
McCrary was 28-14 in the 126-pound division and Wilson, a 120-pounder, was 27-18.
The Payson medalists now advance to the Division III state tournament to be held Feb. 9 to Feb. 11 at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
Macnab, a 12th seed, opens against No. 5 Zach Sanchez (41-7) of Campo Verde.
Wilson is paired in the first round against Campo Verde’s Austin Doll (39-14).
Wilson enters as a No. 10 seed and Doll has a No. 7 ranking.
McCrary, a No. 13 seed, takes on Sabino’s Davey Basila (48-5), the fourth ranked wrestler in the division.
Spear goes to state as a three-seed and is a favorite to whip 14th seeded Chase Reams (15-8) of Mingus in the first round.
Reams took fourth in the S-III tournament
Anderson is clutching a ninth seed and will open at state against Show Low’s Dominic Romero (36-16).
The two met in a regular season thriller in which the match was tied 6-6, but ended due to bleeding by Romero. Anderson was awarded the win.
Romero finished third in the division at the sectional tournament.
Vasquez is seeded eighth and will take on ninth seeded Brian Kachler (28-18) at state. In the sectional tournament Kachler was second.