Sportsmanship Must Extend Beyond Court


That dust-up that occurred Jan. 31 in Wilson Dome just seconds after a boys basketball game between Payson and Fountain Hills wrapped now seems mild in comparison to a scrap that occurred last week at Fort Thomas in a boys basketball game between the Pima Roughriders and Fort Thomas Apaches.

According to reports from the game, officials forced more than 300 fans and spectators to leave the gym just before halftime due to an unruly crowd, a disorderly Apache player who had been assessed two technical fouls for arguing a call with an official and a third player who received another technical and was tossed from the game.

Sources indicate that at that point, officials indicated they wished to end the game as a forfeit.

Of course, that sent the hometown fans into a frenzy.

A least two school officials, the principal and athletic director, addressed the crowd to try and defuse the situation, that reportedly included yelling obscenities and throwing objects onto the floor.

When the two school officials’ pleas did little good to quiet the home crowd, the referees apparently decided the only way to continue the game was to clear the gym of all fans.

In Arizona, referees have the right to do so if they are concerned with their safety or the safety of players and fans.

The disgruntled boosters left the game only to be greeted by authorities who were there to police the situation and prevent any criminal acts from being committed.

Sadly, calling the game off, canceled the Apaches’ basketball royalty halftime program and sent visiting Pima fans packing home after paying a $5 admission fee.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association is reportedly studying the situation for possible infractions.

Card rookie commits cardinal sin of football

In penning a story for today’s sports regarding the Longhorn boys basketball team as it prepares for the state playoffs, I wrote a cardinal sin of basketball is turnovers.

Players simply have to eliminate them to have a chance at winning.

That got me to thinking about football and what some of that sport’s cardinal sins are.

Among the gridiron no-no’s all coaches teach players not to commit is fielding a punt inside the 10-yard line.

For untold seasons, coaches have been instructing players inside the 10 to wave a fair catch signal, move away, let the ball roll into the end zone and allow their team to take over possession on the 20-yard line.

Now that’s sound strategy, I don’t care who you are.

But consider Arizona Cardinals rookie Patrick Peterson committing a special team’s sin in early November by fielding a punt on the 1-yard line in overtime, nonetheless.

Although Peterson went against every sound piece of advice coaches have been offering since Knute Rockne, Pop Warner and Amos Alonzo Stagg were marveling at a new play called the “forward pass,” the Cardinal speedster ran around two defenders, cut up field, leaped over a tackler and steamrolled the punter before winning a footrace into the end zone to give the Cards a 19-13 win over the St. Louis Rams.

So much for cardinal sins.

More jayvees needed

A lack of players for the junior varsity team has Payson High School baseball coach Scott Novack concerned.

He knows the importance a jayvee team plays in grooming up and coming players for varsity action.

But not enough of the younger athletes showed up for season-opening practices when they began Feb. 6. If more do not turn out, PHS might not field a jayvee squad.

Anyone interested in playing baseball the upcoming season needs only to show up on Payson High School diamond after school any upcoming weekday.

Prospective players must have physical exams and other paperwork completed and on file in athletic director Gary Fishel’s office at PHS.

Calling all Niners

The Payson Women’s Golf Association Nine Hole Club will begin their 2012 season play on Thursday, April 5 at Payson Golf Course. The Payson Niners play every Thursday morning beginning April 7, with springtime tee times of 9 a.m. Golfers of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Any women interested in joining the league should call Debbie at (928) 595-1176 or Ann at (928) 468-6686.


Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

This is a little late but maybe there were not many JV basketball players signing up to play ball is the cost to the student or parents to play ball. What happened to the free school system?


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