Wet Fields Force Postponement Of Scrimmages

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Season opening baseball and softball scrimmages against the Winslow Bulldogs on Feb. 15 were postponed due to wet Payson High fields, drenched by the rain that fell the previous day.

“There are some dangerously wet areas on both fields, so we’re siding with caution,” said Payson High School athletic director Gary Fishel. 

The baseball scrimmage is rescheduled for 3:30 p.m. today, Friday, Feb. 17 and the softball skirmish will be played 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23. Both make up games are on PHS fields.

Following today’s make-up scrimmage, the baseball team begins preparations for an appearance Wednesday, Feb. 22 to Saturday, Feb. 25 in the eight-team Fountain Hills Invitational.

The Horns open at 8 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22 against Northwest Christian.

For the upcoming season, Scott Novack, who is beginning his second year at the helm of the program, will coach the Longhorns.

Last season he led the Horns to a berth in the Class 3A state tournament, only to be eliminated in the first round by a 10-0 loss to the Florence Gophers.

Off that team, Novack must find replacements for Westin Gibson and Jake Sleeper, who graduated last spring with the Class of 2011. Filling their cleats will be a tough chore, as both were All-East and All-State first team honorees who also were selected to the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game.

Veteran Will Dunman, also the Rim Country Middle School principal, will once again coach the Lady Longhorn softball team.

Kadie Tenney, a former Lady Horn softball star, will assist Dunman.

The two coaches will be out to find a replacement for 2011 All-East honoree Rylee Halenar who graduated last spring.

The good news is that slugger Taylor Petersen, who holds the school’s home run record, returns for her junior season.

The Lady Horns travel March 1 to Buckeye for the Hawks Softball Invitational.

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