Club Affiliation Not Factored Into Volleyball Team Selection

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It was almost inevitable when two club volleyball teams surfaced in Payson last year a rivalry would be created.

That’s just the nature of competitive sports.

But in the friendly rivalry that has risen between the two local volleyball teams — Club Rim and Club Payson — there is a rumor circulating that has no truth. In fact, the rumor is disrespectful to Lady Longhorns coach Arnold Stonebrink.

The rumor is that if an athlete plays for Club Rim they shouldn’t try out for the PHS team, because they would be cut since Stonebrink is a Club Payson coach and allegedly wants school players on his off-season team.

The coach said he first heard the disparaging rumor from a Club Rim player who he immediately “set straight.”

Stonebrink calls the rumor “ludicrous,” saying whichever club team a PHS athlete plays for makes absolutely no difference to him when selecting school team members or deciding playing time.

Stonebrink is an honorable man and dedicated coach who has the best interests of the student athletes at heart. Showing any type of prejudice in selecting school players is not part of his makeup.

Secondly, he loves to win as much as any coach and eliminating some of the town’s finest players because of their club team affiliation would be foolhardy, counterproductive and imprudent.

After all, there are several players on Club Rim — the Wessel twins and Emmee Ashby to name a few — who undoubtedly will be stars on next year’s PHS varsity team.

Stonebrink’s mama didn’t raise a fool and he’s not about to turn away three of his best players on a 2012 squad that could morph into one of the Lady Longhorns’ finest-ever teams.

Stonebrink has said that there are plenty of players in Payson for two club teams and the existence of both can only make the middle school and high school programs stronger.

That’s a fact.

Being cut or not receiving playing time because of an off-season club affiliation is pure nonsense.

Sherman invites

Payson Men’s Golf Association veteran Herb Sherman is issuing an invitation to join the local club as as it prepares for what he predicts will be a banner 2012 campaign.

To join, simply stop by the Payson Golf Course pro shop and fill out an application. The fee is a very reasonable $62 per season.

Next, make plans to attend a season-opening breakfast to begin at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 14 at Payson Golf Course. It will be followed by a four-man scramble.

Because former Payson High School culinary arts teacher Teri McKee is preparing the meal, Sherman — a retired high school teacher and basketball coach from Scottsdale — is expecting a mouthwatering breakfast.

McKee’s husband, Mike, is the PMGA president.

PMGA tournaments are played each Wednesday morning at PGC, weather permitting. Some are interclub tournaments played on courses in Prescott, White Mountains and near Cottonwood.

Also during the year there are several championships including the three-week-long match play shoot-out, a 2-man best ball fray, the President’s Cup and the state championship 2-man scramble.

Just for fun there’s also a low net turkey shoot, a buck and doe format, 4-man poker and something called “Blind Partners picked after 80 percent handicap 2-man combined low net.”

Whew, that’s a mouthful.

Sherman’s advice to those considering joining the PMGA is “don’t worry about your ability, just come out and have some fun.”

That sounds inviting.

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