A banner turnout of fans and supporters is sure to be a morale booster for Lady Longhorn softball players when they begin pursuit of the school’s first state championship at 6 p.m. Friday, May 4 at Rose Mofford Complex located at 9833 N. 25th Ave. in Phoenix.
It’s a given in sports circles that athletes, from elementary age to the professional ranks, play better in front of a supportive crowd.
The hometown fans don’t swing the bat, make a catch or run the bases, yet every athlete, coach or fan understands the backing of a home crowd is crucial to success.
Sure, sports are physical in nature but they are played mentally as well and that’s where fan support has a crucial role.
The encouragement of friends, neighbors, classmates and teachers motivates athletes to perform their best.
No one has ever completely explained the phenomenon, but coaches at all levels know it exists.
Statistics show home teams, or those buoyed by a home crowd, play better and win more.
Some call it home cookin’, others call it home field advantage.
While neither the Lady Horns nor their opponent on Friday, whether it is Monument Valley or Fountain Hills, will be on their own turf, the team that has the largest crowd show up in support will have the all-important psychological edge.
State tournament games are played on neutral fields, like Rose Mofford Complex, so that one team doesn’t have an unfair advantage.
But if crowds of people interested in seeing the girls succeed show up at Mofford, the home field advantage swings in favor of Payson.
While the Lady Horns won’t know their tournament opening foes until the results of a first-round game tomorrow, May 2, between No. 16 Monument Valley and No. 17 Fountain Hills, are in, it’s time for friends and champions of the Lady Horns to begin planning their trip to Mofford.
Running for fun
The American Legion Riders 7th annual Charity Fun Run to benefit the Payson Supply Line will be held May 12, starting at American Legion Post 69 , 709 E. Highway 260.
Besides the Fun Run, there will be T-shirt sales, food, raffles and music by Blue Frog.
Over the past six years, the run has raised thousands of dollars for the Payson Supply Line, which provides much-needed personal items of comfort and care to military personnel in a combat zone.
The goal of the fun run is to this year earn at least $10,000.
For more information, log on to paysonsupplyline.com.