Much like the hero cowboy rode to the rescue of the damsel in distress in old western movie classics, the Mogollon Sporting Association saved the day when the Payson High School scoreboard went on the blink just days before the Longhorns’ season-opening game against Chino Valley.
Because funds were not available in the school budget to repair the scoreboard before kickoff, the MSA donated about $1,600 to do the repairs. MSA member Ted Pettet said the association recently established an emergency fund to be used when last-minute financial assistance is needed.
The money used to get the scoreboard up and running came from the emergency fund.
Nice work, MSA members.
Organizers are anticipating an overflow crowd will show up Sunday, Sept. 9 for the annual Payson Demolition Derby.
Gates open at noon at the Payson Event Center and derby action tips off at 1:30 p.m.
The derby is held in conjunction with the Northern Gila County Fair and is sponsored by Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism and Honeycutt Rodeo.
Admission is $12 for adults and for children 3 to 11 years it is $6. Children under 2 years of age are admitted free.
Nelson Beck, town parks supervisor and one of the organizers of the event, has this year added an attraction that should make the derby even more exciting and thrilling than it has been in the past.
It includes a locals-only lawn mower drag race that Beck refuses to tell the length of, saying only, “We will have a little twist in it that will make it exciting and fun.”
Beck stresses that the drag race is only open to Rim Country residents and he’s urging anyone interested to seriously consider participating, “Come on out and embrace your inner redneck.”
The entry fee is just $5 and the winner will pocket $100 in prize money.
In addition to the lawn mower drag race, Beck is laying plans for an inaugural lawn mower tug-o-war in which entrants will go head-to-head against one another to see which can drag the other’s mower over the centerline.
It’ll be similar to those tractor pulls that are the rage in the Midwest farming communities.
Anyone interested in participating in the drag race or tug-o-war should call Beck at (928) 474-7242, ext. 7 for entry forms and event information.
Also highlighting the upcoming derby will be the presence of several top-notch Valley area drivers who will be in Payson for the first time to try and knock off a pair of the local derby’s most successful participants — Jim Atwater and Mickey Reetz.
“Word of how good they have been (in Payson) has spread around the state and there are some (drivers) coming up here loaded for bear, hoping to beat them,” said Beck.
Also some local drivers who’ve competed in past derbies are expected to enter.
Among them is Forrest Waggoner a crowd favorite who thrills the spectators with his often-bizarre feats.
At the trucks derby in June, Waggoner was named Top Local Driver and Most Aggressive. His truck, a 1976 Ford 4x4 F-250 was voted Prettiest Truck. Waggoner personally customized it as the cartoon character “Tow Mater” from the movie “Cars.”
Among other Payson drivers, Brett Carnes has traditionally shown well, reaching the finals in 2007 and Don and Rob Shover have done well in truck events.
With at least two new events and the presence of some top-notch drivers including the locals, the derby is sure to be a great entertainment value for young and old alike.
So, drop by PEC Sunday and ready yourself for some adrenaline-crazed fun.