If there is one thing I’ve learned about Dennis Pirch in our years and years of friendship, it’s that he’s extremely modest and disdains publicity, preferring it go to others, usually the students or athletes he taught or coached.
Years ago, when he was named the National High School Wrestling Coach of the Year, it was my job at the Payson Roundup to cover his induction into the prestigious organization.
Sounds like an easy job, doesn’t it?
No way. It would have been easier to scrounge information from the Super Secret National Security Agency than it was to get reactions from Dennis.
When he knows he’s going to be the subject of some type of news coverage, as flattering as it might be, his usual response goes something like, “Write about the kids, take their pictures… they are the ones most deserving, not me.”
In the small-town journalism profession where some people clamor to see their names in print, it’s refreshing to come across men like Dennis who prefer not to be in the spotlight.
Knowing his dislike for publicity made a recent mistake we made here at the Roundup sting even more.
In the Feb. 5 edition, was Pirch’s “Outdoors Under the Rim” column in which he wrote about buying hunting and fishing licenses early.
We were to include with the column a picture of former Payson High School teacher and coach Jerry Daniels with a nice bull elk he recently bagged.
However, a mistake was made and the picture used was one of Dennis with a whitetail deer he downed during the archery season.
Dennis had brought his picture in to have a copy made and never intended for it to be published in the paper.
But as careful as we try to be here at the Roundup, a mistake was made and the wrong picture was used.
The correct picture of Jerry will appear in today’s sports pages and we apologize to Dennis for the mix-up.
But what we want to know now is, when will you write an “Outdoors Under the Rim” column on that nice whitetail buck you tagged?
We have a very nice picture to go along with it.
JGAA clinic set
A Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) clinic will be held at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 20 at The Golf Club at Chaparral Pines.
The event is open to all junior golfers and will meet the requirement of attending a rules clinic to be eligible to participate in any JGAA upcoming tournaments and events.
All of the Payson High School varsity and junior varsity players will attend, but the clinic open to anyone intending to play junior golf.
However, those wishing to participate who are not members of the PHS golf team must contact Rene’ Apps (928) 468-8955 or Denny Morse (928) 978-3016 to make reservations.
Senior hardwood play at Apache gym
Eric Pendleton and a group of senior basketball players at the Tonto Apache Gym are scheming to host an inaugural basketball tournament open only to players 50-years-and-older.
In brainstorming the fray, the group has come up with the name “Wiseman Basketball Tournament.”
Pendleton says Wiseman was chosen because it refers to elders, who the players certainly are, “They are 62-, 65- and 70-year-olds who play pickup games here.”
The 3-on-3 tournament tips off at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Tonto Apache Gym and will feature 20-minute half court games. Halftimes will be 10 minutes and the tournament format will be double elimination.
The entry fee is $10 per person, cash only. Players must sign a liability waiver to enter.
Pendleton says there will be limited officiating done, mostly by tribal employees, but a “Call Your Own Fouls” honor system will also be in effect.
The registration deadline is Thursday, Feb. 14 at the TAT gym.
For more information, call Pendleton at (928) 474-7093.