Season Is Never Over For Dedicated Wrestling Coach


The Arizona high school wrestling season wrapped up last weekend and most might believe PHS coach Casey Woodall will be taking a respite from the mat.

Not so, he’ll soon be hosting a Longhorn junior wrestling camp and later train athletes for the USA Wrestling spring and summer season.

When school is out for the summer, he’ll host periodic training sessions that will include weightlifting, conditioning and skill building.

In short, the season is never over for Woodall who is on the verge of returning the PHS program to the huge successes it once enjoyed when the Longhorns won five consecutive state championships.

Around the state, Woodall is being applauded for his selfless dedication to youth and the wrestling program.

Although his duties are never ending, there are those who will never completely understand or appreciate the hours Woodall puts into his profession.

It’s particularly tough because the time away amounts to hours he can’t spend with his young family.

Having coached three different sports at all levels from junior high to high school varsity for 35-plus years, I’ve learned to be a huge admirer of coaches’ wives because of their dedication, commitment to family and the unwavering support they provide their coaching husbands.

It’s a given in prep athletic circles that the athletic success coaches enjoy, can often be traced back to their wives.

That is definitely true with coach Woodall’s wife, Cheryl, who is obviously a big contributor to what he has accomplished with the PHS program since arriving in Payson a few years ago.

Cheryl, (Mrs. Coach) says, “I must say I am a very proud wife. Not many people understand the hard work and sacrifices he makes, especially missing out on family time, to not only help these young men achieve their goals for the season, but in life as well. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.”

I once had an assistant football coach, Digger O’Dell, whose idea of the most glowing accolade he good render was simply, “Good job.”

So, I’ll borrow from Digger, “Good job” Coach and Mrs. Coach.

Junior golfing clinic

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 the Payson High School varsity and junior varsity players will attend, but the clinic is 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 tomorrow

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.

The 3-on-3 tournament tips off at 10:30 a.m., tomorrow, 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.

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.”

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.


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