The Payson High boys basketball team’s 79-69 pulsating win over visiting Snowflake on Jan. 3 was much more than a stirring victory over a longtime rival.
It offered an opportunity for a group of small town Arizona athletes to express their compassion and concern for the victims of the recent shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
During the showdown against the Lobos, PHS players conducted a tribute by donning specially designed T-shirts that read “Praying for Newtown” on the front. On the reverse side, the T-shirts had printed the names of all 26 victims.
The players wore the T-shirts throughout the entire pre-game warm-up. Team members also autographed one T-shirt with their own personal messages and prayers of hope.
The T-shirt will be sent to the Monroe, Conn. school the Newtown students now attend.
Also at the basketball game, the T-shirts were sold to the public and proceeds will be donated to a special fund in Newtown.
“We didn’t make a dime, it’s all for Newtown,” said coach Joe Sanchez.
The Payson Roundup’s Andy Towle was on hand to photograph the tribute and his pictures will be sent to Monroe at the request of the local paper there.