Phs Soccer Stars Tapped For All-State


John Buskirk and teammate Bubba Nielson were named to the All-State soccer first team by the Arizona Republic.

John Buskirk and teammate Bubba Nielson were named to the All-State soccer first team by the Arizona Republic. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Better late than never might be the best way to describe the March 6 announcement of the Division IV All-State soccer season.

The notice can be defined as late for Payson High soccer players because their season wrapped up last year — November of 2012.

But the Horns play in the fall soccer league while the Valley area schools, which play in a warmer climate, play in a winter league.

The Arizona Republic, which announced last week’s naming of the All-D-IV players, obviously waited until both seasons ended to name their selections.

On the Republic’s team, Payson High’s John Buskirk and Bubba Nielson were named first team.

Buskirk was chosen as a defender and Nielson as a midfielder.

Last fall when D-IV coaches announced their honorees, seven players were chosen.

Jeffrey Kelley, Guillermo Lopez, Noe Vega, Logan Morris and Nielson were named all-division first team. Isom White and Buskirk were second team.

Vega, Lopez and Morris were all repeat honorees, having been named all-division last season.

A field of 15 seniors from the 2012 team will graduate this spring, prompting coach Chris Avakian to begin a search for replacements that formed one of the finest teams in recent school history.

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