During halftime of a 2009 Payson High School basketball game in Wilson Dome, Mogollon Sporting Association member Gary Barcom excited the crowd by announcing two new $2,000 scholarships would be available for future graduating seniors.
Barcom, also a MSA co-founder, told the audience that the scholarships were being named in fellow member Ted Pettet’s honor because of his many contributions to the town and school district.
Pettet was Payson’s first mayor, once coached basketball and baseball, founded the track and field team and taught at the school for 22 years. He was also a Payson High School athletic director, a Little League coach and served on Gila Community College’s board of directors.
“It is an honor to be recognized and a privilege to have lived in Payson for the last 50 years,” Pettet said at the time.
He also described himself as a “modern-day pioneer who didn’t arrive in a covered wagon but rather a ’55 Chevy pickup.”
To be eligible for the two scholarships, applicants must be graduating seniors who have lettered in one varsity sport or band.
“We know how important it is for students to do things successfully outside the classroom,” Pettet said. “So we wanted to honor that.”
The first Pettet scholarships, given out in the spring of 2009, went to Dakoda Wholly and Cydney Figueroa.
Each year since Barcom’s announcement, scholarship applicants have gathered at Rumsey Park for a hamburger cook-out and the announcement of recipients.
The 2013 scholarship winners were announced on May 22 at Rumsey Park, where Pettet revealed that Shayna Neal and Eric Vohs were the newest honorees. Morgan Chilson was runner-up to Neal and received $100.
In football last season, Vohs, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 175-pound wide receiver, defensive end, punter and kicker, was tapped to the Division IV second team. Vohs also played basketball for the Longhorns.
Prior to beginning his high school career, Vohs starred on Payson Little League All-Star teams.
In volleyball, Neal held down an outside hitter position for the Lady Horns and consistently drew praise from coach Arnold Stonebrink.
Shayna has the potential of being my best right-side hitter ever,” the coach said at the onset of last season. “It’s a hard position to hit from, but she gets up high and is aggressive.”
Neal was at her hitting best in the 2012 Snowflake tournament, racking up 36 kills.