March 16, 2012
PHS alumni and prep wrestling stars R.C. LaHaye and Larry Wilbanks are building a powerhouse wrestling team at Grand Canyon University from the ground up.
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Grand Canyon University wrestling coaches R.C. LaHaye and Larry Wilbanks have no doubts the athletic experiences they enjoyed at Payson High School greatly contributed to their current coaching success on the collegiate level. “We had some very solid and influential coaches growing up in Payson,” said LaHaye, the GCU head coach. “Coaches Dave Lamotte, Dennis Pirch, Doug Eckhardt, Don Heizer and so many more. “We cannot thank them enough for teaching us this sport as well as the values that go along with it.” The plaudits come on the heels of the former Horn matmen leading Grand Canyon University to its finest wrestling hour.
It’s not often that an Arizona smalltown high school can claim sweeping the traditionally powerful Snowflake Lobos in two sports. But that’s exactly what unfolded March 13 on the Payson High campus where the Horn baseball team run-ruled the Lobos 15-5 and the Lady Longhorns corralled and hog-tied Snowflake 14-2. Those two wins probably had PHS alumni, who have long suffered at the paws of the Lobos, “partying like it was 1999,” to borrow a line from Prince.