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Keith Morris

Stories by Keith

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Batters might as well be swinging toothpicks against Arissa

More Than a Game

The ace pitcher didn’t even glance at the Tanque Verde player dancing off of second base.

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Realignment has PHS teams facing several long trips

Gas up the bus, Payson teams will spend a lot of time on the road in the next three years thanks to the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s new division and section alignment.

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Longhorns hard ball team facing hard times

Payson’s baseball team suffered through a tough final week of spring break with a pair of losses. The Longhorns fell 10-1 to a strong Fountain Hills team at home on Tuesday, March 17 and 6-5 at Snowflake on Wednesday.

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Payson runner joins elite company at prestigious invitational

Payson High can boast of plenty of memorable performances in the history of its boys track program. Trevor Clawson added his name to the archives with an outstanding effort on Saturday.

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Triumphant dress rehearsal for playoff glory

Dominant pitching powers Longhorns to Gracie Haught title

In what they hope is a dress rehearsal for the ultimate celebration at Arizona State University on May 11, gleeful Payson softball players hugged, jumped into each other’s arms and reveled in a tournament championship Saturday night on their home field.

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Gracie Haught Classic Scoreboard

Gracie Haught Classic scoreboard

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Newcomer fits right in

Anilese Hayes took a bit of a skip as she came down on a home plate surrounded by Payson High softball players.

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Best of the best converge on Payson

Longhorns face tough test in quest for glory

Payson High’s softball team is the favorite in many people’s minds to win the first state championship in program history this season. But the Longhorns will have to get by several other teams with title aspirations of their own if they are to realize their ultimate goal.

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Longhorns stomp Fountain Hills 17-0

Welcome to the big time.

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Stampeding Longhorns trample Cougars 11-0

The Division 3 softball rankings don’t debut until April 1, but Payson is making a strong case for the No. 1 spot when they finally are released.

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Payson track teams quick off the starting blocks

Only one Division 3 team finished in front of Payson’s boys track and field team in Saturday’s 21-team Scottsdale Horizon Husky Invitational, which featured some of the largest schools in the state.

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Depth powers boys track team

If Payson’s boys track and field team is going to challenge for a Division 3 state championship this season as coach Jonathan Ball believes is possible, depth will be a key reason.

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Sparkling defense saves Longhorn no-hitter

Arissa pitches near perfect game

Cori Barnett felt the pressure as she watched the ball begin to descend.

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Offense hits its stride as PHS baseball wins another thriller

These Longhorns are developing a flare for the dramatic.

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Speaker urges students: Be true to yourself

Justin Boudreau figures he’s addressed more than a million students and teachers in his 13 years as a motivational speaker.

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Cards’ Bethel overcame stress to excel in NFL

“I had really bad problems with stress and sometimes getting depressed,” 24-year-old Arizona Cardinals player Justin Bethel said after his presentation to Payson High School students on Friday.

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Sarnowski’s 1-hitter powers Longhorns in home opener

The Longhorns revealed a welcome depth of character on Friday with their first win of the season.

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Payson softball team storms out of gate

The dream team has fueled Payson’s championship hopes with a blistering 8-1 opening to the season.

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Bring can of food to Tuesday's baseball game

Payson High’s baseball players and coaches ask anyone attending the Tuesday, March 10 home junior varsity and varsity baseball games against Camp Verde to bring a can of food.

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AIA finalizes new divisions

After weeks of appeals by schools, the Arizona Interscholastic Association last week released its final division placements for the 2015-16 through 2017-18 school years and a couple of interesting things stood out.

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Young girls track team features plenty of depth

It’s a young Payson High girls track and field team that opens the season today at the Queen Creek Sanders Montague Desert Classic.

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Sport shoe program just keeps on growing

Like a growing child, the Payson United Methodist Church Sport Shoe Program keeps getting bigger.

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PHS baseball starts 0-4

Payson High’s young baseball team took some lumps against quality opponents in the season-opening Fountain Hills Invitational Wednesday-Saturday, going 0-4.

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Payson Softball Player Profiles

1-Aubrielle Paulson is a freshman pitcher/infielder. As a speedy left-handed slap hitter, she brings another dimension to the offense. She is strong in fundamentals through club ball experience, and she should see action in one of the infield positions when not pitching.

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Longhorns set sights on title

Last season was magical for Payson High’s softball team.

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Talent, depth and speed could carry boys track team far

It’s not as much the largest turnout he’s seen in his seven years with Payson High’s boys track and field team, but the talent level that has Jonathan Ball excited as the Longhorns prepare for the upcoming season.

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Donors keep sports afloat

High school coaches across the state face a challenge at least as great as getting students ready to compete. They must also raise money to keep the program afloat.

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Young Longhorns ready to hit the diamond

It’s a drastically different Payson High baseball team that opens the season in the Fountain Hills Invitational on Wednesday.

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Sunflower Scrimmage Baseball at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21

Payson High’s baseball season doesn’t officially begin until the Longhorns participate in the Fountain Hills Invitational beginning on Wednesday. And PHS doesn’t open the home schedule until entertaining Morenci on March 6.

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Experienced Horns can’t wait to get back on links

With four starters back from a top-five state finish in 2014, Payson High golf coach Denny Morse can’t wait to get the season started.

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How appealing: AIA drops PHS football to D4

In the end, it all worked out fine.

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Longhorn trio wrestle down state medals

Vega takes third, Anderson and Keeney fifth

PRESCOTT VALLEY – Dramatic finishes dominated the day as Payson High’s three Division 3 State Wrestling Tournament qualifiers capped strong seasons with thrilling victories at Prescott Valley Event Center on Thursday and Friday.

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Varsity basketball team buys uniforms for 8th-graders

Wildly successful raffle makes it all possible

A year ago, Payson High assistant boys basketball coach Randy Herrera had an idea to help raise needed funds for the high school boys basketball program, as well as the school’s bass club, which he heads.

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Is 2015 finally the Year of the Longhorn?

More Than a Game

It all started Monday.

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Johnson back to lead PHS softball program

Talk to Curtis Johnson for a few minutes and you realize the man knows softball.

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Young rodeo stars shine in Cottonwood mud

Despite dealing with a lot of mud, young Rim Country rodeo stars enjoyed another strong performance at the Arizona High School Rodeo Association and Arizona Junior High Rodeo Association event in Cottonwood on Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

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Trio of grapplers qualify for state

Three Payson High wrestlers qualified for the Division 3 state tournament by placing among the top four wrestlers at their weight class at Saturday’s Section 1 tournament in Winslow.

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Lil' Longhorns take center stage

As good as the Payson High varsity cheerleaders are — and they finished eighth in the state this year in show cheer, while the pom line finished fifth — they were overshadowed at halftime of the boys varsity basketball game against Goodyear Estrella Foothills on Jan. 6.

Payson prevails in 3 of 4 AIA appeals

Two days after losing her bid to get the Arizona Interscholastic Association to drop Payson’s football team down to the division she feels the Longhorns belong, Payson High athletic director Jennifer White was back in front of an AIA appeals committee on Thursday.

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Club Payson back in action

Club Payson is back in action with girls ages 4-18 competing on six teams in the Arizona Region of USA Volleyball, as well as a fundamental program offering basic instruction to the youngest girls.

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Boys push Show Low in season finale

Payson’s boys basketball team surfed into Tuesday’s season finale against Show Low riding a wave of emotion from a thrilling win over Eagar Round Valley four nights earlier that snapped a 10-game losing streak.

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Girls close on high note

This season has featured its share of disappointments for Payson’s girls basketball team.

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AIA rejects Payson appeal of football placement

The Arizona Interscholastic Association on Tuesday denied Payson High’s appeal of its initial placement in Division 3 for football for the next three-year scheduling block.

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Wrestler hopes to join dad, brother as champion

Trying to use pressure to win title as inspiration

Trevor Anderson knows a couple of things about state wrestling championships.

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Riotous celebration and a storybook ending

Four-point play brings fans to their feet

Even nightmare seasons can feature a memorable game or two.

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Wrestlers fall to Cowboys in rare home match

Unlike Payson High’s boys and girls basketball teams, who enjoy many opportunities to play in front of the home crowd each season, the wrestlers don’t.

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Injuries can’t damage duo’s team spirit

Tessa Hintze and Sara Novack expected to serve as key cogs in a Payson girls basketball team with high expectations this sesaon.

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Another painful loss for Longhorns

Payson’s girls basketball team entered Friday’s game against visiting Eagar Round Valley hoping to snap a six-game losing streak.

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Four-point play with :01 left lifts Longhorns to dramatic boys basketball win over Elks

Chaz Davis was fouled while sinking a three-point basket with one second remaining and went to the line and calmly sank the free throw to complete a rare four-point play that lifted Payson to a 55-54 boys basketball victory over visiting Eagar Round Valley on Friday night.

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AIA moving PHS up a division in four sports

Payson appealing initial placement for football, volleyball, baseball and softball teams

The Payson Athletic Director plans to appeal a sweeping realignment of schools by the Arizona Interscholastic Association that will force many Payson teams to compete with much larger schools.

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