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Max Foster

Stories by Max

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Coach evaluates track team athletes

Following the Payson High School track team’s return March 4 from the prestigious Desert Classic Invitational in Queen Creek, coach Jonathan Ball took time out to evaluate his athletes’ performances. (See the March 8 sports edition for complete results from the meet).

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All-Star basketball standouts honored

Chaz Davis, Ryan Ricke honored

A pair of Payson High School boys basketball players has received All-Section V honors in a voting of varsity coaches.

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Payson golfers bounce back

After stumbling in a season opening loss to Wickenburg, the Longhorn golf team rebounded in a big way to beat an always-tough Fountain Hills team 182 to 195.

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PHS golf team struggling

The Payson High School varsity golf team struggled in its 2016 debut. The team lost to host Wickenburg, but whipped a Bagdad team that was short one player.

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Low season – high honors

The idiom “To the victor belong the spoils” often applies to high school sports, meaning when it comes to naming postseason all-star teams, winning teams usually receive the most honorees.

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Hitting their stride

Payson High School senior Gerardo Moceri stamped himself a legitimate contender to win state long-distance championships by legging his way to a first-place finish in the 3200 meters at the Desert Classic Invitational.

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Tournament rules force rare tied games for Longhorns

A 1-1-2 record in the Fountain Hills Tournament is not what Payson High baseball coach Brian Young had his sights set on.

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Softball season off to bumpy start

The Payson High School girls softball team started its season with high hopes and mixed results — beating Higley 7-2, but falling to Estrella Foothills 7-4.

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Girls track team rebuilding

The Payson High girls track and field season will open the season today, Friday, March 4 at Queen Creek, with just one returning individual state qualifier and only four seniors.

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Fuel reduction group explores options

Rattlin' the Rim

For almost 20 years, wife, Kay and I hosted the Tucson Amphitheater boys basketball team at our home during the weekend it played in the Payson High School Summer Invitational Tournament.

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Pine Strawberry School’s archery team hits the bullseye

Young team sets sights on trip to the nationals

The terrific trio of seventh-graders, Raci Miranda, Caleb Barlow and Emma Paine paced the Pine Strawberry School archery team, scoring top-five finishes for their ages at the Ben Avery Spring 3D Fun Shoot held last week near Phoenix.

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Can young Longhorn golfers uphold a winning tradition?

For about as long as anyone can remember, a Morse has headed up the Payson High School Golf program. Bret Morse, once the longest-tenured coach in any sport at PHS, led the Longhorns to the 2001 state champion and was state runner-up in 2002, 2009 and 2012.

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Boys track team faces an epic struggle

Still determined to finish in top five this year

The Payson High School boys track team’s quest this season to finish in the top five for Division III might resemble Rocky Balboa’s epic battle against Clubber Lang.

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Making up snow days not required

Rattlin' the Rim

Ferris Bueller took a school day off 30 years ago by calling in claiming he was sick.

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Girls softball team ‘rebuilding’

Coach says team depth may improve waiting for injured seniors to return

Fans can expect the Payson High girls softball team to have a decidedly different look at the onset of the season than it does when the postseason playoffs begin in May.

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Experienced baseball coaching staff returns

Head coach says Horns have toughest schedule in recent memory

Payson High baseball Coach Brian Young is as giddy with his veteran coaching staff as he is euphoric with his promising group of seasoned players.

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Down to one Paulson

Next year’s Brigham Young University softball team could be anchored by a pair of flame-throwing pitching sisters from Payson High School.

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Longhorns hope to sparkle this year on the diamond

The aura of confidence circulating in the Payson High preseason baseball camp is almost a sure indication the upcoming season will be one for the ages.

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Top teams slug it out

The Arizona Interscholastic Associa­tion Division III boys basketball tournament has begun for 24 teams in each bracket that advanced via top finishes in section tournament.

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MSA donations total: $2 million

Is there a civic nonprofit in Arizona more altruistic and philanthropic than the Mogollon Sporting Association? Probably not.

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Rim Country runners getting ready to honor Tillman

With the start of 12th annual Pat’s Run just over the horizon, April 23 in Tempe, Rim Country walkers, joggers and runners of all ages are gearing up to join the legions of locals who have participated in the event since it began.

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Coaches now must vote on top picks

Strong players have a shot even after weak season

The selection of postseason all-section and all-division honorees by high school coaches is an inexact science.

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Critical Fuel Reduction meeting set

Rattlin' the Rim

Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction’s meeting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24 in the Senior Dining Room at the Community Center might be the most crucial the committee has hosted in its 12 years of existence.

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Longhorn wrestlers suffer painful tournament fate

The Longhorn wrestling team’s showing in the Division III state tournament is not what fans, coaches and team members had their sights set on.

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Big money, for big fish

A nice-sized field of 78 pro and amateur teams, including several from the Rim Country, turned out Feb. 13 for the fledgling Wild West Bass Trail circuit’s first-ever tournament at Roosevelt Lake.

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Hoopsters: One and Done

The Payson Longhorn boys basketball appearance in the 2016 Division III Section V postseason tournament is best described as “one and done.”

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Four Payson wrestlers dreaming of championships

Every passionate prep wrestler who has donned a school singlet goes to sleep at night dreaming of winning a state championship.

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Apache Lake Tournament champs weigh in with huge fish

Those watching the Let’s Talk Fishin’ tournament Feb. 6 at Apache Lake might have walked away believing there is some Zen-like correlation between success in high school wrestling and professional bass fishing.

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Brave season ends: Longhorns go down fighting

Loss to Alchesay knocks girls out of tough postseason tournament

The Payson High School girls basketball season screeched to a halt Tuesday evening at Valley Christian with a 51-40 loss to the Alchesay Falcons in the opening round of the single elimination Division III, Section V tournament.

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Some still worried about school gym

Rattlin' the Rim

The discovery of mercury in the polymer, rubberized floor covering in the Pine Strawberry School gymnasium caused a brouhaha in our two communities that peaked during a community meeting held Feb. 2 at the school.

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Brutal loss can’t keep girls out of the playoffs

Postseason games start tonight in Valley

Normally a coach would be spitting nails after a 59-22 blowout loss, but Payson High School coaches Miles Huff and Jake Swartwood were probably a bit euphoric seeing their players celebrate on the heels of the defeat.

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Wrestling medal winners

Although the Payson High School wrestling team didn’t crown an individual weight class champion at the Division III, Section I tournament, the Longhorns can boast of four medal winners who will advance to the D-III state championships next weekend, Feb. 12-13, at the Prescott Valley Event Center.

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Boys hoopsters eke way into postseason after all

The Payson High boys basketball team is clutching a ducat to prep’s “Big Dance,” thanks to a sixth-place finish among the 10 teams aligned in Division III Section V.

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Heartbreaking defeat dooms boys’ postseason hopes

Another of those heartbreaking two-point losses that have haunted the Payson High School boys’ basketball team all season long might have knocked the Horns out of the post season playoffs.

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Longhorn girls hoopsters heading for the playoffs

Host tough Page team tonight

While the Payson High School boys basketball team might have played itself out of the post season with a 45-43 loss to Show Low on Wednesday, Feb. 3, the girls team appears to have nailed down a tournament berth by beating the homestanding Cougars 51-34 that same evening.

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Free bass-fishing secrets from the pros

Those who enjoyed those fabulously fun “Outdoor Rendezvous” hosted by Dennis Pirch and Mark Kile at the Tackle Box in Tonto Basin will want to jump at the chance to attend the Spring Fishing Classic set for Feb. 19-21 at Bass Pro Shop in Mesa.

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P/S students display science work

Rattlin' the Rim

The Pine Strawberry School Science Fair has wrapped up and student projects have moved to the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library where they will be on public display until Friday, Feb. 12.

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Boys basketball team seesaws through season

Horns alternate big win with tough loss

The Payson High School boys basketball team’s seesaw season continued Jan. 29 with a 74-32 win over Veritas Prep and the following day with a 71-61 loss to the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

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Kill and be killed

Girls basketball team up one day, down the next

The Payson High girls basketball team — playing back to back weekend games — smoked visiting Apache Junction 54-21, but the following day lost 60-37 to a home standing Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket team that has been tough to beat on its own floor.

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Wrestlers face tough tournament competition

Longhorns to send band of stalwarts to sectional tourney

Although the Payson High School wrestling team will not be a favorite to win the Division III, Section I championship tournament when it unfolds Saturday, Feb. 6 at Bradshaw Mountain High School, the Longhorns will send to it a band of stalwarts expected to battle for medal honors.

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Payson coach tops list

Pirch teams won 10 championships

A pair of former Payson High School coaches are on a prestigious list of the most successful high school wrestling coaches in Arizona based on state championship wins.

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Wheels come off of girls basketball bandwagon against Combs

For three quarters the Payson High School girls basketball team looked like world-beaters building a 35-28 lead over San Tan Combs

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Basketball team breaks through with scoring rout

Horns trounce Combs; face Veritas Prep tonight in Phx.

After sweating out the results of three games in four days all decided by two points, Payson High School boys basketball coach Joe Sanchez and his charges finally got the breather they needed.

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Top Rim Country bass fisherman on the road again

If hometown professional tournament angler Clifford Pirch was asked to choose a theme song for his angling pursuits, he’d probably select Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.”

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Champion Pine archery team still hits the bull’s-eye

National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) defending Arizona state champion Pine-Strawberry School is well on the way to another trip to both the state and national championship tournaments.

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Meeting to discuss gym reopening slated for Feb. 2

Rattlin' the Rim

Pine-Strawberry School principal-superintendent Cody Barlow has arranged a community meeting in which parents and others will have the opportunity to meet face to face with the state officials responsible for shutting down and later reopening the school gymnasium.

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Running out of fingernails

Payson boys basketball team playing nothing but nail-biters

Joe Sanchez might soon become the Rim Country’s single largest consumer of Pepto-Bismol.

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Bass circuit adds Roosevelt events

A fledgling West Coast bass fishing circuit looking to make a splash with working anglers will soon join an impressive list of organizations — WON, All-Star Couples, Bassmaster and FLW — that have sponsored professional and amateur fishing tournaments at Roosevelt Lake.

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Top wrestling teams converge on Payson for tourney

Wilson Dome turned into a hotbed of high school wrestling Jan. 22-23 when 19 teams from around the state, almost 300 student-athletes, parents and fans packed the facility to watch and cheer almost non-stop Payson Invitational mat action.

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Girls shut down

Those who know Miles Huff and Jake Swartwood, especially their former teachers and coaches in the Payson School District, know both are fierce competitors.