As Sam Sees It

What a great win for the Winslow Bulldogs football team! The Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets were the worthy opponent they were expected to be, but this bunch of Bulldogs were up to the challenge. Now comes top-ranked Show Low and the Cougars deserve that rating. The prediction here is that the Bulldogs can do it again.

There can’t be anyone more excited about this game than Warren Prosser. Everyone thought that his season was over, but the reprieve came just in the nick of time for him and the Bulldogs. He was huge in this game with a key fumble recovery and yeoman duty on the key drive of the game.

This is a class team that has earned the respect of football fans around the state, regardless of what happens next week.

If you can make it to Mesa Community College for that game, it should be well worth the effort. Taking nothing away from Snowflake and Seton Catholic, but these are probably the best two teams in the state.

The basketball season will be upon us before we know it. Friday will see both Winslow High School varsities involved in controlled scrimmages at Sinagua High School in Flagstaff. The regular season will start with a home game on Tuesday against the Holbrook Roadrunner squads.

Winslow can probably expect two highly competitive teams to hit the court running. Coach Don Petranovich has more wins than anyone who ever coached girls’ basketball in Arizona. His percentage is also fabulous and this year’s team is loaded with talent. Petro has indicated that this will be his last year of coaching and he would like to go out with a state championship team as much as his players and fans would love to see it happen for him.

Coach Charlie Gover won three straight state championships during his years at Tuba City. He would like nothing better than to get his fourth at Winslow this season. The talent is there, especially where speed is concerned. Many of the same speed merchants who made the Bulldogs football team a success will be transferring their talents to the basketball court.

There is one thing that the school and/or the fans could and should do to make this season even more memorable. That is to simply name the place where the Bulldogs play after the most successful basketball coach in the school’s history. Winslow High School should play its games in Don Petranovich Gymnasium.

This is not without precedence in Winslow. In fact, the football team plays at Emil Nasser Stadium and the track teams run on the Ron Bellman Track. Several of the other fields are also named after deserving local coaches and citizens. Some were deceased when the honors were bestowed; others are still very much alive.

Honors such as this should be given while the recipients are alive and can fully appreciate them. We should not wait until someone is dead or even retired before we honor jobs well done.

Don Petranovich didn’t always do things the way I would have liked to see them done, but what he did worked and it was what he thought was right. This is an honor that is deserved and the time to do it is now.

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