Last weekend was another big weekend for Winslow with two very important events going on at the same time. The Ames Ford Shootout started on Thursday and ran through Saturday night with a culminating championship game between the Winslow Bulldogs and the Tuba City Warriors.
This was an enormous effort on the part of all those who helped in the organization. Don Petranovich is known for his ability to organize and schools throughout the region count on it. Fourteen schools came from all over the state, from Globe to Needles to Ganado for the three day tournament. Some of us outsiders noticed that it was hard to get through traffic. The tournament went very smoothly due to the many people who volunteered their time ticket taking, keeping scores, and seeing to arrangements. The officials earned every dollar they were paid, working game after game at a dead run.
The Festival of Trees at La Posada was bigger and better than ever this year. This benefit for the Family Resource Center was originated and is organized by Bob Hall and the space for it is donated by La Posada.
This year the Turquoise Room restaurant donated a percentage of dinners sold on Friday and saturday nights. Hundreds of people came, and by Saturday night there was a box full of bids waiting. Next week we hope to have a full count of the money raised.
A visitor at the championship game comment on the way Winslow is doing more and more interesting things. He is one of many who see it happening.
As Sam Sees It
The blood-letting continued as University of Arizona football coach Dick Tomey bowed to pressure and tendered his resignation following the team's loss to Arizona State in the final game of the season. That meant that Tomey joined ASU mentor Bruce Snyder, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Buck Showalter, Arizona Cardinals coach Vince Tobin and Phoenix Suns coach Danny Ainge in either being fired or resigning under pressure. It was a clean sweep this season for the "can the coach" crowd.
The Cardinals have walked this walk before and seen it get them nowhere. Since their arrival in Arizona a number of coaches, most of whom were better than their replacement. First, they fired Gene Stallings who had the team in good shape to make the play-offs until the loss of Neil Lomax, the best quarterback to play in Phoenix. Stallings went on to win a National Championship at Alabama. They fired Joe Bugel, clearly a company man, just when he had the team ready to make a play-off run. Most football experts agreed that Bugel deserved better. The Cardinals then brought in Buddy Ryan who proceeded to dismantle Bugel's team and set back any progress that had been made toward improvement. Tobin was a good choice to succeed Ryan and did get the team to the play-offs before falling on hard times. He wasn't a braggart or a fire-eater, but he was a solid football coach. Something had to give, though, and you can't fire the owner or the players. So Tobin had to go. Dave McGinnis may produce a winner next season. A weaker schedule, fewer injuries and the promise of a new stadium should give the new coach his best chance for success.
Whoever replaces Snyder at ASU will not inherit a team without weapons. Jeff Krohn is under-rated as a quarterback. He looked more like a real winner than Ryan Kealy, whom he succeeded, or the heralded Ortege Jenkins of the UofA did at any time this season. Todd Heap, if he can be talked into staying for his senior year, will give the Devils the best tight end in America. Those aren't the only players returning to a team that should be title contenders. Snyder's main troubles this season were mostly injuries. It is ironic that the same could be said of the man he replaced, Larry Marmie. Perhaps athletic directors should take a closer look at injury situations before they blame the coach for all of the problems. There were a few hurt Cardinals, too, weren't there?
Tomey was a class act. The Wildcats may or may not get a coach who is as good or better. Even if they do, they won't have really "replaced" Tomey.
The Diamondbacks got a good man in Bob Brenly. However, that still doesn't change the fact that Buck Showalter would have won the pennant if Matt Williams would have been healthy. That was just the worst of many injuries that plagued the D-Backs. It was the most important, but possibly one or two other avoided injuries would have also led to a pennant.
Here is one wish for stability in the coaching ranks for our state teams. That still appears to be a major ingredient in the success of any program.