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Valley teacher wins contest to meet Phil Mickelson

Steven Larson (upper right) is shown along with his class in the photo that won him the "Where's the Blue Hat?" contest. (Facebook photo)

A Valley teacher has won the chance to meet one of the big names in professional golf.

Faith Montessori physical education teacher Steven Larson won the "Where's the Blue Hat?" contest by sending in a photo of one of his classes holding up photos of Mickelson wearing his trademark hat.

"I had one of my friends, we were trying to figure out what to do, and she's like, 'Let's make masks this weekend and have your kids and take a picture with them,' " said Larson of how he came up with the idea.

Larson said he's excited to meet Mickelson.

"I'm pumped about that," he said. "I went and got the haircut, I trimmed up the face a little bit. I'm going to bring a couple pictures and maybe a hat."

Larson wins a trip for two to Monday night's football game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos and an afternoon clinic with Mickelson.

Watch Mickelson call Larson to tell him the good news.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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