Based on their performances in the recently concluded Little League regular season, players were selected by coaches to participate in the Rim country's all-star entry in the upcoming Area One tournament.
The senior division star team, which comprises athletes 14 and 15 years old, has a decidedly Pine flair with five players from the tiny community on the 12-person roster. All were members of the Pirates during the past season. They include Robert Ochoa, Darin Grover, Darold Leneberg, Robert Lashua and Alex McNabb.
Strawberry will be represented by one player, Christopher Johan, who played for the Angels.
From Tonto Basin are William Kizzar and Jonathan Beeson. Both played for the A's.
Rounding out the senior celestial squad are four Payson-area players -- Waylon Pettet (Angels), Eric Ricke (A's), James Huddleston (Royals), and John William (A's). Managing the team will be Gene Scott of the Royals. Pirates coach Rob Neuman is the star coach.
The team begins tournament play at 5 p.m., July 6 at Flagstaff Continental field against the Holbrook all-stars. A win would propel the teams into a second-round game the following day at 5 p.m. against Winslow.
A loss would drop the Rim country into a loser's bracket contest slated for 5 p.m. July 8.
Unlike the senior stars, the Rim country junior team (13-year-olds) features a majority of Payson players. Of the 13-player squad, 10 are from Payson and three represent Pine.
Payson players include Garrett Riggins (Cubs), Ashton Shewey (Cubs), Williams Mars (Cubs), Kyle Fogarty (A's), Richard Welker (A's), Layton Howell (Cubs), Daren Daniels (A's), Bradley Wilson (Angels), Ronald Maksymowski (A's) and Mike Barr (Cubs).
William Chester, Ryan Lashua and Ryan Thiel represent Pine. All were members of the Pirates team.
Tom Belcher will manage the team and Wayne Riggins will serve as coach.
The junior league tournament will be held this year in Payson. It tips off at 5 p.m. July 7, with Winslow taking on Continental. Payson debuts at 8 p.m. that same day against Page.
Should Payson emerge victorious, it would play again at 5 p.m. July 9. A loss would drop the team into a loser's bracket game at 8 p.m. July 8. All games will be played on the Payson High School field.
There is no admission charge for spectators.