One of the highlights of the Central Arizona Youth Football Association season will be inaugural post season all-star clashes similar to what the Arizona Coaches Association hosts each summer for high school players.
According to CAYFA Payson League President Eric Santana, league officials have established all-star games that will pit standout players from the association's East Division against those from the West.
Payson participates in the East along with teams from Cottonwood, Camp Verde and Sedona.
In the West are Prescott, Humboldt, Williams and Bagdad.
The all-star players will be selected in a voting of coaches based on their performances during the season.
Each team in the association will be allowed two all-star team selections.
Currently, CAYFA officials are considering two dates -- Nov. 13 or Nov. 20 -- for the celestial games. The first choice of a playing location is the Walkup Sky Dome on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
If that in-door facility cannot be obtained, the games will be played on the Payson High field.
Payson is a game-site option due to the success the local association had hosting regular season and playoff games last football season.
"I'm told they (football officials) like the way we did things," Santana said.
Santana and Payson CAYFA Vice President Farrel Hoosava agreed that the post season contests will give outstanding young players the opportunity to showcase their skills and also serve as rewards for jobs well done.
CAYFA's 1999 Payson debut
A series of regular season contests that will serve as possible springboards to all-star selections are slated to be played Saturday on the Payson High School field.
The day of gridiron action tips off at 8 a.m. with the Payson Eagles taking on the Payson Raiders.
At 10 a.m. the Payson Buccaneers host the Camp Verde Bulldogs. Other games feature the Payson Cowboys versus. the Camp Verde Vipers at noon, the Payson Senior Cardinals versus the Camp Verde Wildcats at 1:30 and the Payson Minor Cardinals versus. the Payson Bears at 3:30 p.m.
Youth association players are assigned teams based on their age and weight to make the game safer and more equitable.
A full slate of youth games also will be played on PHS field Oct. 2, 16 and 23. Playoff games will be held Oct. 30.
To assist in those upcoming games, Santana and Hoosava have issued a plea for volunteers. Announcers and scorekeepers are especially needed.
The pay includes a submarine sandwich and soft drink, but the real reward, Hoosava said "is making a young person happy by calling out his name over the PA system."
Call Santana at 474-1775 or Hoosava at 474-6044 to volunteer or for more information.