With snow finally blanketing northern Arizona Sunday, many are making plans for upcoming cross country and downhill skiing outings.
But in local Little League circles, new president Stephanie Dvorak and her crew are focusing their attentions on hosting the best spring and summer baseball season ever.
To get a jump start and ensure play goes on without a hitch, league officials have slated several registration periods.
The first sessions to be held -- from 5 to 8 p.m. Jan 10 and 12 -- will be for prospective players residing in the Pine-Strawberry area. The sign-ups will be conducted in Pine School.
For youngsters who live in Payson or the nearby area, registrations will be held Jan. 13 (5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.), Jan 15. (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Jan. 22 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) in the Arizona Public Service building on West Longhorn Road.
Youngsters 7 to 16-years-of-age are eligible to participate in Little League, but must take an original birth certificate with them to the sign-up. Fees this year are $40 per player. Each additional child in a family who participates in the league will receive a $5 discount.
The $40 fee represents a slight increase over last year. One of the reasons, Dvorak says, is that this season the Little League players will be allowed to keep their uniforms at the conclusion of play, rather than returning them as they did last summer.
Also at the upcoming sign-ups, league officials will be registering adults to serve as both coaches and umpires. Coaching is a volunteer position but umpires are paid on a per-game basis.
League officials are also searching for a player agent for the 2000 season. The ideal candidate, Dvorak says, "will be enthusiastic and computer literate." The volunteer will be asked to help with the upcoming registrations, attend spring try-outs and assign players to teams. Call Dvorak at 472-6500 for more information.
Youth Football elections
Next Tuesday, Jan. 11, members of the Central Arizona Youth Football League will hold its annual election of officers.
"We're looking for people who are dedicated to making our youth football program the best it can be," said perennial president Eric Santana.
Anyone interested in serving on the CAYFA board can call Santana at 474-1775, or attend the meeting and elections at 6 p.m., Jan. 11 at Payson Town Hall.
A crystal ball?
At the onset of the high school boys' basketball season, Payson High coach Randy Wilcox predicted the East region would be a highly competitive one, featuring several teams that could contend for state honors.
He predicted Show Low would be one of those teams.
With the results of year-end holiday tournaments now in, it appears Wilcox's predictions were right on target.
Show Low easily won the championship of the St. Johns Holiday Invitational besting Chandler Seton 63-52 in the finale.
From the holiday frays, another East title contender emerged when Blue Ridge whipped La Jolla, Calif., 52-43, to win the championship of the White Mountain Holiday Classic.
The Horns will have their first opportunity to see just how good Show Low and Blue Ridge are in back-to-back meetings. Payson travels to Lakeside Jan. 7 and the following evening, Saturday, Show Low visits Wilson dome. Both varsity games tip off at 7:30.
Hoop it up
Registration for play in the town-sponsored seventh- and eighth-grade youth basketball leagues began Jan. 3 and will continue until Jan. 14. Sign-up may be completed during normal working hours at the offices of the Payson Parks and Recreation Department located in Green Valley Park. The fee is $20 which includes a team-T-shirt, a minimum of seven games and a pizza party at the end of the season.
Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.