The Payson High School ball fields are a beehive of activity this week with the Little League Area One tournament being conducted on the Lady Horn softball diamond and the Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center taking place on the baseball diamond.
The Diamondback sessions drew more than 60 eager youngsters who are being tutored in the finer points of the game by former Arizona State University and professional player Ricky Nelson. Also on the staff are several other Diamondbacks representatives and Payson High School head coach Teddy Pettet. Sessions continue from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. until Friday.
The Little League tournament continues throughout the week, concluding with a 1 p.m. game Friday.
Payson also will play host to the district finals, to be contested July 17 to 20 on the PHS softball diamond.
If the Payson all-stars can finish in the top two at the area tournament, they will earn a seed in the district match.
Football comes to Payson
Yearning for football, yet know the gridiron campaign is still months away?
If so, drop by the Payson High School football field Friday and Saturday and take in high school passing league action. It begins at 5 p.m. Friday for about two hours. Play resumes Saturday at 8 a.m. and continues until that afternoon.
On hand will be Mesa Red Mountain, Glendale Mountain Ridge and Canyon State Academy (formerly Arizona Boys Ranch).
Bradshaw Mountain and Phoenix Christian could also show up.
For those who've never witnessed summer passing league play, games are played with no guards and tackles. Rushing the quarterback is outlawed, but he does have a time limit usually 4 to 5 seconds to throw the ball without a penalty.
Every play must be a forward pass. The players do not wear pads or helmets and no tackling is allowed. A receiver is downed on touch of an opponent.
Most teams opt to execute the passing offense they use during the regular season in order in fine tune it. First year PHS coach Mike Wheelis says he'll stick with the power option offense used during the tenure of Jim Beall.
In most passing league games, coaches are allowed on the field and officiating is done on the honor system.
Most coaches try to keep the games low-key, but often they turn into exciting gridiron battles in which the will of each team is tested.
In addition to seeing some darn good passing football, fans will get a chance to preview the 2000 edition of the Payson Longhorns.
100 yards Individual Medley 25 yards of each stroke, butterfly, backstroke, breast stroke and freestyle
7-8 girls: 1st, Jaycee Boll
9-10 girls: 1st, Breanne David, 4th; Kaiah Eaton, 6th; Jamie Bilyk
11-12 girls: 3rd, Amy Buckner, 4th; Katie Ford, 6th; Jadyn Walden
13-14 girls: 1st, Shelby Bennett
15-18 girls: 1st, Brooke Bennett; 2nd, Megan Disbrow
7-8 boys: 1st, Chandler Slyvester; 4th, Skyler Moore; 6th, Sean Ford
9-10 boys: 2nd, Robert Walker; 3rd, Nick Ford; 4th, Joey Conlin
11-12 boys: 3rd, Christopher Bilyk
13-14 boys: 1st, Brandon Boll
7-8 girls 25 yards: Jaycee Boll, 1st, butterfly, backstroke and freestyle; Heather Bomar, 1st, freestyle (2nd heat); Skye McNeeley, 1st, breaststroke (2nd heat); Jordan Hunt, 1st, backstroke (3rd heat); Hannah Eaton, 2nd,backstroke (2nd heat); Alexis Tank, 2nd, freestyle (2nd heat); Kaylee Cobo, 2nd, freestyle (3rd heat)
9-10 girls 25 yards: Breanne Davis, 1st, breaststroke and freestyle; Jessica Blalock, 1st, butterfly; Kaiah Eaton, 1st, backstroke; Jamie Bilyk, 1st, breaststroke (2nd heat); Aubrey Laird, 1st, freestyle (2nd heat); Sara DeWitt, 2nd, backstroke (2nd heat)
11-12 girls 50 yards: Autumn Staszak, 1st, backstroke and freestyle; Katie Ford, 1st, butterfly; Amy Buckner, 1st, freestyle (3rd heat); Dawn Tucker, 1st, breaststroke (3rd heat); Victoria Albaracin, 1st, breaststroke (4th heat); Monique Heppler, 1st, freestyle (4th heat); Tamara Crabdree, 2nd, butterfly and backstroke (2nd heat); Sami Novak, 2nd, breaststroke (3rd heat); Heidi Haworth, 2nd, backstroke (3rd heat)
13-14 girls 50 yards: Shelby Bennett, 1st, butterfly, backstroke and freestyle
15-18 girls 50 yards: Brooke Bennett, 1st, backstroke; Malori Heppler, 2nd, breaststroke
7-8 boys 25 yards: Chandler Slyvester, 2nd, backstroke; James Behrens, 1st, butterfly (2nd heat); Michael Ives, 1st, backstroke (2nd heat); Dalton Packer, 1st, freestyle (2nd heat); Jerod Schrank, 1st, breaststroke (2nd heat); Sean Ford, 1st, breaststroke (3rd heat); Joshua Frewin, 1st, breaststroke (3rd heat); Sklyer Moore, 1st, butterfly (3rd heat); Alex Korth, 1st, breaststroke (4th heat); Tyrone Moore, 2nd, freestyle (4th heat); David Tucker, 2nd, breaststroke (4th heat)
9-10 boys 25 yards: Nick Ford, 1st, butterfly; Robert Walker, 1st, freestyle; Troy Brown, 1st, backstroke (2nd heat); Joey Conlin, 1st, freestyle (2nd heat); Cody York, 1st, breaststroke (2nd heat); Quintin Tank, 2nd, backstroke (2nd heat)
11-12 boys 50 yards: Josh Blalock, 2nd, butterfly; Christopher Bilyk, 2nd, breaststroke
13-14 boys 50 yards: Brandon Boll, 1st, butterfly, backstroke and freestyle
15-18 boys 50 yards: Sterling White, 1st, butterfly; Reed Hatch, 1st, breaststroke (2nd heat); Ryan Carey, 2nd, freestyle (2nd heat)