Are the Arizona Coaches Association postseason all-star games losing some of their luster?
If the turnout June 5 for the ACA cross country meet in Casa Grande is any indication, the games might be on the downhill slide.
Only two cross country runners showed up for the 1A-5A boys event and 11 turned out for the girls race.
At the end of the cross country season, coaches selected a bevy of talented seniors from around the state to participate in the star run. For unknown reasons, perhaps a glitch in communication between coaches and athletes, only a pair of runners showed up.
One of the runners was Payson senior Wes Sprinkle. Over the slightly more than 5K course, Wes finished second to Glendale Mountain Ridge's Josh Brown. The champion was timed in 18:46 and West in 18:47.5.
PHS coach Chuck Hardt was on hand to watch his former runner participate. The coach returned to Payson saying he was extremely proud that Wes competed enthusiastically while knowing only two runners were participating.
"I asked him if he was the only (runner), would he have run, and he said 'yes' ... I think that's a testament to his character," Hardt said.
Prior to the event, Wes trained diligently for the race believing he would be competing against the state's best.
"(The turnout) was very disappointing," Hardt said.
Although participation was lacking, the Casa Grande all-star organizers did a good job of hosting the event, Hardt said.
The Payson coach says he is hoping the cross country coaches address the problem next season to ensure the run regains the luster all-star contests should boast.
Get a kick out of it
Yavapai College soccer coaches Mike Pantalione and Hugh Bell will be in the Rim country July 23 through July 26 to host a youth soccer camp. The camp is open to boys entering next year's freshman class to incoming high school seniors. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily on the Rumsey Park soccer field.
The fee is $120 per camper, which includes a T-shirt, water bottle and soccer ball. Call Penny Navis-Schmidt at 474-2391 or Roger Wholly at 474-2233 for more information.
For Father's Day
On June 16 and 17, at the Butcher Hook Arena, Billy Jack Ewing and Cross Anchor Productions will host the Father's Day Saddle Ropin'.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. each day and the competition at 9 a.m.
On Saturday, No. 6, 8, 10, 12 and super-draw (open) divisions will compete. The following day, No. 5, 7, 9, 11 and super-draw divisions are scheduled to compete.
Registration fee is $40 for teams, which includes three steers.
Call Ewing at (520) 479-2206 for more information.