Local businessmen planning on purchasing advertising space on the 2001-2002 Payson High School football, baseball and basketball sports schedules should know there is more than one being sold.
The most familiar and popular are compiled and sold by Chuck Hallock at Summit Sports. Those are sold with the blessings of PHS, which receives about $6,000 in proceeds from the sales.
Another calendar/schedule that's been hawked locally was a longtime thorn in the side of former Payson High Athletic Director Barry Smith and former football coach Mike Wheelis. Marketed by a Texas-based company, the calendars are not endorsed by local school officials, and the PHS sports programs receive none of the proceeds.
Since prep sports schedules are public information, the Texas firm has the legal right to publish the calendars and sell advertising space on them.
A couple of years ago, Payson Police Chief Gordon Gartner investigated the legality of selling school schedules and found it only violated statutes if the sellers claimed they were associated with the school.
I've spoken to one of the out-of-state firms and they contend they are doing the school sports programs a favor by publishing the sports schedules. Knowing the time, date and location of the games, more fans will show up, the company spokesman said.
Local school officials have responded to that claim with cries of "hogwash."
The best advice from Hallock and coaches is that if local advertisers wish for some of their money to benefit the school sports program, they should be sure to ask directly if the schedule is endorsed by Payson High.
Year-round club soccer might be just over the horizon for Rim country youth.
The first step in instituting youth clubs which are extremely popular in the Valley is to attend an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 26 in Room 9 at Payson High School.
Jerry Showalter, the Area Director for American Youth Soccer Association, will be on hand to give tips on how to field a year-round program.
An effort has been under way for years to bring AYSO to the Rim country. However, those efforts were never successful. With Showalter coming to town, this might be the catalyst needed to finally field a club program in Payson.
The advantage of club soccer over recreational leagues is that it enhances the level of play, mostly because of the opportunity to practice year-round.
Longtime volunteer coach Kim Wholly took a group of Payson girls 14-years-and under to the Grand Canyon Games last weekend.
Although the players were all-star selections in town recreation play, the squad was winless against Valley club teams.
"We were outmatched," Wholly said. Club play in the Rim country could even the playing field when local players travel to Phoenix for competitions.
Want to know if you were drawn?
Those disheartening "pink slips" sent out by the Arizona Game and Fish Department to applicants who had not been selected in big game drawings have gone the way of the dinosaur.
Game officials announced this summer that those slips will no longer be mailed out. Rather, AG&F hunt drawing results will be available on the Internet and call-in lines.
To handle the increased telephone-call load, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has upgraded its interactive phone system. To use this free phone system, call (602) 942-3000.
To use the Web site, log on to www.azgfd.com.
Another option exists for the inquiring hunter, but it will cost you $5 because it's through an outside vendor.
By calling (866) 220-4868, you'll be assessed the fee, but assured of reaching the main AG&F number without much of a delay.
When inquiring about hunt results, you must provide either your Social Security number or a department ID number and month and day of birth.
Officials expect the drawing to be completed before the end of July.