Lady Horns Enter Summer Softball League

SPORTS TALK

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A meeting today of mostly East regional softball coaches and others could result in a summer league for high school players.

Lady Horn coach Will Dunman is slated to attend the meeting in which a schedule will be established for games between participating community teams.

The PHS coach is unsure of which towns will participate in the inaugural program but he expects Snowflake, Show Low and Blue Ridge to enter.

The new league will give aspiring prep players the opportunity to fine-tune their games during the off season. There will be no charge for players to participate.

Future Sports Talks will contain more information about the new league.

Roddin'

Writing a feature several weeks ago about Payson resident Lonny Sluyter's participation in the Route 66 Classic Car show and drag race generated many fond memories of growing up in the late '50s and early '60s.

One of the sports of choice then was impromptu drag racing.

Anxious teenagers piloted their souped-up hot rods to nearby deserted stretches of highway or abandoned air strips where one-quarter mile races were popular pastimes.

From a standing start, tires peeled, engines roared and tachometers leaped through the red zone as young rodders put their classy chassis through high octane paces.

Some might argue that safety issues went largely ignored, but, for the life of me, I can't remember any injuries in our small community of teenagers.

Drag racing is still around, but to participate it takes a host of big name corporate sponsors to just pay the entry fees.

And what kid could afford to purchase one of the high dollar racing cars?

In bygone days, teenagers worked on personal cars purchased with money from part-time jobs.

I remember '57 Chevys as being every kid's dream. But when a friend was able to purchase a new 1962 Impala equipped with a 409 and four-speed, he instantly became the most popular kid in town.

If memory serves, the car's ETs were usually in the low 12s.

The teenager's fondness for drag racing must have somehow rubbed off on my 50-plus-year-old father.

Returning home from college in 1965, I learned he'd just purchased a new Ford Ranchero, which was standard fare for him.

But under further examination, I saw the Ranchero was fitted with a high horsepower mill, 4:11 gears, dual glass pack exhausts and a Hurst four-speed shifter.

For some reason, Pa was always reluctant about letting me drive it.

Changes in our society eventually spelled the demise of those oh-so-popular drag races.

Now Ninentendo, computers and television occupy the thoughts of most teenagers who will tell you "drag" is when one sex dresses up like another.

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