Behind the success of any Little League baseball team is a crew of dedicated volunteers who work to ensure each young player receives the best athletic experience possible.
The Payson Little League organization is laying the foundation for next season but needs more volunteers to serve on its board of directors.
According to Little League President Don Bell, statutes dictate that the majority of board members must be nonmanagers and noncoaches.
Bell issued a call for volunteers to serve on the board. Those wishing to participate in the program must contact him before Nov. 23. Bell may be reached after 4 p.m. at 474-4303.
"The success or failure of the Little League season depends on you," Bell said.
Another nice job
In last week's Sports Talk, I praised the efforts of the Payson High football team for its solid showing in a 29-6 state tournament loss to Blue Ridge.
There also are several other teams on campus that performed very well in postseason play. Among them is coach Chuck Hardt's boys cross country team.
The running crew didn't win a regional or state championship, but rebounded from the adversity of having its best runner quit the team, to go on to a second-place East showing and eighth-place finish at state.
The good news in those finishes is that the team was made up of young athletes who have several more years of prep eligibility remaining. Among them are Dustin Rodgers, Brian Langeliers and Joe Behrens.
In a field of 112 runners at state, Rodgers was 32nd (17:45.56), Langeliers was 40th (17:57.35) and Behrens finished 65th (18:54.59).
With another year of maturity and seasoning, those teens will form the nucleus of a solid 2002 Horn team.
Also running for the Horns at state were Josh Dahm (75th; 19:27.02), Danny Malloy (81st; 19:39.43) and Martin Garcia (83rd; 19:47.13).
The only East region team to out-perform Payson at state was seventh-place Alchesay. The Falcons accumulated 249 points. Payson finished with 258.
Where's the fire?
The annual clash between the Wildcats and the Sun Devils is only a week away, but the traditional rivalry doesn't seem to be heating up as it has in past years.
Perhaps the apathy is due to the fact that neither team is having a decent year. Arizona is 4-6 and has been outscored by its opponents 356-286.
The Sun Devils are a miserable 4-5 but have managed to outpoint their foes 311-275.
Both teams have won just one PAC-10 game each.
Another reason the game is not receiving much hype might be the recent success of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Sports fans are so busy reveling in the aftermath of the World Series victory, they might not yet be focusing on football.
Arizona and Arizona State meet Nov. 23 in Sun Devil stadium.