Little League's Late Registration Pays Off

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Payson Little League officials' decision last week to host a last-ditch player registration period has paid dividends.

According to league official Michelle Halenar, more than 40 aspiring players signed up for league play at the last chance registration held Saturday at the Payson Police Department.

With registration over, Halenar and coaches will be calling youngsters and their parents with information about team tryouts. For players in minor and major leagues, those will be held Feb. 23.

However, officials are asking the players to show up at the time they will be assigned. Their cooperation, Halenar said, will keep the tryouts confusion-free and on schedule.

Opening day has been slated for April 20 at Rumsey Park.

Call Halenar at 474-6635 for more information.

Soccer kicks off

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department is currently accepting registration for play in the Spring Youth Soccer League. Registration, which is $20, must be completed before 5 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Parks and Rec offices at Green Valley Park.

A late sign-up, at $25 per player, will be held only if space permits. Boys and girls ages 8-to-15-years are eligible to participate

Since the league is one of the most popular offerings of the department, teams traditionally fill quickly. Games will be played weeknights and Saturdays beginning about March 16 and continuing through May.

The youth league for players 4- to 7-years will be offered in the fall.

Call 474-5242 for more information.

Devils host

The Payson High School wrestling team received a nice treat in the form of an invitation to attend Sunday's collegiate wrestling match pitting fifth-ranked Iowa State against 11th ranked Arizona State University. The 2 p.m. meet was held in ASU's Wells Fargo Arena.

The head coach of Iowa State, Bobby Douglas, was coach at ASU from 1975 to 1992, during which he posted a 226-76-6 record.

During that time, and on several occasions since he moved to Iowa State, Douglas visited the Rim country to help host youth wrestling clinics.

During one of those visits, I had the opportunity to interview Douglas and feature him in a Roundup sports story.

Raised in the same West Virginia hometown as Longhorn coach Dave LaMotte, coach Douglas relied on a strong work ethic to eventually reach the pinnacle of wrestling success in the Olympics.

A 30-minute interview with Douglas convinced me he is an impressive man and an excellent coach whose goal is to look out for the welfare of his student athletes.

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