Little League Registration Underway

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Local Little League officials held the first of five player registrations yesterday at the Payson Police Department meeting room.

The next opportunity for players to sign up will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 17.

Follow-up registrations will be Jan. 22 and Jan. 25. On both days, sign-up will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The last chance to register will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 26. All will be held at the police department.

Officials are urging parents to register their children as soon as possible to ensure that each player has a place on a team and to also help the board better plan for the season.

Along with a registration fee of $40, players and their parents must take a certified birth certificate and proof of residence, such as driver's license or utility bill. Photocopies of birth certificates, baptismal or hospital certificates are not accepted by Little League.

For families with more than one youngster involved in the program, the registration fee is $35 for a second child and $30 for a third. The fees include a complete uniform that the player may keep.

Youngsters ages seven to 15-years (as of July 31) may participate in the league.

This season, the league will field four divisions farm (7 and 8 years), minors (9 to 11), majors (9 to 12) and seniors (13 to 15).

League officials also are in need of coaches, sponsors and other volunteers.

Call Kevin Sokol (472-4617), Don Bell (474-4303), Kim Sleeper (476-5275) or Michelle Halenar (474-6635) for more information.

First showdown

Payson High will not be sending representatives to the Arizona Interscholastic Association's inaugural Spirit Line Championship to be held this weekend in Phoenix Veteran Coliseum.

To win the championship, a high school must enter both a spirit and pom line. Since Payson doesn't have a pom line and wouldn't be eligible to win the title, cheer sponsor Becky Hagler and her charges decided not to enter.

Although the Horns won't be participating, AIA officials say varsity squads from 89 other member schools will enter. Officials estimate more than 1,460 student-athletes will be involved.

Among the events are an all-girl stunt, all-guy stunt, coed show cheer, pom pon and mascot competitions.

AIA officials say they hold the event to "provide a safe competitive environment for participants in spirit line activities" and to "provide participants in spirit lines the opportunity to gain official AIA recognition for their many long hours of practice and dedication."

Like other prep sports, the event will feature teams competing in school size classifications 1A through 5A.

New Van Horn format

Because one of the teams dropped out that originally indicated it would participate in the Tim Van Horn Invitational Wrestling Tournament, tournament director Don Heizer spent his weekend revising the format.

By press time, Heizer hadn't finalized the format, but was considering instituting one similar to what the Horns participated in at the Mingus Mountain Don Back Memorial Tournament Jan. 4 and 5.

In that type of invitational, the teams meet in several opening round duals which are used to seed them into mini-tournaments.

The winners of the opening round meet in a championship tournament, the runner-ups clash in another and the third-place finishers are locked into another showdown. There's also a bracket for fourth-place finishers. On the second day of the tournament, an individual championship bracket is contested in all weight classes.

Heizer expects to have the new format finalized early this week.

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