Fruth Is Back In The Saddle Again

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It was good to see former Lady Longhorn basketball coach Tim Fruth resume his career after a hiatus of more than 10 years.

This season, Fruth is coaching the Rim Country Middle School Lady Maverick seventh-grade basketball team.

The last time he stood at the helm of a hoop team was in 1990, when he headed the girls program at Payson High. Of course, he didn't stray far from the sport during that coaching respite. He remained active, officiating at high school games usually with his friend Teddy Pettet.

Tim won't say why he decided to return to coaching, but he hasn't lost any of his old fire.

In the Lady Mavs' 27-12 season opening win over Show Low last week, Tim was up and down the sidelines as if he was coaching in the NBA finals.

He admits adjusting from high school varsity to seventh-grade takes a little getting used to. During a time out, he was overheard emphatically explaining to his players that it's OK to be in the key on defense for more than three seconds. It's only on offense you'll be called for three seconds, he told the girls.

Although coaching fledgling players is challenging, it's also a bit of fun, Tim admits.

Last chance

Registration for participation in the Town Parks and Recreation-sponsored seventh- and eighth-grade basketball program ends at 5 p.m. today.

Youngsters planning on participating must sign up today or risk not being placed on a youth team.

In past years, late sign-ups have been held when space permitted. This year, however, the program is filling up quickly and there might not be a late sign-up.

Registration may be completed at the parks and recreation office located at 1000 W. Country Club in Green Valley Park.

The fee is $20 per player, which includes a team T-shirt and a season-ending pizza party.

League games begin Feb. 26 and continue until March 30. Games are played on Saturdays and some weeknights. Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

Jammin'

Tournament director Steve Rensch is finalizing the details of the 2002 Copper State Jam.

The event will be held Feb. 8 to 10 in Wilson Dome, the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium and the Tonto Apache gym.

The youth tournament for middle-school-aged players has attracted 48 teams the largest field ever.

It will be contested in three brackets boys large school, boys small school and girls.

This will be the first year a girls tournament has been held.

Local girls teams have asked for a tournament of their own since the inception of the Jam.

The Feb. 5 edition of the Roundup will contain complete details of the tournament.

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