Little League Stars Primed To Shine


Since their selection to the Payson Little League All-Star teams two weeks ago, local baseball players have been preparing for postseason tournaments that will begin July 5 in Flagstaff and Payson.

The Major League (11-12-years-of-age) All-Star team, coached by Charlie England springs into action at 1 p.m. Friday on the Flagstaff Mount Elden field. The opponent has not yet been determined.

Coach John Medlin's 9-10-year-old Rim country star team begins play at 10 a.m. Friday on the Payson High School softball field against Flagstaff Continental.

Local Little League board member Tom Lawson will serve as tournament director.

Originally, coach Don Engler's Payson Junior League (13-14-years) all-star team was to begin postseason play at 8 p.m. July 5 at Flagstaff Continental field against Page. However, Engler received a call from Little League officials Monday, saying all games on July 5 had been canceled and the tournament wouldn't begin until July 8.

"They had some kind of troubles with the field over there," Engler said.

The cancellation of Friday games had Engler scrambling to cancel motel reservations in Flagstaff and rearrange his team's practice schedule.

At press time, Little League officials had not finalized the revised tournament bracketing.

When the three area tournaments in Flagstaff and Payson wrap up late next week, the champions will be seeded into district tournaments. Those will begin in mid-July.

Winners there go on to play for the Arizona State championships.

The all-star players were chosen in a voting of coaches held at the conclusion of the regular season.

On the Junior League all-star team are three players from Engler's league champion A's squad that finished with an 11-1 record. They are Larry Everetts, Shane Brown and Donald Engler the coach's son. In that trio, Everetts is battling for all-star starting pitching honors.

From the regular season runner-up Diamondbacks are Luke Runzo, Jason Sweet and Patrick Walker.

The Cubs are well represented on the celestial squad with five players selected. They are: Matt Behrens, Morgan Cassuto, Matt Levac, Brennon McLaws and Brian Schwind.

The lone representative from the Angels is Aaron McRae.

In addition to having Everetts on hand to pitch, coach Engler can also call upon Behrens, Levac and Walker for mound duty.

All four were pitchers for their teams during regular season play.

The budding stars

England was selected to coach the 11-12-year-old all-stars after leading the Cardinals to a 10-2 record and the Payson Little League championship.

Oliver Lewinson, Cody York and Devin England represent the Cards on the all-star team.

From the Giants are: Ridge Halenar, Tanner Golliglee and Tyler Savage. Other stars include Hunter Haynes (Orioles), B.J. Hill (Rangers), Lucas Barr (Marlins), Nicholas Herring (Diamondbacks) and Adam Haught (A's).

On Medlin's Minor League all-star team are five players from the Marlin's squad he coached during the regular season. They include: Jacob Howe, Joshua Sloan, Justin Richardson, Cameron Geske and Allen Erickson

The Orioles and Giants had two all-stars selected. Orioles include Trae Dunman and Jake Sleeper. Giants are Justin Jumper and Aaron Largo.

Other local all-stars are Edwin Estrada (A's) and Ever Figueroa (Cardinals).

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