A team of local athletes -- ages 9 to 12 --ecently wrapped up three months of play in a Scottsdale-based youth baseball league. The squad, tabbed the Sidewinders, managed a good showing, finishing fourth in the season-ending tournament. The team was coached by Pat Haynes, Bob Halenar, Danny Savage and Scott Box.
The coaches and players offer a big thanks to the Mogollon Sporting Association for paying the team's entry fee into the league.
The Sidewinders also had several other local sponsors who chipped in to help defray the costs of traveling to Scottsdale for games.
The sponsors included D.A. Daily Construction, Arizona Public Service, Payson Fence, Taylor Made Homes, Lee Brunson Masonry and Sundance Plumbing.
All-Arizona includes small town pair
Although no Payson players were selected to the All-Arizona football team that was announced last weekend, two athletes familiar to local fans were chosen to the defense.
Alchesay linebacker Justin Lupe and St. Johns defensive back Adam Patterson were honored among the elite 22 players in the state. Both were members of teams that lost to the Longhorns last season.
Their selection was somewhat surprising, since the two were pitted against more acclaimed 4A and 5A players who usually dominate the All-Arizona selections.
Lupe's selection is especially significant because he played for a school where football usually takes a back seat to the community's favorite sport: basketball. Apparently, his 140 solo tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions were enough to influence the voting coaches.
Taylor Walden -- former player for Rim Country Middle School and Payson High School --lso was on the 5A All-State list. Walden, a senior linebacker from Mesa Red Mountain, earned honorable mention laurels. He played at RCMS and at PHS as a freshman before moving to the Valley.
Cards' campaign ends
Thankfully, the Arizona Cardinals' injury-riddled season has come to an end and we won't have to read or listen to any more stories about what a dreadful season quarterback Jake Plummer had.
With the season over, the Card signal-caller becomes one of 15 Arizona players who are unrestricted free agents. That means he is free to sign another contract with the Cardinals or another NFL team.
If news reports are correct, the day has probably arrived when Plummer will no longer be a regular at Sun Devil Stadium as he has been the past decade.
Critics are crying for the Cards to get another quarterback for the team. The cynics point out that Plummer had more interceptions than touchdowns and his quarterback rating was one of the lowest in the league.
What the critics don't recognize is that his disappointing season was caused mostly by injuries at the receivers positions and to the offensive line.
Plummer has publicly stated he'd like to sign again with the Cardinals.
After the public abuse he's been exposed to, I don't know why.
A better option for the former ASU star might be in Denver, where coaches are looking for another quarterback. As a Bronco, he'd have the talent surrounding him to reveal what type of quarterback he can become.