In Rim country angling circles, Dean Pederson is known as a bass fishing purist. The former Payson High School counselor usually has his fishing sights set on lunker-sized large and small mouth species.
Dean has even been known to good-naturedly goad his counterparts who choose to spend a few leisurely hours fishing for the lowly crappie species.
For Dean, it's bass or bust. Crappies and catfish are for the oblivious.
His reputation makes recent reports particularly confusing.
It seems there are local fishermen who spotted Pederson at Roosevelt Lake fishing for the dreaded crappie. Sitting high atop his high tech, state-of-the-art bass boat, Dean was armed with a minnow bucket and sporting a bobber at the end of his fishing line.
Wow. Dean is crappie fishing. This could turn into the Rim country's buzz of the year.
Cougar star honored
Most every small-town Arizona softball fan realizes that Show Low's Courtney Nix was a special player.
For the past several seasons, while playing mostly catcher for the Cougars, she's been a thorn in the side of every opponent, including Payson.
Nix's diamond efforts have earned her the Small School Player of the Year honors. She also has her sights set on earning a scholarship next season to the University of Arizona.
Although she's been a longtime nemesis of the Lady Horns, even the most ardent Payson fan has appreciated her accomplishments.
The teenager is not without her Rim country roots. She's the niece of local resident Pam Walden.
Tennis on tap
Local teaching pro Diane Jackson has joined forces with the Payson Parks and Recreation Department to host drop-in doubles play each Thursday night in June, July and August. The sessions are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rumsey Park. There is no charge for the program and adult players of all abilities are welcome. All players should bring a racquet and can of balls.
Payson to host Diamondback camp
Diamondback Training Centers have highlighted the Rim country summer sports season the past three years.
This summer, the Diamondbacks have added a new twist to the highly popular camps -- fast pitch softball training for girls 7 to 16-years-of age will be held.
All three Diamondback camps -- two for baseball and one softball -- will be conducted July 7 to 11 at Payson High School.
The baseball camp for fledgling players 7 to 12 years old will be held on Longhorn field each day from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Also from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., the fast pitch softball training center will be conducted on Lady Longhorn field.
From 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Horn field, an intermediate training center designed for players 11 to 14 years who have previously participated in a training center will be held.
Registration for the regular baseball and fast pitch softball camps is $150. The fee for the intermediate training center is $160. All campers receive a Diamondbacks Training Center T-shirt, cap, back pack and two tickets to a Diamondbacks home game. A portion of the proceeds from the training centers benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Charities Youth Baseball/Softball Fund.
For more information or to register for the training center, call (800) 821-7152.