The new NFL flag football youth program to be sponsored by the parks and recreation department will now play games on Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays.
Originally, all games were to be played on Saturdays. However, Parks and Recreation Superintendent Bill Schwind has learned that some parents, possibly because of hunting seasons, opposed the Saturday games. So, Schwind is in the process of rescheduling most of the games for weekdays.
The league is open to all youths 6 to 14 years old. Once registered, the players will be placed in one of four brackets based on their ages as of Sept. 1, 2004. The A bracket will be made up of 6- to 8-year-olds; 9- to 11-year-olds will form the B bracket. Both the A and B brackets will be co-ed.
The C brackets will comprise 12- to 14-year-old boys and the D brackets will be made up of 12- to 14-year-old girls.
Registration continues until Sept. 10. Sign-up may be completed at Payson Parks and Recreation office at Green Valley Park. The fee is $25 per player.
Due to processing time required by the NFL, no late registrations will be accepted, Schwind said.
League play is scheduled to begin Oct. 9 and continue for about six weeks.
Soccer on tap
The town's annual youth soccer league kicks off Sept. 7.
Play will be in two age divisions -- 4- to 5-year-olds and 6- to 7-year-olds.
Games will be played Monday through Thursday until Oct. 9. Last year, enough youngsters signed up to field eight teams in each of the divisions. Schwind anticipates there could be even more this fall. The registration fee is $20 and can be paid at parks and rec. Registration must be completed before the Aug. 18 deadline.
To benefit Justice
Friends of 5-year-old Justice McNeeley are determined he will soon have a special wheelchair that will greatly improve his mobility.
Called a Go-Bot, developers say it will "allow him to explore the environment using up-right, self-initiated mobility to experience a course of development more equal to his able bodied peers."
At a cost of about $8,500, the McNeeleys haven't been able to afford it on their own.
Justice's mother, Katie, has tried with no success to obtain the Go-Bot through insurance and state aid.
"They say it is experimental so they won't help with it," she said.
That's where Justice's friends and supporters come in.
Led by Christine Burba and a host of volunteers, the Justice McNeeley Foundation has been set up to help buy the Go-Bot.
A benefit fund-raiser will be held Aug. 28 at the Sidewinders Saloon in Pine. The events include a quad poker run (9 a.m. to 11 a.m), a silent auction (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), barbecue dinner (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), horseshoe tournament (1 p.m.) pool tournament (6 p.m.) and hourly raffle drawings.
Entry and dinner tickets priced at $10 are available at Sidewinders.
An account to help Justice has been set up at the Payson branch of the Bank of America.
Call (928) 476-6434 for more information.
Haught Classic needs sponsors
The Gracie Haught Classic high school fast-pitch softball tournament is seeking corporate sponsors. The inaugural tournament, which will draw class 3A and 4A teams from around the state to Payson, is March 18 and 19, 2005 on Lady Longhorn diamond.
Call Charlene Hunt at (928) 978-3221 or (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.