All-Star Games Return To Summer Play

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The Arizona Football Coaches Associating will not challenge an Arizona Interscholastic Association ruling that prohibits all-star games during the school year.

By a 6-3 margin, the AFCA Executive Board voted to return the high school all-star games to the summer months.

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High school football all-star games will continue to be played in the summer months. Some coaches wanted the games held at the end of the season.

Only weeks ago, the friendly relationship between the AIA and the AFCA was tested by a Nov. 15 AIA Executive Board decision to enforce a resolution that disallows playing all-star games during the school year.

The decision forced coaches to cancel three all-star games. One was an all-star volleyball clash Nov. 26 at America West Arena in Phoenix. The other two were football games, one for Class 4A-5A and the other for 1A-3A Dec. 30 at Glendale Community College.

If the AFCA had voted to go ahead and play the football games in December, it would have marked the first time the coaches have challenged the AIA.

PHS coach Jerry Rhoades said if the games had been played in December as coaches wanted, he could not have nominated any PHS players. That's because, Rhoades had a directive from the school not to nominate players for a game that wasn't sanctioned by the AIA.

Now that the AFCA has backed off in what appears to be a power struggle between the association and the AIA, playing sites must be found for the annual all-star clashes.

One option is to return the games to Eastern Arizona College where they once were held.

Another idea being mulled over is to hold the games in June at Surprise Stadium.

Since the all-star games were booted off the Northern Arizona University campus in the early 1980s to make way for Cardinal preseason training, coaches have searched for adequate playing sites.

All-star games have been played in Tucson, Thatcher, Prescott, and for the past five years in Casa Grande. The AFCA's five-year contract with Casa Grande expires this year.

The players for the 2005 all-star games will be elected by AFCA members Sunday in Phoenix. Rhoades said he will attend that meeting and nominate some of his senior players.

Help wanted: Coaches

Payson Recreation Specialist Charlene Hunt continues to scour the community in search of volunteer youth coaches for third- and fourth-grade boys and girls basketball teams.

Duties include coaching youth teams during Saturday games and also during weekday practices as scheduled by the coach. Anyone interested should visit the parks and recreation offices at Green Valley Park to fill out a coach's form.

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