Payson Girls Prove They're Canyon Tough

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The results of two recent Class 4A girls basketball polls are proof the Lady Longhorns have been playing in the toughest region in the conference.

Payson's Grand Canyon region has three of its teams ranked in the top 10 of both polls.

Flagstaff Sinagua is second-ranked, Flagstaff is seventh and Page sits ninth in the East Valley poll.

In The Arizona Republic rankings, Sinagua is second, Flagstaff seventh and Page ninth.

The good news for PHS fans in those rankings is that the Lady Horns have proven they can compete with the conference's best by whipping Sinagua 57-54 in the Holiday Hoops tournament.

On the flip side, the Lady Horns were steamrolled 56-23 by Page.

So, what does all that mean?

That fans will most likely be in for a wild and crazy Grand Canyon regional title chase.

The Arizona Republic poll is predicting the "race promises to be a close one that might not be settled until the season's last shot."

Little league signups

Youngsters --ges 7 to 15 years (as of July 31, 2004), --nterested in participating in Payson Little League are encouraged to sign up at one of four upcoming registrations to be held at the Best Western Payson Inn located at 801 N. Beeline Highway.

They are:

Jan. 10 -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jan. 14 -- 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Jan. 24 -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jan. 31 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When registering, players must bring birth certificate. The fee is $40 per player. There is a discount available for families who have more than one youngster participating in the program.

At the registration, officials will also be accepting applications for team managers and coaches.

This season, Payson is scheduled to field teams in four age/ability leagues -- farm, minors, majors and seniors.

Following the tryouts, minor, major and senior coaches draft players to their teams. The farm league does not draft.

This season, Tracy Purtee will serve as the Little League Chief Umpire.

Barton anticipates play will begin in mid-April and continue into June.

For more information, call Barton at (928) 468-1711, or Little League vice president Mark Frantzke at (928) 474-2746.

On the road again

Remember past years when former Payson High School wrestling coaches took teams to Southern California during Christmas breaks? There, the Longhorns participated in tournaments near Disneyland.

It seems that traveling spirit has now reached some Valley area teams.

The Tempe Marcos de Niza Padres spent part of the holidays participating in the Rumble in a Las Vegas, Nev. tournament. Mesa Westwood traveled cross country to Orlando, Fla. where the Warriors were entered in the Disney Duals.

ADs gather in Phoenix

The National Federation of High School Athletic Associations winter meeting began Jan. 3 at the posh Biltmore resort in Phoenix. The hot topics of discussion for the ADs were steroids, traveling club teams, hazing and diet supplements.

Payson High is not immune to any of those problems. But -- cross your fingers -- they have not become widespread distractions as they have in big city schools.

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