Former Longhorn baseball coach Bruce Haught is back in the saddle again.
At Monday morning's Payson Little League Senior Division All-Star team practice on Longhorn diamond, Haught -- who resigned as head baseball coach in 1989 -- was barking out orders as if he'd never left the dugout.
During the two-hour practice, Haught coached the team in the fundamentals and strategy they'll need to be successful in the Area 1 Little League tournament that began yesterday (Thursday) on PHS diamond.
The tournament will continue until July 6. During the course of the five-day round robin, three games will be played each day at 1, 4 and 7 p.m.
No games will be played Independence Day.
Participating along with host Payson will be Continental/Mt. Elden, Winslow, Flagstaff, Coconino and Page. Tuba City originally entered a team but later withdrew.
The Payson stars opened at 4 p.m. yesterday (Thursday) against Continental/ Mt. Elden (Results not available at press time).
Payson plays again at 7 p.m. today against Winslow.
Tomorrow, the Payson stars host Page at 7 p.m.
The Payson squad is managed by Charlie England and Pat Haynes with assistance from Haught.
During the regular season, England coached the Angels team that won the league. Haynes assisted on the Angels. Haught worked with the Cubs.
Team members include Adam Haught, Anthony Pearce, Hunter Haynes, Tyler Savage, Cody York, Ridge Halenar, Gage Conway, Devin England, Dakota Marshall and Grayson Brooks.
Although the team is a talented one, coaches are bemoaning the lack of 14-year-old players, there are only three, who will be freshmen at PHS next school year.
Most of the Payson stars have just completed the seventh grade at Rim Country Middle School and may not have the experience and maturity of their tournament counterparts.
If the team, which has several players on it who advanced to the Little League Major Division state tournament last spring, can emerge victorious, it would advance to the Area championships against the winner of the Area 2 tournament in Pinetop-Lakeside.
That tournament would begin next week.
In the Little League major division, the Payson team, coached by Jimmy Aguilar, had to make the long journey to Page for the Area 1 tournament. The 9 and 10-year old Payson all-stars are in Flagstaff participating in an Area 1 triple elimination tournament.
Both tournaments wrap up July 6 with the winners advancing to playoffs next week against the winners of Area 2 tournaments.