Youth Golf Tournament This Saturday

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The Payson Youth Football Association is hosting its annual benefit golf tournament June 26 at Payson Golf Course. Individual or team walk-ons are welcome. The format is a four-man scramble. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The fee is $75 per player which includes lunch after the tournament and a raffle.

Also, the association will hold a player and cheerleader registration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 10 in the conference room of Arizona Public Service at 400 W. Longhorn Road.

Parents need to bring a copy of their child's birth certificate. Children ages 6 to 13 years old are eligible to participate. The registration fee for football is $70; for cheerleading, it is $50.

For more information, call Angela Parker at (928) 468-6482.

Where have all the campers gone?

Matt Smith of the Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Outreach and Development program says the traditionally popular youth training centers in Payson each summer are having trouble attracting campers.

"We have been to Payson every summer and have had some awesome camps, but unfortunately we are being faced with dramatically low numbers so far," Smith said.

One of the reasons for the decline is a scheduling conflict: there are three Little League postseason tournaments being played about the same time the training centers are scheduled (July 5 to 9).

The major division (11-12 years) all-stars will be playing in Page, the 9 and 10 year olds will be in Flagstaff and the juniors (13-14-years) are slated to battle in Payson.

For those interested in participating in the training centers, the baseball sessions for youths 7 to 12 years old are slated for 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The intermediate sessions for players 11 to 13 years old will be from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The camps will be held at Rumsey Park.

A Diamondback softball fastpitch camp for players 7 to 16 years old is on tap for 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Lady Horn field. The softball camp also will be conducted July 5 to 9.

The camp curriculum is endorsed by the professional baseball team's staff and is matched to the age and skill level of the student. Instructors are handpicked by the organization to teach the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, throwing, base-running and specific position play.

In years past, instructors in Payson have included some former minor league players, high school coaches and a few who have played in the major leagues.

Registration fee for both the regular and softball Training Centers is $150. For the intermediate camp, the fee is $160. All registrations include an official Diamondback Training Center T-shirt, cap, sports bag and two tickets to a 2004 Diamondback regular season home game. A portion of the proceeds from the camps benefit Arizona Diamondback charities.

For more information on camp sites and times, call (800) 821-7152.

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