Three Little League Teams Prep For Postseason

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Payson Little League teams in three age groups are primed and ready for postseason play.

All-star teams entered in Area 1 tournaments include the 9-10 - year-olds, Majors (11-12-years) and Juniors/ Seniors (13-14-years).

The 9-10-year old team, managed by Eddie Duran, will open tournament play at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) at Flagstaff Mt. Elden field against the Flagstaff All-Stars.

If Payson emerges victorious, it would play at 1 p.m. July 1 against the winner of the Winslow vs. Tuba City first round game.

If Payson loses to Flagstaff, the Rim stars would drop into the loser's bracket and play at 7 p.m. July 1 against the loser of the Winslow vs. Tuba City clash.

The tournament wraps up July 6, but no games will be played July 3 or Independence Day.

Coaches of the team include Scott Geske, Ty Goodman and Tom Belcher.

The all-stars include Cabe Novak, C.J. Nottingham, Garrett Geske, Garrett Sanders, Will Dougherty, Dylan Richardson, Cole Belcher, Gunner Goodman, Jordan Henderson, Carter Tatum, Blake Cannon and Ray Lott.

Major stars

The Major Division team will travel to Page for the Area 1 tournament. If the Rim crew advances to district tournament play, it will also be held in Page.

Payson opens tournament action at 8 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) on Little League field 2 vs. Flagstaff Coconino.

A win would propel Payson into a 5 p.m. second round game July 1 against the winner of the Tuba City vs. Winslow opener. That game is slated for field 2.

A loss would drop Payson into a an 8 p.m. game July 1 on field 2 against the loser of the Tuba City vs. Winslow skirmish.

The Payson Majors are coached by Jimmy Aguilar, Shawn Sloan, Geoff Wolf, Mike White and Joe Dougherty.

Only two 11-year-olds made the Major star team -- Zack Blazer and Cameron Geske. The 12-year-old members are Sean Dougherty, Ever Figueroa, Josh Sloan, Tyler Wolf, Juan Machado, Alberto Vargas, Josh Horsley, Justin Jumper, Edwin Estrada and Timmy Padilla.

Junior/Seniors

The Junior/Senior Area 1 tournament will be held July 1 to 6 Payson. During the course of the five-day round robin, three games will be played each day at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

No games will be played Independence Day.

Participating along with host Payson will be Continental/Mt. Elden, Winslow, Tuba City, Flagstaff Coconino and Page.

The Payson stars open against Tuba City at 4 p.m. July 1.

The Payson team will be managed by Charlie England and Pat Haynes. Former Longhorn varsity coach Bruce Haught will coach.

Team members include Adam Haught, Anthony Pearce, Hunter Haynes, Tyler Savage, Cody York, Ridge Halenar, Gage Conway, Devin England, Dakota Marshall and Grayson Brooks.

The only two players on the team that did not play in the spring for Rim Country Middle School are Brooks and Marshall.

For RCMS, Halenar (.410) and Haught (.409) were the leading hitters and Haynes the ace pitcher.

Like they did for the Mavericks, the trio is expected to shoulder much of the load for the Little League stars.

According to Bruce Haught, the team could not being practicing for postseason until yesterday (Monday) because many of the players were out of town on family vacations.

The winners of all Area 1 tournaments will advance to play the champion of Area 2 tournaments being played in Pinetop-Lakeside and Show Low. Area champions advance to district and district title winners earn berths to state. The 9-10-year-old league does not host a state tournament.

The best-ever effort by a Payson Little League team was turned in last summer when the Major Division all-stars won the Area and District 1 championships to advance to state. There, Payson compiled a 3-3 record against the state's finest Little League teams.

That team was the only Payson Little League squad to earn a state tournament seed.

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