The fiercest competition at the 2005 edition of the Elks Hoop Shoot occurred in the 10- and 11-year-old boys division where Jeffrey Kelley and Jimmy Zimmer met.
After the first round of 25 shots, the two youngsters were dead-knotted, causing Elk officials to call for a 10-shot overtime.
By the time the excitement settled Dec. 3 in Tonto Apache Recreation Center, Kelley had claimed the age/sex group championship by a single successful shot. Kelley sank 16 of his 35 shots and Zimmer made good on 15 of 35.
In the 8- and 9-year age group, Hunter Doka sank nine of 25 attempts to win the crown.
Among the 12- and 13-year-old boys, Jack Blazer Mercer hit 16 of 25 shots to edge Valentino Campbell Doka, who sank 13 shots.
Among the 10- and 11-year-old girls, Teanna Lopez (13 of 25) was first and Lanie O'Donnell (nine of 25) was second.
Jaymi Carlen won the 12- and 13-year girls title by making 10 of 25 shots.
The Payson Elks Lodge champions are now eligible to participate in the Elks district competition on a date and location to be announced soon. Most district contests have from five to 12 lodge champions competing against one another. The six finalists in each district contest earn the right to participate in the state contest. State winners are awarded berths in the national finals.
The names of the national champions are displayed at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
The Payson High School wrestling team will host a benefit all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria. The menu consists of spaghetti by Mark Fumusa, homemade rolls by Jackie Lee, salad and beverages. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for children and $20 for an immediate-family pass. The event will mark the 16th annual benefit Fumusa has prepared for the wrestling program.
Saturday in Wilson dome
The junior varsity wrestling team and the Lady Longhorn freshmen will be in action Dec. 10 in Wilson dome. The underclassmen clashes do not appear on some early editions of PHS sports schedules.
The wrestling match, which is expected to draw about 10 teams, will begin at 8 a.m. in Wilson dome and continue into the afternoon hours.
The showdown will allow mat fans the opportunity to preview a foursome of Payson High School fledgling wrestlers who were at their best during a junior varsity multi-meet held Nov. 28 at Marana Mountain View.
Taylor Byers (103), Jordan Bulcher (125), Dan McGee (135) Issac Cluff (135), Nick Goodman (152) and Steel Armstrong (189) all compiled 4-0 records during the tournament.
In old PHS gymnasium, the Lady Longhorn girls will join Camp Verde and Sinagua in a round robin of games.
Athletic Director Dave Bradley said the series was added to the schedule to replace some freshman games that could not be played because opponents did not have frosh teams.
"It's a good opportunity for the freshmen to get playing time," he said.
The round robin tips off at 10 a.m. with Payson taking on Camp Verde. At 11:30 a.m. Camp Verde plays Sinagua and at 1 p.m. Payson challenges Sinagua.
There is no admission charge to the wrestling match or the basketball games.
Youth hoop sign up
Registration for town-sponsored third and fourth grade basketball ends Dec. 14. League play begins in early January.
Those who register after the deadline will be placed on teams only if space permits. The registration fee is $20 per player, which includes a minimum of 10 games, a team T-shirt and a season-ending pizza party.
Telephone (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.
AGFD seeking poachers
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public's help in finding a poacher who killed two elk just south of Mormon Lake, which is southeast of Flagstaff, sometime between Nov. 13 and 17.
The elk were shot in Game Management Unit 5B South near a meadow off the Lake Mary Road and Forest Service Road 124 intersection, approximately three miles south of Mormon Lake. Reports say the poacher took one of the elk out of the field whole and left part of the carcass and legs of the other elk in the field. When the poaching occurred, no elk season was existent in that unit.
"This is a blatant example of poachers' disrespect for wildlife and the laws and seasons that are established to protect our wildlife resources," says Wildlife Manager Garrett Fabian. "We need help from the public in catching the poacher. If you were in the area recently, please think back about anything you might have seen or heard or any conversations you might have had. Maybe someone doesn't realize he or she has the key to solving this case."
The poached animals are considered a major loss for the residents of Arizona and wildlife resources, Fabian said.
Anyone with information about the poaching can call the department's Operation Game Thief hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700. A quick report of any poaching case to the department is important in order to preserve any evidence. Callers may be eligible for a reward in this case. All calls may remain confidential upon request.
Town to host 10K
It's been a long time since the Rim Country hosted a 10K run.
The last one, The Christopher Creek to Kohl's Ranch Run for MS, went by the wayside about 10 years ago. The event once drew the support of the Lions Club, but even its backing couldn't keep the 10K on track.
The 6.2 mile course, which began on Highway 260 in front of the Creekside restaurant and extended west on the highway until winding south through Camp Tontozona and wrapping up behind Kohl's Ranch, was one of the most scenic in the state.
Without it, the Payson Parks and Recreation Department has stepped up to provide a replacement. The P&R's offerings, which once only included 5K runs, will now feature the 10K Resolution Run. It will also include a two-mile fun run.
The event begins at 9 a.m. Jan. 28 in Green Valley Park.
Registration is now being accepted for the run. The entry fee is $15 for those who register before the day of the race. On race day, the fee increases to $20.
Call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.