Athletes' Conduct Must Be Above Reproach

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A highly talented valley-area athlete and his school are paying a huge price for the teen's misbehavior.

Tempe Marcos de Niza officials recently wrapped up an investigation that concluded Padre star guard Kal Bay went into the stands Dec. 6 to confront hecklers during a game against Westview High School.

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Prep basketball players this year cannot leave the bench area and go into the stands for any type of verbal or physical confrontations with fans.

By doing so, Bay's action violated an AIA sportsmanship rule that states any player who enters the spectator area to engage in any physical or verbal conflict is suspended for the rest of the school year in any sport.

AIA executive director Harold Slemmer has confirmed that Bay has indeed been suspended for the remainder of the prep basketball season.

Bay, a senior who was averaging 21 points per game for the Padres, has committed to play next year for the University of Colorado.

Marcos officials must now submit a report to the AIA recommending sanctions against the school for the rule violation. Marcos could face a ban from postseason play and probation.

Once the AIA receives the report from Marcos de Niza, the executive board will meet to determine what action will be taken.

Like I said, a huge price is being paid for a teen's indiscretion.

Let's hope other high school players learn from the unfortunate incident.

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, there was no elk season 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 our wildlife resources, he 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.

10K's return

Town of Payson Parks and Recreation run options, 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.

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