Fifth-, Sixth-Grade Leagues Get Under Way

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The town of Payson fifth- and sixth-grade basketball league attracted enough girl players to field two divisions.

In the early planning stages of the league, Recreation Specialist Charlene Hunt fretted that the league wouldn't draw enough players for an all-girl division.

"Then we would have had to have a coed league," Hunt said.

Those worries were unfounded; enough players for five teams opted to participate.

The teams are Hot Pink, Slam Dunkers, Rebels, Wildcats and Hoopers.

The boys league has eight teams -- Trailblazers, Likers, Lakers, Slingers, Mavericks, Eclipse, Sun Devils and Apache Eagles.

Action tipped off Saturday morning in Payson High School's old gymnasium with a full round of nine games. Play continues until March 18 with games Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Tonto Apache gymnasium and Saturdays at Payson High School.

According to Hunt, coaches have been asked to stress sportsmanship, skill development and the recreation aspect of the sport.

"We just want them to have fun," she said.

In previous years, some fourth-graders were allowed to participate but that practice has been ended.

"We are keeping it grade-appropriate," Hunt said.

For more information on parks and recreation offerings, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

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