Years of playing sports hasn't lessened the enthusiasm of the Payson Cougars Senior Softball team members.
The seniors' passion for the game was on display Wednesday morning at Rumsey II, where the cats hosted the Fountain Hills Desert Dwellers.
In every inning of the doubleheader, the seniors played with the fervor of much younger athletes.
When an exceptional play was made on either team, Cougars were quick to applaud the effort. And when a Payson player didn't show the hustle expected of them, a few barbs were thrown his way.
"Give up your body for the team," a player yelled from the dug out after a Cougar infielder stepped out of the way of a red hot line drive.
Opponents also can be the target of a bit of old-fashioned needling.
Just after a Fountain Hills senior swatted a base clearing triple and rounded the bases with speed and grace, a Cougar player spouted, "He's only 21. He's a ringer."
The twin bill was one of several that have been played in Payson each Wednesday since May 25.
Action began April 20 at the Fountain Hills Spring Softball League, but moved to Payson when temperatures in the Valley began to soar.
"(Moving to Payson) was something we agreed on because of the cooler climate here," Cougar manager Skipper Yamada said.
League action will continue with double-headers each Wednesday at Rumsey before wrapping up June 29. Games begin at 10 a.m.
Currently the Cougars are playing .500 ball despite the fact they have lost several players to injuries including Yamada, who is recovering from a torn rotator cuff that required surgery.
Yamada invites all softball fans to come out and cheer for the home team.
"If you're not working, if you are retired, or have the day off, come on down and cheer the Cougars on," he said. "We'd love to have you."