Glendale A Hot Spot For State Finals

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Sports fans around the state chuckled when the Arizona Interscholastic Association decided to move the high school state basketball championships from America West Arena to Glendale Arena.

Why would the AIA abandon an arena designed for a basketball team, the Phoenix Suns, in favor of one built for a hockey team?

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High school basketball players, like Lady Horn Danielle O'Haver, now have the chance to play in the state tournament at the new Glendale Arena.

It seems, the AIA decision to move has been validated.

March 14, AIA Assistant Executive Director Chuck Schmidt announced that the championships, which included basketball, wrestling and spirit line competition, drew record attendance numbers.

"The AIA is very pleased with the first year of February Frenzy," Schmidt said. "The basketball championships were well attended by all corners of the state. From Tucson to Tuba City, from Yuma to Page, from Glendale to Mesa, we saw over 80,000 in overall attendance, which is an increase of close to 20 percent from previous years."

In December, the AIA, Glendale Arena and the City of Glendale signed a five-year contract for the arena to host the Arizona State High School basketball, wrestling and spirit line championships. The events began Feb. 4 and wrapped up with the 5A state basketball title game March 5.

The wrestling championships were held Feb. 5 to 12.

When the Arizona Cardinals stadium is completed next year, preliminary plans are to move the state football championships to Glendale.

If the AIA masterplan goes as expected, Glendale could someday host all the state championship events.

Hitting the links

A trio of local clubs --Payson Men's Golf Association, Payson Women's Golf Association 18-hole group and the PWGA 9-hole group -- are now gearing up for the spring, summer and fall campaigns.

All three clubs are inviting new members.

The PWGA 18-holers will open the season at 9 a.m. March 29 at Mad Dawg's and Mel's restaurant on Main Street with a buffet breakfast.

Local players interested in joining the PWGA are invited to attend the breakfast. Call Joyce Goff (928) 474-4638 or Dorothy Meet (928) 474-9670 for more information.

The Lady Niners will play their first tournament April 7 at Payson Golf Course. Tee time is 9 a.m.

Those interested in joining may do so by calling (928) 472-8772 or (928) 474-8772.

The 2005 Payson Men's Golf Association season kicked off March 23 with a breakfast and four-man scramble tournament.

Any players interested in becoming a member of the PMGA should call Dick Ceyler at (928) 468-0933.

Take a swing at hunger

The "Teeing Up For Hunger" fourth annual golf tournament tees off with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. April 30 at Payson Golf Course. About 100 players are expected to participate in the four-person scramble.

The tournament proceeds benefit the St. Vincent de Paul food bank that last year gave out more than 4,000 boxes of food to Payson's needy.

This year, the tournament will feature two hole-in-one prizes -- a 2005 For Explorer sponsored by Phil White Ford and a $10,000 cash award from Amon Construction Co.

Other prizes include weekend getaways an a set of irons.

Tournament slots are open for both players and hole sponsors.

To participate or for more information, call Richard Roy at (928) 474-9559 or Joe Gasiel at (928) 472-9688.

Boating safety classes set

The Gila County Sheriff's Office Roosevelt Lake Patrol Unit has teamed up with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to host a series of Boating Safety Education classes in Payson.

The classes will be held in the Payson Police Department conference room May 21 and August. 13.

Classes will also be held in Globe (April 16, July 16 and Oct. 15) and Roosevelt (June 18 and Sept. 17).

The sessions begin at 8 a.m. and wrap up at 5 p.m. There is a one hour lunch break.

Students will be taught the basics of how to properly and safely operate a watercraft. Lessons also will include how to operate different types of boats and trailers, how to read navigational aids and how to handle boating emergencies.

For more information, call Lu DuBois at (928) 467-2515 or (928) 467-2155.

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