Youth Football Still Hot As Season Draws To Close


Gridiron action in the Central Arizona Youth Football Association continues to heat up as a trio of Payson teams battle for postseason honors in Nov. 19 wrap ups.

In the Majors Division, the Payson Raiders will play at 2 p.m. against the Chino Valley Trojans at Camp Verde High School.


Payson Raiders quarterback Westin Gibson hands off on a power play during the team's 26-6 win over the Camp Verde Bulldogs Nov. 12 at Rumsey Park.

The last time the two foes met, the Raiders won 14-13 in the final minute of play on a TD by Cameron Geske and a two-point conversion from Westin Gibson.

From the Minors Division, the Payson Broncos take on the Camp Verde Rattlers at 10 a.m. at Butler Park in Camp Verde.

Mighty Mighty action will feature the Payson Bears taking on the Bagdad Razorbacks at noon at Butler Park.

The unbeaten Raiders will enter the championship clash against the Trojans fresh off a 26-6 win over the Camp Verde Bulldogs Nov. 12 at Rumsey Park.

The Broncos will be struggling to recover from a 14-12 setback to the Cottonwood Titans at Cottonwood High School.

In the Bears' last outing, also played at Cottonwood H.S., the Rim Country squad fell 14-0 to the Cottonwood Seahawks.


Members of the Payson Raiders line up to congratulate the Camp Verde Bulldogs for their efforts. Raider coach Billy Hardt characterizes the youngsters as ones who "play as a team -- they're competitive."

Bears spokesman John Harris called the game an uphill battle.

"The Bears' defense gave up two hard-earned touchdowns in the first half, while the offense faced its most difficult defense this year and was shut out," he said. "Dailey Carnes was the leading rusher and was one of the leading tacklers, while Trey Glasscock had a season-best day in tackles and blocking."

With the conclusion of the season just a week away, Harris thanked those associated with the program.

"I'd like to extend my thanks to Tom Belcher, head coach, and the coaching staff of Brandon Moore and Mark Henning for a great season, and, most importantly, to the young men who gave their best this season as the Payson Bears," he said.

Also on the CAYFA front, the association is seeking several new volunteer officers, including president, vice president and cheerleader adviser, for next season.

In Payson, there are vacancies for the positions of president, secretary, treasurer and commissioner.

To learn more about Payson area CAYFA, call Angela Parker at (928) 595-0232.

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