Cross Country Team Seeks Volunteers

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Longhorn cross country coach Chuck Hardt is in need of volunteer help for a season-opening meet to be held Sept. 7 at Payson Golf Course.

Hardt's assistant, Chuck Yale, has been called out of town and will not be available to assist.

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Carlan Pontious practices for the Horns' Sept. 7 season-opening cross country meet.

Of course, putting on a meet in which hundreds of kids run more than 3 miles cross country also requires a good deal of logistical help.

Anyone who would like to help as timers, scorers and judges should call Hardt at (928) 474-2233.

Middle school boys and girls runs begin at 3:30 p.m. The high school girls competition begins at 4:15 p.m. and the boys will follow.

Mingus and Flagstaff Coconino will compete in the high school competition. The middle school field is not set.

Diamondbacks lend a helping hand

The Arizona Diamondbacks aren't doing much to excite fans on the field, but they do continue to sponsor one of the most commendable youth programs in the state.

The "Diamonds Back" Youth Field Building Program started in 2000 and has since built or refurbished 17 baseball fields around the state, including Mark Grace Field in Flagstaff.

For the project, the Diamondbacks enlisted Arizona Public Service as a corporate sponsor.

In May, the Diamonds Back program dedicated Tony Glaus Field at Evergreen Elementary School is Casa Grande. The field will be a part of the Casa Grande Little League complex which has been the home to several state tournaments.

Each of the fields built or refurbished come complete with sod, an electronic scoreboard, lights, fencing, backstops irrigation systems and are built to resemble the Bank One Ball Park.

According to Diamondbacks Community Affairs Senior Coordinator Alison Gable, the program's goal is to give "kids the chance to play on fields that exemplify major league baseball parks."

Among the criteria in selecting new field locations is the socio-economic conditions of the area.

In other words, the Diamondbacks won't be building any fields in ritzy north Scottsdale.

The team has established the Pinch Hitter fund to help alleviate unforeseen expenses for youth programs that have had equipment lost, stolen or damaged.

In a time when we wish the Diamondbacks were playing better, we need to be thankful for what they do give back to our youth.

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