Young Athletes Get Chance At Bat

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The Pepsi Pitch Hit and Run competition, to be held April 19 at Rumsey II field, will provide a stage where Rim Country baseball players can put their diamond skills to the test against other athletes the same age and gender.

In past years, Payson has turned out some excellent performers including six-time local Pepsi champion Ridge Halenar who qualified for the Arizona Diamondbacks team championship on five occasions.

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Aspiring baseball players ages 7 to 14 years of age are eligible to participate in the Pepsi Pitch Hit and Run competition.

The teenager is now plying his diamond wares as a freshman starter on the Payson High School baseball team.

For the upcoming shoot-out, age divisions, which include 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14 years, are determined as of July 17, 2006.

In pitching competition, players throw six pitches off the mound at a target about 50 feet away. Points are awarded on accuracy of the pitches.

In hitting, batters hit a designated number of baseballs off a tee. Points are awarded for distance and accuracy.

In the run event, athletes are timed running from second base, around third and to home.

The most points accumulated will determine the age/gender division winners.

Registration begins at 4 p.m. the day of the event and the competition tips off at 5 p.m.

The event is free of charge but participants must sign a registration/waiver form prior to competing.

Local winners will advance to a sectional competition. Champions there are eligible to advance to the team championships hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Dates for those events will be announced soon.

The National Finals will be held during professional baseball's all-star festivities in Pittsburgh, Pa.

For more information, call Charlene Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 260.

Ex-Lady Horn to graduate

Good news arrived in the mail last week in the form of a graduation announcement from former Lady Longhorn three-sport star Reanna (Martinez) Nsubuga.

The Payson High School alumni will graduate May 12 from Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

She's majored in communication education with an emphasis in diversity and a minor in family studies.

Gone fishin'

The 2006 Willow Springs Trout Tournament to benefit Payson Christian School will be held from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6 at the lake, located 32 miles east of Payson and north of Highway 260.

The entry fee is $20 per person if preregistered before May 1. On the day of the tournament, the fee is $25.

Tournament day registration at the lake store opens at 5 a.m. and closes at 7 a.m. Those who preregister must also check in before beginning to fish.

Due to the size of the lake, the tournament is open only to the first 100 anglers to register.

All entrants must be in possession of an Arizona fishing license and a trout stamp. Arizona Game and Fish Laws limit an angler to six trout per day.

Participants must fish Willow Springs Lake only and there can be no prefishing from April 28 to the day of the tournament. The minimum size trout that should be kept is 8 inches. The benefit will take place regardless of weather conditions.

The post tournament weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. and closes at 4 p.m. Since the weigh-in will be held at the dock house, fishermen can opt to catch and release. Awards and prizes will be given out at a ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the lake parking lot.

"Look for a motor home with Payson Community Christian School sign," tournament director Tracy Purtee said.

Registration forms are available at the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline Highway.

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