Pine's ‘Credit For Kids' Helps Sports Return

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Pine Strawberry School now has a flag football team and will soon enjoy an all-weather artificial turf field thanks to Credit for Kids donations.

The flag football program was canceled about four years ago due to a lack of funding. With the Credit for Kids contributions that came in last year, about $50,000, school officials were able to bring back most of the school's sports programs to compete in the Small School Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Also, donations are being used to build an all-weather FieldTurf playing surface at the school.

"We expected it to be in by now, but the rain has held it up," school superintendent Mike Clark said. "We hope it will be finished by the end of next week."

The FieldTurf surface is the same as those installed on the Rumsey Park multipurpose and softball fields.

Pine Strawberry's flag football team is coached by Ken Schneider and played its first game Aug. 22 at Rumsey Park against the Camp Verde Cowboys. The visitors won the clash 26-6.

Clark said the team played with enthusiasm, good sportsmanship and excellent teamwork.

Future games will be played at Pine Strawberry School.

Football team members include Sarah Sprinkle, Marya Johnson, Collin Bellah, Ryan Gaines-Andress, Brandon Landers, Jimmie Zimmer, Joshua Williams, Dathan Atkinson, Marco Alvarez, Joseph Davis, Noel Straining, Bobbie Lombardi, Preston Barnett and Andy Brush.

The Arizona Kids Tax Credit Program gives taxpayers a credit against their state income tax liability for donations to public or charter schools in Arizona. The maximum credit was originally $200 for single filers and $300 for joint filers. For tax year 2006 and after, it is $400 for joint filers. To qualify, donations must pay fees to a public school to support extracurricular activities or a character education program. Donation may be made any time. Call (928) 476-3283 to donate to the Pine-Strawberry School.

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