Little League All-Stars Ready For Unknown Opponents


Not knowing who they will play and at what time hasn't slowed the practice progress of the 9- and 10-year-olds of the Payson Little League All-Star team.

Every day since the formation of the team at the conclusion of the regular season, the All-Star players, and manager Craig McMullen, gather at Rumsey Park to practice for Area One tournament play.


The Diamondbacks were among the Payson Little League teams to send representatives to the All-Star team that will begin postseason play June 30 in Page.

The postseason tournament will tipoff June 30 in Page, but McMullen is not sure of Payson's first round opponent or the game time.

Teams from Flagstaff, Page and Tuba City will participate in the tournament.

The top two teams from the fray will advance to the Little League Area Championships in Eagar/Springerville.

Winners advance to the district championships and then to state.

In assessing his team's chances of advancing, McMullen said the crew appears to have good pitching, which is an absolute key to success in the postseason.

"About half of our team were pitchers (in the regular season)," he said. "And we know pitching is critical."

Among the Payson All-Stars is the manager's son, Nick, who last week finished third in the Arizona State Pepsi Pitch, Hit and Run State Championships held at Diamondbacks Chase Field in Phoenix.

During the regular season, Nick was also a starring member of the third-place finishing Diamondbacks. Also on the All-Star team from the Diamondbacks are Nathan Arnold and Miguel Mendoza.

Representing the Cubs are Chance Randall and Tanner Purtill. From the Pirates are Tyus Sarnowski and Blake Cannon. Skyler Tuer will represent the Red Sox, Konner Duran the A's, Daily Carnes the Cardinals and Chris Cooper and Zack Wolf are from the White Sox.

The All-Stars were chosen in a voting of team managers.

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