A Little League Senior Division (13 to 15 years of age) program, suspended last year partly because of conflicts with the Rim Country Middle School baseball team, will return this season.
Since the middle school opted to not field a baseball team this year, Little League officials decided to reintroduce the Senior Division program to allow all players the opportunity to compete.
Mandatory tryouts and registration will begin at 9 a.m. March 4 at Rumsey Park. Aspiring players should show up for the tryouts in their baseball playing gear. The fee is $60 for the first child in a family and $55 for each additional sibling. Parents will also be asked to volunteer in some form during the 2006 season.
Team practices will begin after the tryouts and the season tip off in April.
Call Linda Schreur at (928) 472-9331 for more information.
MSA banquet set
The festive Mogollon Sporting Association banquet is one of the highlights of the spring season for the more than 200 people who annually attend.
Which means, it's time to purchase those tickets for the 2006 banquet to be held May 6 at Mazatzal Casino.
The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour. At 6 p.m., a filet mignon or chicken dinner will be served.
The raffles and give-aways begin about 7 p.m. with MSA member Will E. Dietz serving as master of ceremonies. The auctions will be overseen by Dave Yoke.
This year, the grand prize will be a 2006 Polaris 500 cc ATV.
Banquet tickets are $75 and available from any MSA member. Koon advises buying your tickets early. The banquet usually sells out.
"It's going to be a great one with lots of prizes, raffles and auction items," he said. "We already have 97 firearms and nine bows."
Loads of other donated merchandise, most of which has an outdoor theme, will be auctioned, raffled or given away as door prizes.
For tickets or more information, call Koon at (928) 474-1662.
A legacy of giving
There aren't many Rim Country coaches or program sponsors who haven't one time or another in the past 14 years gone to the Mogollon Sporting Association with their hand out hoping for a donation.
When strapped school and athletic budgets can't meet needs, the MSA is usually the first place coaches look for financial help.
Since the founding of MSA, the association has earned about $700,000 at its annual spring banquets and other fund-raisers.
Following each banquet, the profits are tallied and the MSA governing board gathers to consider requests for donations.
MSA's mission statement specifically states that all money earned must benefit local youth programs and conservation.
Making it to the hall
The MSA achieved the pinnacle of success for a volunteer foundation in August 2005 when it was inducted into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Then-MSA president Judy Baker and a contingent of 13 association members were on hand for the induction ceremonies held at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center.
Among the MSA members who attended were three of the five original founders -- Ted Pettet, Mike DeWees and Gary Barcom.
MSA was praised as an association that "has purchased uniforms for sports teams, sports equipment, bleachers, scoreboards, kid's college scholarships, music uniforms and instruments and playground equipment."
Entering the Hall of Fame was not the only honor MSA has received. In 2003, the organization received the Arizona State Schools Public Relation Association's Award of Merit for its longtime support of school programs.