Payson Alum Heads State Softball Group

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Don Fishel is sometimes remembered as the local recreation coordinator who operated the town department on a shoestring budget out of a tiny, cramped trailer office.

But that was 1984 and Fishel has moved on to bigger and better things.

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Don Fishel

Most recently, the Payson High School alum was named the Arizona Commissioner for the Amateur Softball Association (ASA).

His new position is a prestigious one; he will be the man responsible for scheduling and hosting ASA softball tournaments around the state.

Fishel will also be filling the shoes of a former state commissioner who is a legend in the sport of softball.

A.C. Williams held the position of Arizona commissioner for almost 40 years, building a reputation as a softball guru.

Fishel has called Williams his tutor saying he went to Williams for advice when he received his first recreation job with the Town of Payson.

When Williams decided to step down last month, there were two ASA state commissioners -- one for the Phoenix area and another supervising the remainder of the state.

With Fishel's appointment, the ASA decided to merge the two positions and the new commissioner will now be responsible for supervising the entire state.

In addition to serving as chief of the ASA, which is a volunteer position, Fishel will continue to work as a recreation supervisor for the Town of Prescott.

His appointment as the state commissioner could be a boon for the Mile High City in that he can steer regional and state tournaments to a city that has long aspired to be the softball capital of Arizona.

While working in Payson, Fishel hosted numerous softball tournaments and at one time attempted to bring Over the Line Softball to the Rim Country.

While OTL softball is a huge hit on the beaches of Southern California, the sport never caught on among Payson players.

After leaving Payson, Fishel worked as recreation coordinators in Winslow and Yuma.

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