Youth Football Teams Change Names

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Payson teams competing in 2008 Central Arizona Youth Football Association have undergone some name changes.

In the mighty mite division, the former Raiders team will now be known as the Redskins. In the minor division, the Wildcats replace the former Broncos.

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Payson youth football player Savanah Conway (right) tangles with a Raiders opponent during a midweek practice session at Rumsey Park.

Also in the minor division, the former Bucs team has become the Raiders.

Other teams representing Payson this season will be the Bears in the mighty mite division and the Raiders in the major division.

The major Raiders, coached by Billy Hardt and Dale Gonzales, have long been a force in CAYFA play.

In fact, the only game the team has lost in the past five seasons occurred in

2006 when the silver and black fell 26-24 to the Cottonwood Cardinals.

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Kobi Fuller is primed and ready to practice.

In the playoffs that year, the Raiders took out a bit of revenge on the Cards dealing the Cottonwood team a 44-18 loss.

Currently all three teams are practicing weekdays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Rumsey Park. After two weeks of five sessions, practices will be reduced to three days a week for the minor and major teams and two days for the mighty mites.

Although practices are under way, Payson football officials are keeping registration open. The fee is $80.

CAYFA games begin Sept. 6 in Prescott.

On the cheerleading front, only one team-- the Wildcats -- has a spirit line due to a shortage of adult sponsors.

Also, the football league is in need to community sponsors.

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Push-ups and stretching are a mandatory part of every football practice no matter what the skill level, youth to pros.

For more information, call Felicia Moore at (928) 476-5440.

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