Athletes, Cheer Squad Efforts Appreciated

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Pine Strawberry Fire District Administrative Assistant Lisa Sieracki, who also volunteers at the two towns' food bank wants to thank all those who participated in the food drive Aug. 22 at the Payson High School vs. Camp Verde football scrimmage.

She writes:

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Pine Strawberry firefighters Zach Graham and Bill Potter flank Jean Bean of the local food bank. The trio was stocking the food supplies that were donated at the Payson vs. Camp Verde scrimmage Aug. 22 at Payson High School.

"The Pine Strawberry Fire District would like to thank the FAN Club, spirit line and football team for their outstanding efforts to collect food for the Pine and Strawberry Food Bank. The Fire District works with the Food Bank in efforts to collect food donations.

"The Payson teams are to be highly commended for their help, and should be proud to know many people will benefit from their generosity in collecting.

"We are thankful to have such wonderful teens in the Rim Country that gave of their selves in such an unselfish manner."

Trucks interest on the rise

Nelson Beck, one of the forces behind bringing the highly successful demolition derby to Payson, is elated interest in the trucks division is growing by leaps and bounds.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we had seven or eight trucks competing," he said. "The truck division makes us very unique."

Last year only two trucks competed in the derby.

New to the derby this year will be the appearance by Pro-Tour FMX, a freestyle motocross exhibition tion and demonstration team. On the squad is former California state 4-Stroke champion D.J. Umphres. The dare devil riders are said to perform some of the most exciting and dangerous motorcycle tricks in the sport. Among the tricks are the Double Grab Heart Attack, Cliff Hanger, Tsunami, One-Handed Indian Air and Cat Knack.

The derby, which is held in conjunction with the Northern Gila County Fair, begins 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 7 at the Payson Event Center.

Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children 4 to 11 years. Children under 4 are free.

For more information, call Beck at (928) 474-5242, ext. 268.

Calling all tennis buffs

There's still time to register for an adult tennis tournament that will be played from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 6 on the Rumsey Park courts. Payson tennis teaching pro Diane Jackson is teaming up with the Payson Parks and Recreation Athletics Coordinator Joseph Harris to host the net skirmish.

"It'll be a fun little tournament we want people to enjoy," Jackson said. "It's open to adults 18 years and older."

The fray will be contested in a round robin format among two-person teams of all playing abilities. When registering, players will be asked their skill level -- A, B or C.

Then, Jackson will head a committee that will assign playing partners.

"We will try to pair a stronger player with a weaker one," she said. "We want the tournament to be competitive and fair."

At the conclusion of the tournament a barbecue lunch will be served and prizes awarded.

The entry fee is $10 and registration is open to the first 24 to sign up.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit local youth sports. For more information, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7. Registration may be completed at the P&R offices located at Green Valley Park.

Training runs on Saturday

In preparation for the upcoming Rim Country Challenge, veteran runners Linda Gibson and Peggy Miles are offering free half-marathon training sessions at 7 a.m. each Saturday. The sessions begin at the parks office at Green Valley Park.

To participate, simply show up at GVP ready to run.

The races, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 4, start and finish at Payson's scenic Green Valley Park. The half marathon and relay begins at 8 a.m., the 5K begins at 8:15 a.m. and the young athletes' fun run begins at 9 a.m.

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