Little League officials and coaches from around small-town central Arizona will gather tomorrow, June 21, in Winslow to iron out the details of the upcoming area and district tournament.
They'll pencil in teams on the tournament brackets, set playing times and sites and discuss rules and regulations.
After that, it's off to the races for Little League players itching to show their wares against foes carrying the banners of neighboring towns.
It's marvelous times for the young baseball players who will be going head-to-head against rivals they will probably continue to battle until high school graduation.
Tournaments involving local teams will be played in Flagstaff, Winslow and Payson.
Although Flagstaff and Winslow are hour-plus drives and gas is surging over $4 a gallon, it would be a real bonus for our players to have stands full of fans supporting them. No matter what sport or playing level, peewees to pros, athletes almost always perform better when surrounded by their own faithful.
It's called home cookin'.
Of course, a robust turnout to back the team that is playing in Payson will also be a morale booster for the young athletes.
Little League president Slade Gibson and the volunteers have done a wonderful job this season providing a quality athletic experience for those boys and girls who participated in both baseball and softball.
Now, it's our turn to show our appreciation by turning out to support our all-stars.
It also would be solid evidence, especially to our rivals in Snowflake, Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside, of the profound commitment our town has for its youth.
P&R outdoor offerings
Town of Payson Trails and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator Mary McMullen has scheduled a full lineup of summer offerings.
Session II will be Mondays through Thursdays, June 30 to July 17. Children entering grades 1-6 in the fall of 2008 can register now for the program.
The summer recreation program will be split into two age groups, grades 1-3 and 4-6, led by certified teachers, and will incorporate fun physical and cultural activities, along with occasional field trips.
The classes are held 8 a.m. to noon for three weeks.
This is not a drop-in program.
Space is limited. The cost is $40 per session per child, which includes a T-shirt and covers the cost of required supplies and field trips, unless otherwise specified.
Children in fourth through sixth grade have the option of an extended program with a daily pool visit until 2:30 p.m. at the end of each program day for an additional $25 per session, and children must bring a packed lunch. Call 474-5242 ext. 358 for more information.
At Monument Peak Trail is 8:30 to 11 a.m. June 21. The trail is rated "3" or easy.
This beautiful route features fantastic views of Monument Peak and Granite Dells, along with some views of the Rim. Participants will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Monument Peak Trailhead, which is 3.3 miles east on Granite Dells Road.
Expect some periodic hills and loose granite, so bring appropriate footwear and water. This is a free event.
Registration can be done in advance at the Payson Parks and Recreation Office at 1000 W. Country Club Drive, or on-site the day of the hike.
Dutch oven cooking classes will begin at 9 a.m. July 12 at Rumsey Park, Ramada 4.
Learn how to cook main dishes, desserts and fresh bread from award-winning Dutch oven cooking instructors.
Registrants will get hands-on experience cooking their own dish and loaner ovens will be available to those who don't own one.
Registration is June 16 to July 3 and the cost is $30, which includes food at the end of class.
Another PATS Hike
At American Gulch south trail will begin at 8:30 a.m. July 19.
The hike is rated at the moderate level -- and is 2.6 miles long.
This beautiful route features fantastic views of the Mazatzal Mountains. The trailhead is 3.6 miles west on Main Street (Doll Baby Ranch Road) from Highway 87.
The class will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Payson Parks and Recreation Office. Trained staff will teach you how to make waypoints, find specific locations of interest, make your own tracks, and much more.
You will learn to do practical applications using your own GPS inside and outside at Green Valley Park. Registration is from July 7 through Aug. 15.
The cost is $15 per person and class size is limited.