Good Coaches Provide Right Atmosphere

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There are not many financial rewards in high school coaching.

In fact babysitting often pays better than does coaching. Old teachers/coaches usually find themselves working a second job after retirement and driving a 13-year-old pickup.

But every once in awhile they are rewarded with a fond memory or two that makes the years spent in the profession more than worthwhile.

A few of those recollections stirred this old teacher and coach while watching a Payson Little League all-star baseball game played last week at Rumsey Park.

At Payson High School years ago, I had the privilege of coaching in football both the manager and the coach of the 9-10-year-old stars -- Denver White and Ty Goodman.

Both were good athletes, great kids and fun to be around even in the most challenging of times.

In high school, the boys were team-oriented and hard workers eager to contribute their share.

Watching them coach the tiny players, it was obvious both have the best interests of the kids at heart and are good role models.

Denver and Ty are also both very positive coaches who motivate their players with tributes and praise.

Their approach is a bit different than mine was. I was traditional old-school and more of a tail-chewer.

Needless to say, I was impressed with both coaches demeanor and the way they handled all the game situations.

There was one disputed play, obviously base running interference on Mt. Elden, that was not called.

Both Denver and Ty handled it with diplomacy refusing to show up or demean the official who missed the call.

But at the end of the inning, "blue" walked over to the Payson bench and admitted he realized there was reason for an interference call.

I left the game thinking that as long as there are young coaches coming up through the ranks like Denver and Ty, youth sports in Payson will provide a healthy athletic and emotional outlet for our most valuable resource -- our children.

It was also rewarding to see that two coaches who have their sports roots in Payson have stepped up to help continue, and improve, the athletic tradition they were once a big part of.

A Florida reader writes

Wow, the wonders of the World Wide Web.

Mike May of Jupiter, Fla., who obviously reads the online edition of the Payson Roundup, e-mailed to comment about a story I wrote in a recent edition about wooden baseball and softball bats, and that they might be less dangerous than alloy ones.

May represents a coalition in the baseball industry known as Don't Take My Bat Away.

May disputes that batted balls fly off metal bats faster than wood bats.

He says the two speeds are comparable.

He also says there is no statistically significant evidence that non-wood bats result in an increased incidence of severity of injury.

He calls a situation I wrote about in New York City where alloy bats have been banned to avoid injuries to high school players a "case purely based on anecdotal opinions."

He also asked that I visit a Web site, DTMBA.com, to watch a video on independent tests of exit speeds of baseballs off wood and metal bats.

I promised I would do that.

Meredith roping

This year, the 4th Annual Ted Meredith Memorial Roping will benefit the American Cancer Society in memory of Marsha Marcanti.

The former Globe resident, a longtime fixture on the county rodeo and roping circuit, was also an accomplished musician with three CD releases. Marcanti was 48 years old when she succumbed last year to cancer.

Since her death, several other events including the Cowpunchers Reunion and Gila Championship Rodeo have featured benefits for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer fund.

Meredith Memorial Roping sponsors Garrett and Sarah Haught say 10 percent of all donations will be given to the breast cancer fund in memory of Marcanti.

The roping, which will be held July 19 and 20 during Pleasant Valley Days in Young, traditionally draws some of the finest headers and heelers from throughout Gila County.

The competition will be conducted similar to past years with two Ruger 44 Magnum pistols going to the high-money header and heeler during the weekend. A master trophy saddle will be awarded the high-money roper of the open draw competition, which organizers say is the most anticipated event of the weekend. Buckles, breast collars and saddle blankets will be awarded the winners of the Marsha Marcanti Memorial All-Girl Round Robin.

On July 20, a "Scrambled Egg" roping for boys and girls teams, 16-years-and-under, will be held at 9 a.m.

The entry fees are $60 a person for the roping and $125 for the all-girl round robin.

Cash-only entries will be accepted on the days of the event.

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