Summer Sand Vb League In 3rd Season

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When Patrick Walker, a town recreation supervisor, left his job last summer to return to college, he vowed to make the adult sand volleyball league even more successful than it had been.

After a year of college in Flagstaff, Walker has returned to his summer town parks and recreation job primed and ready to jump start the 2008 league.

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Patrick Walker, Payson recreation supervisor, juggles three volleyballs. The summer sand volleyball league is preparing for its third season.

In touting the sport, which is highly popular on Southern California beaches, Walker will have a tale to spin that should convince most weekend warriors sand volleyball is the stuff of which great memories are made.

The saga plays out during last summer's postseason tournament.

The Cannonballs and Walker's Team 5 entered the final shoot-out seeded one and two, respectively. Walker's only loss during that regular season had been to the Cannonballs who wrapped up the campaign undefeated.

In semifinal tournament play, Walker's Team 5 surprised almost everyone, upsetting the Cannonballs 2-1.

The never-say-day Cannonballs -- which featured former Lady Longhorn and Arizona Coaches Association all-star Brooke Cannon --tormed back through the consolation bracket to reach the championship finale.

In the first set, the Cannons shot down Walker's team 2-0 to set up an "if" game.

In it, the Cannonballs again prevailed 2-0.

Although Walker's team was denied the championship trophy, the tournament was one of the most exciting skirmishes in last year's P&R offerings.

In preparing for the 2008 sand volleyball league, which will be in its third season, Walker expects both the Cannonballs and his Walker's Team 5 to again enter and contend for the title.

"That's a possibility," he said.

For the upcoming season, games will be played 6 to 10 p.m. Monday evenings beginning June 16. Walker expects regular season play to continue for six weeks and a postseason championship tournament to be held.

The format will be coed, 4-on-4 and all players must be at least 16 years of age.

Of the four players on the teams, at least one girl must be on the court at all times.

There will be no officials, so players will be asked to call their own game on the honor system.

If disputes do occur, Walker will be on site to resolve them.

"I usually just say ‘play it over,'" he said.

The fee is $80 and registration must be completed before May 30 at the P&R department.

For more information, call Walker at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

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