Fast Pitch Clinics Set Through Month

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Freshmen don’t often have the opportunity to play varsity sports, but that’s exactly what happened during the Cake Chevrolet Shoot Out held last weekend in Winslow.

Freshman Chase Walden saw his first varsity basketball action in the Longhorns’ win over Ganado. He responded by scoring four points and hauling in eight rebounds.

Coach Jared Swanson said of the frosh, “He is a very hardworking player who has a bright future if he continues to work hard on both ends of the court.”

Chase is the younger brother of a trio of other Payson sport standouts. His older brother Hunter quarterbacked the Longhorn football team to the 1998 state championship. Another older brother, Taylor, showed loads of athletic promise as an eighth-grader, especially in football, before moving to the Valley area where he continued to shine in the sport. His sister, Jadyn, was a three-sport star at PHS and last season served as assistant coach on the volleyball team. She is also the tournament director for the upcoming Holiday Hoops basketball tournament.

Clinics set

Barring rain or snow outs, the first of five fast pitch softball clinics will be held Dec. 12 at the Kiwanis fields at Rumsey Park.

Other clinics are set for Dec. 19, 23, 30 and Jan. 9 also on the Kiwanis fields. The session for beginners will be 10 to 11 a.m. and skills sessions for advanced are 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The fee is $5 per session.

Little League board member Felicia Moore calls the clinics “an opportunity for girls to learn (fast pitch).”

Also for aspiring players, fielding clinics are scheduled for Dec. 23 and a hitting clinic on Dec. 30.

For both the fielding and hitting clinics, sessions for those 10 years of age and under will be from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The 11-year-olds and up will meet from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Moore predicts the skills learned will help the girls during tryouts, which will be conducted Feb. 20.

Former Lady Longhorn coach Curtis Johnson will host the clinics.

On hand to assist the coach will be his daughter Candice, an all-region and all-state hurler for the Lady Longhorns from 2004 to 2008.

At the clinics, players and their parents will have the opportunity to register for 2010 Little League play.

The registration fee for minor, major and junior league play is $75 until a Feb. 1 deadline. After the deadline the fee is $80.

The fee for the coach-pitch league is $50.

Families with more than two children participating will not have to pay for more than two players.

“This year, as a board we decided (that),” Moore said.

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