Annual Fish Fry Benefits Girls, Boys Basketball

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Members of the Friends And Neighbors (FAN) booster club admit they are in “a slow down mode,” but that doesn’t mean they won’t be sponsoring two upcoming Payson High School team benefits.

The first is the annual fish fry dinner to benefit the boys and girls basketball teams.

The other is the annual “Longhorn Discount Cards” sale that helps fund the PHS track and field and baseball programs.

The fish fry is on the agenda for 4:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria. The tickets are $5 for those 10-years-and-under, $6 for adults, and $30 for a family pass.

The menu includes fried fish, slaw, french fries and drinks.

Also that evening, both the girls and boys junior varsity and varsity teams will be in action in Wilson Dome and old PHS gymnasium.

Longtime FAN Club member Eileen Daniels is touting the event as a great meal at a reasonable price and an opportunity to cheer on the young athletes as they begin the new season.

Lady Longhorn coach Kelly Krieg and Jared Swanson have stirred up some friendly competition between the boys and girls players to see which group can sell the most dinner tickets. The winning team will be treated to a pizza party.

Although the discount card sales won’t begin until February 2010, FAN Club members are in the process of aligning businesses to participate in the five-year-old program. In it, cardholders receive discounts on purchases at various business places around the Rim Country.

For example, the last several years one local restaurant offered a two-for-one sale in which cardholders receive two sandwiches for the price of one.

Some businesses have also offered 10 percent off and there are others that give discounts for audio/visual purchases and automobile maintenance services.

Last year, the cards sold for $15 each but FAN Club members have not yet decided on a fee for the 2010 cards.

The profits from the sales directly benefit both the baseball and track team. Those extra funds allow coaches to purchase items not available in the strapped-tight school athletic budget.

FAN Club members tout the cards as a way to support local businesspersons and the student-athletes as well.

Youth football thrives

Payson Youth Football League President Daniel Way is calling the past season an overwhelming success.

He says all six local teams earned playoff berths and two of the teams, Coach Chris Barr’s Minor Raiders and Mike Conway’s Junior Bears, advanced to bowl games.

The Bears took first, whipping the Winslow Bulldogs in the finale and the Minor Raiders were second after falling to Show Low.

Veteran coach Billy Hardt’s Senior Raiders are still in the playoffs that will wrap up Nov. 21 in Cottonwood.

Way says he “would like to thank everyone who gave of their time this year and all the great youths who played.

The president also thanked the sponsors “for the donations to the teams because without you there would be no youth football.”

Among those he singled out for thanks were Payson Concrete, MLV Flooring, RFM Construction, Fresh Breeze Heating and Cooling, Integrity Homes, MDC Roofing, Big O Tires, Biltmore Cardiology, CARS Auto Body, Mazatzal Casino and Pioneer Title.

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