Baseball’S Return At Rcms Meets With Success

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The Rim Country Middle School baseball teams ran rampant over Oak Creek Middle School 27-0 in five innings prompting coach Gary Chitwood to say, “This should be illegal, but I promise we didn’t run the score up.”

In youth sports, landslide wins, and losses, such as the one in Oak Creek sometimes occur.

The Mavericks also traveled to Bradshaw Mountain where the team built a 4-0 first-inning lead before losing 7-4.

“We stalled,” said Chitwood.

The Mavs rebounded to win the second game of the twin bill by a 7-3 margin.

RCMS has upcoming games against Fountain Hills, Camp Verde and Cottonwood.

The Mavericks are fielding a baseball team for the first time in about five years.

The team is comprised of many players who experienced tremendous success in the local Little League program.

RCMS baseball organizers say they restarted the middle school program to fill a void between Little League and high school baseball.

Physical time

The importance of having high school athletic sports physicals completed early rather than waiting until just before the season opens can’t be stressed enough.

Early physicals result in far fewer headaches for coaches, parents, athletic administrators and the student-athletes themselves.

Which means, all those student-athletes with a bit of moxie and forward-thinking should take advantage of physical exams when they are offered from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 5 in Wilson Dome.

The fee is only $10, far cheaper than a regular visit to the family doctor’s office, and once the physical is completed, athletes are eligible to participate on the first day of preseason practice in the fall of 2010.

PHS athletic secretary Stephanie Shields stresses that all athletes must have a physical exam on file before they can practice or compete.

Call (928) 474-2233 for more information.

Wildlife Fair on tap

The spring recreation scene peaks 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 8 at Green Valley Park where the 15th Annual Payson Wildlife Fair will offer a myriad of free activities including fishing and outdoor games.

Also participating will be the usual array of conservation groups offering up-close and personal looks at all types of wildlife including birds of prey, snakes, Gila monsters and alligators.

Food booths will offer a variety of lip-smacking delights including hamburgers and hot dogs cooked up by members of the Mogollon Sporting Association.

The fair is a cooperative effort of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Mogollon Sporting Association, U.S. Forest Service and the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

For the event, fishing opportunities will be greatly enhanced by a stocking of trout that will be twice the amount usually placed in the lake.

Each year since the fair’s founding 15 years ago inside Rim Country Middle School gymnasium, it has grown in leaps and bounds. It now attracts hundreds of visitors from around Gila County and the Valley area.

It is especially popular among the younger set who enjoy the free fishing, angling lessons, children’s game and the fascinating glimpses of wildlife.

MSA on hand to help

Among those civic groups who help sponsor the Wildlife Fair is the Mogollon Sporting Association.

The money to help fund the event, and a bevy of others around Payson, is earned at the association’s annual banquet, raffle, auction and genuine evening of old-fashioned good times.

This year, the festivities will be held May 1 at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

It all tips off at 4 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour and continues late into the evening with the prime rib dinner, live and silent auctions, general raffles and special raffles.

Individual tickets are now $80 each.

The ticket price includes a prime rib dinner, a fun-filled evening, the chance to take home prizes and plenty of old-fashioned, small-town camaraderie.

Tickets are available from any MSA member or by calling Jack Koon at (928) 474-1662.

Those who attend, which in the past has included some of the town’s most accomplished residents, do so knowing their celebratory evening benefits local youth programs, schools, outdoor and wildlife enhancement projects and the economy.

Since the inception of the MSA, the organization has earned more than $1 million, all of which has gone to local causes.

Most importantly, all MSA members are volunteers, the organization is nonprofit and all proceeds are used to enhance quality of life in the Rim Country.

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