The Payson 9-10-year-old Little League softball all-stars enjoy the home field advantage when they open area-district post-season tournament play at 3 p.m., Monday, July 5 on Rumsey I ball field.
Payson’s opponent, Winslow, is one of the tournament favorites, mostly because the town has recently become a hotbed of softball as evidenced by the high school’s back-to-back state championships.
But as good as Payson’s opponent might be, all-star manager Tara Fuller-Smith has her sights set on upsets.
“We’d love to make it to state and we will be playing our best to do that,” she said. “But we are only in our third year (of Little League softball) and the other teams have been going for 20 years.
“We want to show them we are strong.” The manager is optimistic the local stars will shine brightly mostly because of the intangibles that go into making up most all successful sports teams.
“Our attitudes are a strength, they work together very well and they are all good kids,” she said. “Another (plus) is that we have good fielding, in fact a great infield.”
Payson LL player agent Kerry Johnson points to the team’s work ethic as another strength.
Since the team was selected at the conclusion of the regular season, it has been practicing two hours each morning on the Rumsey I field.
During the past campaign, Fuller-Smith managed the Yankees of the LL Minor Division.
Her assistant on the stars is coach Peter King.
The Payson all-stars, which were selected in a voting of coaches, include Eve Armstrong, Kylee Egbert, Olivia Foster, Alyssa Haggler, Lauren Murray, Kylee O’Donald, Kalea Smith, Jodi Taylor, Milanda Roman, Kara Ward, Reagan Weaver and Mandy Welsh.