California Bass Pro Tossed From Tourney For Cheating

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Rowan and Martin often quipped, “You can bet your sweet bippy” on the 1960-70s American sketch comedy television program “Laugh-In.”

The comedians never said what a “sweet bippy” was, but whatever it might have been, you can wager it on the outcome of getting caught cheating during a bass fishing tournament on Lake Mead.

Trouble is, you’ll lose the bet and your sweet bippy.

For evidence it’s a losing bet, look no further than to last weekend’s U.S. Open, a tournament in which pro angler Mike Hart was accused of cheating.

He faces a criminal investigation for adding lead weights to the belly of the fish he carried to weigh in.

He also might face federal charges if law enforcement officers determine his boat crossed state lines with the fraudulent fish. Lake Mead lies in more than one state.

Also the WON Bass Tournament director said, “we are planning to press charges” and Hart has been banned for life from all WON tournaments and his past victories have been voided.

The southern California pro was not the only one under suspicion for cheating, but he was the only one eligible for prize money.

Last call for Elks tournament

Linksters in dire need of a golf fix might be allowed into tomorrow’s Clothe-A-Child benefit golf tournament if they plead desperately with tournament director Becky Waer at (928) 476-3678 or (928) 474-2572.

The benefit tournament, which is sponsored by the local Elks Club, will be played at Payson Golf Course.

Check-in is at 7 a.m. and an hour later golfers take to the course with a shotgun start. The format is four-man teams of best-ball play and golfers who do not have a team will be assigned one.

The fee is $80 per golfer, which includes 18 holes of play with a cart, lunch, raffle prizes and awards for closest-to-the-pin and straightest drive. The fee for members of Payson Golf Course is $60.

The evening of the tournament, cocktails, dinner, silent auction, music and dancing will be held at Payson Elks Lodge 2154.

Coffee and donuts will also be served prior to the start of play at PGC.

Today, the Elks Lodge lounge will open at noon. Live music and a silent auction begin at 6 p.m., with dinner dinner served from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For those who don’t golf, there will also be plenty of activities going on at the lodge including bingo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Non-golfers can also purchase lunch ($5) and dinner tickets ($15), which will be available at the lodge.

For those who RV, hookups and dry sites will be available at the local lodge.

The fee is $5 for a dry site and $15 for hookup. There is also a dump station at the lodge.

All proceeds benefit the Elks Clothe-a-Child program.

Entry forms are available at the Elks Lodge located at 1206 N. Beeline Highway, but because the tournament is only days away, the best chance to get in is to call Waer immediately.

Draft set for Saturday

Since draft day beings at noon, Saturday, July 31 at Rumsey Park, parents who have not yet registered their children for upcoming youth football league play might find their children watching from the stands rather than on the field playing

“(The players) really need to be signed up before that,” said football board member Pamela Way.

Registration can be completed before draft day by visiting Chapman Auto Center and registering with board member Bill Mansoor.

The registration fee is $100 and parents must present a birth certificate, or copy at the time of registration.

This season, the Payson football program will return to the Northern Arizona Youth Football Association — formerly the Central Arizona Youth Football Association — in which it competed for a decade before deciding last summer to depart CAYFA in favor of the Northern Arizona Youth Football League.

With the move, the Payson teams will now be playing squads representing Cottonwood, Prescott, Flagstaff and other northwestern Arizona towns.

Last year, Payson played against teams from Show Low, Snowflake and Pinetop-Lakeside.

The biggest difference in the two leagues is that in the White Mountain league, players were placed on teams according their grade level in school.

In NAYFA, players will be slotted on teams according to their size and age.

Another difference is that high school freshmen will be eligible to play if they do not turn 15 years of age before Aug. 1.

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