New Tourney Setup Success Still A Mystery

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It’s virtually impossible at this time to pinpoint what the Arizona Interscholastic Association new state tournament reconfiguration will mean to Payson High School.

AIA officials say it will reduce travel for the school by reducing the number of state tournaments.

Schools around the state seem to be welcoming the new plan, but many questions remain.

What is known is that in 2011, every sport will fall under new classifications of sections and divisions.

It appears, Classes 5A and 4A will be combined, but whether Payson will be aligned with schools with larger student bodies is not yet certain.

While the new plan is innovative, it only eliminates one state football tournament, which is puzzling in a scheme that is supposed to reduce the number of postseason playoffs.

For football, three teams from each of the three sections within their respective division will qualify for the state tournament based on power points.

Seven at-large qualifiers will join the nine automatic qualifiers making a 16-team state tournament in each division.

The new plan seems to put a heavy premium on power points, which is troublesome to some coaches because power rankings have had their shortcomings since they were first adopted by the AIA.

The AIA, however, has promised to tweak the power points system before 2011.

In basketball, 24 teams from each division will be seeded into the state tournament.

Teams seeded No. 1 through No. 8 will receive a first-round bye and tournaments will be played at a centralized site to be determined by the AIA.

While the plan remains murky in many coaches’ eyes, most are expecting the scheme to clear as time passes.

Last call

Lady Longhorn coach Kelly Krieg and several of her varsity players are making a final plea for aspiring basketball players to enroll in an upcoming youth camp.

It will be June 11 and 12 and is open to players entering the third- through eighth-grades.

Two-a-day sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from noon to 2 p.m. in Wilson Dome.

Krieg is hoping to attract 30 to 40 day campers, but says, “We would love to have as many as we can get.”

During the two days, Krieg and her fellow coaches, which could include some varsity athletes, will teach basic skills including dribbling, passing, shooting, defense and moving without the ball. Of course anyone who watched Krieg coach last season knows she will undoubtedly include sportsmanship and character building in the camp curriculum. There will also be some fun games and scrimmages.

The registration fee is $30 and sign-up can be completed at: www.paysonrimcountry.com/activities or by calling (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

Volleyball camps

PHS coach Arnold Stonebrink and his staff will host a junior volleyball camp July 1 and 2 in Wilson Dome and old PHS gymnasium.

Sessions will be held each day from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The camp is open to all student-athletes entering fifth- to ninth-grade next school year. The fee is $30 per player.

Also on the volleyball agenda is an All-American Volleyball skills camp to be held June 28 to 30. The camp is open to girls entering seventh- to 12th-grade next school year. The camp is from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day in Wilson Dome.

Stonebrink says one of the coaches will be a former collegiate star who also played professionally in Finland.

The camp fee is $60.

Registration forms are available in the PHS office.

The youth camp is co-sponsored by the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, call Joseph Harris at (928) 474-5242, ext. 359.

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