Budget Move In Flagstaff Gives New Depth To Athletic Pool


Flagstaff Coconino High School might be producing some exceptional teams in all sports next school year.

The Panthers newfound prowess should occur because the school will be absorbing most all of the students, including some talented athletes, from closed Sinagua High School.

Which means competition will be fierce for varsity positions at Coconino with student athletes that formerly made up two Class 4A teams now comprising just one.

The Flagstaff Unified School District governing board voted 4-1 last week to close Sinagua, a middle school and two elementaries as a cost-cutting move.

Last year, Sinagua had 896 students, about the same as Payson High, but competed in the 4A Grand Canyon Region.

Now Flagstaff has just two high schools, Flagstaff High and Coconino, rather than the three the city had since Sinagua opened in 1990. At its enrollment peak in 1996, Sinagua had 1,083 students and had a proud tradition of producing some of the most competitive teams in the conference.

The closing of Sinagua had to be a blow to some students, including next year’s seniors who had attended the high school for three years probably planning on graduating from it and eventually calling Sinagua their alma mater.

No word yet on what will occur with Sinagua’s 56 teachers and coaches.

Fees rise

The early sign up period for next year’s play in the Payson Youth Football League ended yesterday, June 14, and the registration fee has increased to $100 from $75.

Parents interested in registering their children for the league may do so from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 26 at Chapman Auto Center at the intersection of Highway 87 and Longhorn Road.

Practices will begin Aug. 2 and the first games played on Labor Day.

Last season, Payson was affiliated with the White Mountain-based Northeastern Arizona Youth Football League (NAYFL), but next fall, Payson teams will return to the Northern Arizona Youth Football Association — formerly the Central Arizona Youth Football Association — which they competed in for a decade before deciding last summer to depart CAYFA in favor of NAYFL.

The biggest change parents and athletes will notice is that in NAYFA, players will be assigned to leagues and teams on age and size. In NAYFL, athletes were assigned on school grade level.

The Payson association is in need of volunteers and coaches. Anyone interested should call Daniel Way at (928) 978-6723 or Pamela Way at (928) 978-6560.

Archery on deck

The “Shoot for the Rim” archery tournament will be held July 17 on the TRSC Jim Jones Shooting Range, located south of Payson and 1.8 miles east of Beeline on FR 208.

For the tournament and other upcoming ones, the Mogollon Sporting Association donated new 3D targets that will enable the tournament to have two different, 14-target courses.

Newcomers will find the tournament unique in that archers, instead of shooting stationary at bull’s-eye targets, walk an outdoor course firing arrows at McKenzie life-sized 3D foam targets of bear, deer and mountain lions.

3D archery is a spin off of field archery that is popular among hunters because it re-creates a hunting environment with competitors shooting from unmarked distances.

For the upcoming tournament, participants will compete in one of four age groups and in four separate classes based on bow types and sight.

The age groups are: Adult (18-years-plus), Youth (14-17 years), Cub (913 years) and Pee Wee (8 and under).

The classes include:

• Open — Archers may use any bow, sight or stabilizer.

• Release — Entrants can use any bow but with fixed pins, no scopes, a 12-inch maximum stabilizer and any release.

• Fingers — Requirements include any bows, fixed pins, no scopes, 12-inch maximum stabilizers and shooting with fingers.

• Traditional — Any recurve or longbow with no sights.

Registration fees before July 1 are $15 for adult, $10 for youth, $25 per family and shooters under 14 years are free.

After July 1, all the fees increase by $5.

On the day of the tournament, registration opens at 7 a.m. and scores must be turned in by 2 p.m.

In addition to the shooting, there will the awards, novelties, prizes food and “tons of outdoor family fun,” said town Outdoor Recreation and Trails Coordinator Mary McMullen.

For more information about the tournament, call tournament director Les Conner at (928) 472-7443. Registration forms are available at: www.paysonparks.com.


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