Area Youth Invited To Come Out For Sports



Denny Morse says he has not stepped down as the Payson High School golf coach as was erroneously reported in a sports story that appeared in the July 27 edition Payson Roundup.

We regret the error.

Gridiron skills

The Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department will host the annual NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 28 at Rumsey Park north multipurpose field. The event is free.

The competition allows boys and girls, ages 6 to 15 years, to showcase their football skills in punting, passing and placekicking. Scores are based on distance and accuracy. Entrants may register onsite the day of the competition or online at

Finalists in both boys and girls divisions will advance to regional competitions, and regional winners may advance to the state championship to be held during an Arizona Cardinals football game.

The program has a storied history in Payson that includes attracting some of the town’s finest young athletes into its ranks.

Among the most successful of the competitors was former Lady Longhorn soccer coach Amy Wilcox, who won four Payson PP&K championships. In 2000, she captured the sectional crown and advanced to Sun Devil Stadium, then the home of the Arizona Cardinals, where she came within an eyelash of winning a berth in the national PP&K championships.

Others who have participated and gone on to excel at Payson High School include Waylon Pettet, Nate Lee, Porter Wilbanks, Retosha Marshall, Alix Parker and Scott Andrus.

A pair of seniors on the 2010 PHS varsity football roster, Westin Gibson and Payson Herring, also once participated in PP&K.

The NFL Pepsi gridiron program is a national skills competition for boys and girls between the ages of 8-15, who compete separately against their peers.

Established in 1961, the PP&K program is the oldest NFL Youth Football program. Girls and boys in four separate age divisions compete.

The PP&K program is free — both to organizers, like the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, and to every youngster who wants to participate.

With more than 4 million boys and girls from around the country taking part in PP&K competitions, it is one of the world’s largest youth sports participation programs.

Call Mary Wolf at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information, or visit the parks office in Green Valley Park.

Soccer on deck

In addition to planning for the punt pass and kick competition, Wolf has been busy drumming up support for the local youth soccer program.

She explains the recreation offering: “Our fall soccer program starts at age 4 and ends with sixth-graders. 

“This program gives those kids who love soccer a second opportunity to play during the fall. We will play on some Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. If the kids enjoyed spring soccer they will enjoy the fall season even more.

“The games that are played on Friday evening will not interfere with Friday night home football games.” The registration fee is $25 and includes a game shirt.

Also, volunteer coaches are needed.

Call Wolf at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

Upcoming PATS hikes

Saturday, Aug. 17, meet at 8 a.m. at the Peach Orchard Trailhead, near Payson Golf Course, to hike Peach Orchard North, 4-1/2 miles of easy to moderate terrain.

Saturday, Sept. 21, meet at 8 a.m. at the end of Phoenix Street on the Boulders Trail access, 4 miles of easy to moderate terrain.

Stop by the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Office in Green Valley Park to learn more about the variety of activities offered to Rim Country residents and visitors.


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