Let’s see, a small-town teenage high school baseball player has the choice of playing a game in faraway Page, where springtime temperatures can chill the bone, or at the magnificent Salt River Fields at Talking Stick which is the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
Which playing site would he choose?
It’s a no brainer, playing on a major league spring training field would be a never-to-be-forgotten thrill.
Which is why Payson High School first-year baseball coach Brian Young eagerly agreed to move a Longhorns vs. Sand Devils game on April 18 to Salt River Fields from Page if all the logistics can be worked out.
If the switch can be done, Payson High baseball fans would be admitted to the game free of charge.
Young says to play at Salt River Fields, “We have to sell at least 250 ticket vouchers for Diamondbacks games, but we can sell more to benefit our team.”
The ticket vouchers can be used from the onset of the season on April 1 until June 9 at Chase Field in Phoenix.
“The tickets are for the baseline reserve seating that is on the field, down the baselines,” Young said. “You can use them for any game of your choice.”
Once the vouchers are purchased, they can be redeemed at the Chase Field ticket office on game day for the best tickets available.
The vouchers will be sold for $25 each or $100 for a family of four.
“Normally, tickets are at least $35 each plus a $3.50 online fee,” said Young. “That would be $154 (for a family or four). So it’s a $54 saving if you bought them from the PHS baseball team.”
Vouchers may be purchased from any PHS baseball player or at the high school bookstore.
JGAA clinic set
A Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) clinic will be held 4:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Chaparral Pines golf club.
The event is open to all junior golfers and will meet the requirement of attending a rules clinic to be eligible to participate in any JGAA upcoming tournaments and events.
All of the Payson High School varsity and junior varsity players will attend, but the clinic is open to anyone intending to play junior golf.
However, those wishing to participate who are not members of the PHS golf team must contact René Apps, (928) 468-8955, or Denny Morse, (928) 978-3016, to make reservations.
Senior hardwood play at Apache gym
Eric Pendleton and a group of senior basketball players at the Tonto Apache Gym are scheming to host an inaugural basketball tournament open only to players 50 years and older.
In brainstorming the fray, the group has come up with the name “Wisemen Basketball Tournament.”
Pendleton says Wiseman was chosen because it refers to elders, which the players certainly are. “They are 62-, 65- and 70-year-olds who play pickup games here.”
The 3-on-3 tournament tips off at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Tonto Apache Gym and will feature 20-minute half court games. Halftimes will be 10 minutes and the tournament format will be double elimination.
The entry fee is $10 per person, cash only. Players must sign a liability waiver to enter.
Pendleton says there will be limited officiating done, mostly by tribal employees, but a “Call Your Own Fouls” honor system will also be in effect.
The registration deadline is Thursday, Feb. 14 at the TAT gym.
For more information, call Pendleton at (928) 474-7093.
Ambassadors to play in dome
On April 30 in Wilson Dome, the internationally acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors basketball team will host a benefit game to raise money for Gila County Community College student scholarships and Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism programs.
The Ambassadors will play vs. four different Payson teams. Each team will play one quarter. Locals interested in playing against the Ambassadors should download an application from the website: www.payson parks.com. Click on “Special Events” to find the playing application.
Tickets to the game, which tips off at 7 p.m. are $5 per person in advance and $7 at the door. Children under 5 years are free. Tickets can be purchased at the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism office at Green Valley Park or the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce.