Little League Registration Starts Tonight

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The process of fielding a 2013 Payson Little League program begins today, Jan. 18, and continues through tomorrow with player registrations inside Big 5 Sporting Goods.

Today’s sign-up will be 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and tomorrow’s is slated for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The next registrations will be 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 13 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 16 at locations to be announced soon. Also, individual player tryouts will be held March 9 and games begin April 6 with the traditional opening day ceremonies. On April 28 the Arizona Diamondbacks will host Payson Little League game day.

For it, Payson players will pre-sell game tickets as a benefit. Also, minutes before the game begins, the local Little Leaguers will be allowed to walk the Chase Field diamond.

On Jan. 27, Payson Little Leaguers are slated to attend a celebrity baseball game in Scottsdale.

Little League President Keeley Parker says attendance at the game can be a big money maker for the cash-strapped local program, “By having support of Payson Little League our program is issued $300 with the chance to win up to $5,000.

“Anyone wanting free tickets to the game can pick them up at either Parker Excavating or Sexton Pest Control.”

On the national Little League scene, officials have this year adopted a new division known as the “Intermediate 50/70 League.”

It is a league for 11- to 13-year-old players who have the option of playing in it as well as on a Major or Junior Division team.

The 50/70 league will play under rules closer to high school and college baseball by allowing players to lead off base for steals and pickoff attempts by pitchers.

Parker is adopting a wait and see attitude on incorporating the new league into the Payson program.

“It will be based on parent feedback and sign-ups for it during registration,” she said.

Wrestling camp dates set

All great high school sports programs are built on the shoulders of comprehensive youth offerings that build interest and help mold the fledgling athletes for later years.

Payson High wrestling coach Casey Woodall realizes the importance of building his program from the ground up which is one of the reasons he will host the upcoming Junior Longhorn Wrestling Camp.

It will be held 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Feb. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 in the Wilson Dome wrestling room.

The camp is open to boys in grades three through eight and will be coached by Woodall and his staff with help from some of the varsity wrestlers.

The fee is $30 and includes a Longhorn wrestling T-shirt. All fees benefit the high school wrestling program.

Registration, which opened Jan. 14, may be completed at the Payson Parks and Recreation offices at Green Valley Park or at: http://www.paysonrimcountry.com/ParksRec.aspx

Town Hoop Bonanza

Payson’s version of the Phoenix Suns Bonanza Skills Basketball competition begins at 9 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium.

The event is open, free of charge, to both boys and girls, ages 9 to 14.

In the competition, boys and girls will participate in one of six age/sex divisions: 9-10 years; 11-12 years; and 13-14 years.

In the local event, players can compete in one or all of two basketball contests — hot shot and three-point shoot-out.

The winners of the local competition will be eligible to advance to a statewide Basketball Bonanza in Phoenix.

Complete rules are available at the parks and recreation offices at Green Valley Park.

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

Adult sports

Adult Basketball League registration is now open. Games will be played weeknights in the Payson High School gym starting Feb. 19.

Open gym time will be available prior to the start of the season for teams that have already registered.

The cost is $300 per team and it must be paid in full no later than Feb. 15. Players must be 18 and out of high school to play in this league.

For additional information, call Mary Wolf at (928) 474-5242, ext. 358.

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