All Area ‘Elder’ Basketball Players Wanted

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Basketball is great stuff — even for senior citizens.

That’s the approach Eric Pendleton is taking at the Tonto Apache Gym where he and a group of older hardwood addicts 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 “Wiseman Basketball Tournament.”

Pendleton says Wiseman was chosen because it refers to elders, who 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.

Wrestling camp dates set

Comprehensive youth offerings that build interest and help mold fledgling athletes for later years are the foundation of every good prep sports program.

Payson High wrestling coach Casey Woodall realizes the importance of building from the ground up, which is one of the reasons he will host the upcoming Junior Longhorn Wrestling Camp. It will be held from 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 is open until Feb. 18 through the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department. Call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

Don’t forget softball

With Payson Little League registration under way, remember the program includes more than baseball for boys.

In 2008, fast-pitch softball was added mostly because concerned officials and parents, believed the program would better prepare girls for high school competition, which is fast-pitch.

Just as the baseball program struggled in the postseason during its infancy, so did Payson’s fast-pitch teams.

As the years have passed, the teams have become more and more successful each postseason.

While the current board of 11 officers has set the stage for a successful 2013 campaign, there is more work to be done.

To volunteer, log on to the Payson Little League Web site at: http://www.eteamz.com/paysonlittleleague.

To learn more about Little League registration and tryouts, see the story about Intermediate Little League on Page 6B.

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