Payson High School baseball coach Brian Young said he took great enjoyment watching his varsity athletes build a rapport with the youngsters who participated in the daylong Longhorn baseball camp that on March 14 drew 36 aspiring players to PHS baseball diamond.
The varsity athletes spent the day coaching the campers, who were mostly 8 to 13 years of age.
The same type of atmosphere was present this past week during the Longhorn Fundamental Basketball Academy in Wilson Dome.
Bill Farrell, a retired coach out of the Valley with a long list of highly impressive credentials, headed the camp along with town recreation leader Mary Wolf. The event also had the assistance of several PHS players.
The players proved to be excellent role models for the young campers, both boys and girls.
The high school athletes also worked one-on-one and in groups with the campers teaching them the fundamental skills and nuances of the sport.
In watching camp sessions, I was impressed with how the camp coaches worked successfully with the campers who obviously had a very wide range of playing abilities.
The coaches were, for the most part, positive, but when behavior needed to be corrected, they were quick to get their charges on task.
The coaches also showed a good knowledge of the sport and were able to teach it successfully.
Watching, I couldn’t help but think some of those young coaches could go on to be successful in the profession if they so desire.
Good coaches will always be in demand.
Nice job, gentlemen.
Mary McMullen and Cameron Davis are in the process of assembling the group of hoop aficionados to help host the traveling Harlem Ambassadors basketball team during its benefit appearance April 30 in Wilson Dome.
The Harlem team, which travels the world helping raise money for non-profits and service organizations, will be in Payson to support scholarships for Gila Community College students and Town of Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism programs.
To stage the benefit game against the Ambassadors, McMullen and Davis are in need of four teams of five persons each.
Each of the teams will play one quarter vs. the Ambassadors and two of the quarters will be competitive play and the other two more for fun and entertainment.
For one of the competitive quarters vs. the Ambassadors, Davis — director of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department — is hoping the men’s team that emerges victorious from the town-sponsored men’s basketball league will participate.
McMullen envisions local coaches, whether they be from youth leagues, Rim Country Middle School or Payson High, forming a team in either the fun or competitive quarters.
Both would like to see some persons who might be considered local “celebrities” put together a team.
The only prerequisite for participating is that the team members have some playing ability and know the nuances of the game.
In addition to needing the players, McMullen and Davis are scouring the Rim Country for basketball officials and coaches for each of the teams. The officials do not have to be AIA certified, but should have a strong knowledge of the sport.
To participate either as a player, coach or official, there is a $165 application fee.
Both McMullen and Davis are encouraging potential participants to seek out local businesses or organizations as sponsors.
During the game, when the public address announcer calls out the names of players, coaches or officials, their sponsor will also be recognized.
Applications to participate on the Payson teams can be found at www.paysonrim country.com/ParksRec.aspx.
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 will be admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism office at Green Valley Park or the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.