More and more Payson High School student/athletes are opting to take their careers to the next level.
But earning an athletic scholarship or even attracting the attention of college scouts can be a daunting task.
Last year, for the first time, Payson hosted a program designed to help parents, athletes, coaches and teachers prepare for the recruiting process.
On hand to help was Jack Renkens who bills himself as a "dynamic speaker, educator, author and motivator."
Renkens was well received, prompting PHS Athletic Department officials to invite him back with his program. Entitled "The Realities of College recruiting," it will be presented free of charge at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11 in the high school auditorium.
In a letter to parents of athletes, PHS Athletic Director Dave Bradley said Renkens would help those in attendance better understand "the reasonability, preparation, participation, opportunities, finances and the truths and myths about the recruiting process."
During the presentation, Renkens will talk about the value of academics in the recruiting process, the importance of recruiting standards, how to interpret written correspondence and the roles of the high school counselor and coach.
According to Renkens' resume, he's well versed in athletics. He's won seven "Coach of the year" honors on various levels, coached his team to four consecutive Arizona AA divisional basketball championships, won two Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Career Achievement Awards and has coached in both the NCAA and NJCAA National tournament.
Call Bradley at 474-2233 for more information.
The hustle and bustle of Camp Verde
If there was any doubt about the value of prep sporting events in small town economy, it was erased Friday night in Camp Verde.
Because the local high school was hosting its annual two-day wrestling tournament, the town turned into a beehive of activity.
Those who waited until Friday to find hotel reservations were left high and dry.
The hotel manager where we stayed said that on most days guests can have their choice of accommodations.
But when the tournaments are held, rooms are difficult to come by.
Trying to find a place for a sit-down meal was a difficult task as well. Waiting lines were long at almost every restaurant.
Because of the tournament, the town was packed with visitors from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Payson, Flagstaff, the northern Arizona reservation towns, Heber and other communities.
When the Mogollon Sporting Association was formed in Payson years ago, the mission was to help contribute to the Rim country economy by funding local sporting events. With two huge wrestling tournaments and a girls' holiday tournament on the horizon, Payson like Camp Verde will become hot-bed of activity.