Some local high school coaches are bewildered by the low number of athletes turning out in larger numbers for summer programs.
Of course, some have summer jobs, and then there are family vacations and other commitments, but the number of athletes participating is not what it should be.
The key to the success of any high school team lies in the summer program.
Look at the way former wrestling coach Dennis Pirch laid the foundation of his highly successful teams on summer training programs. His wrestlers traveled around the country each summer, gaining valuable experience and insight.
Payson High School coaches are working diligently this summer overseeing camps, tournaments and practice sessions.
It's too bad more athletes are not taking advantage of the off season sessions.
While teenagers should not be forced to participate, parents have an obligation to do everything possible to encourage their youngsters to become more involved.
Northern Arizona University's women's soccer coach Andre Luciano will be in the Rim country July 6 and 7 to oversee a girls soccer camp.
The camp is open to girls entering grades seven through 12.
The July 6 session is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Rumsey Park multipurpose field. The July 7 session is 8 from a.m. to 11 a.m., also at Rumsey Park.
The registration fee is $33 per person. Registration may be completed at Parks and Recreation office located at Green Valley Park. Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.
Camp coaches are urging youngsters to sign up as soon as possible as space is limited.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are returning to the Rim country.
Diamondback spokesman Jeff Rodin announced this week that the professional baseball team's youth training center will conduct a camp in Payson July 9 to 13 will expand to include two daily sessions.
A regular training center will he conducted each day from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
An advanced camp will be held in the afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The afternoon session is open to players at least 11 years of age who have advanced skill levels. Also, afternoon campers should have previously attended a D-Backs camp and are currently playing in youth leagues.
The morning sessions are designed for youths of all skills levels, from 7 to 14 years of age.
Rodin said the second daily session was added to the Diamondbacks' Payson visit because of the success of last year's Rim country training center.
According to Rodin, Nelson is now coaching in the Oakland A's farm system and won't be returning to Payson.
Call (800) 821-7152 for more information or to register for the camp.
Payson High School football coach Steve Saban will host a pair of football camps designed to help young players prepare for the fall season.
The first session, for players in grades 4 through 8, will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 23 to 26. The fee is $30 per camper.
The second camp, for high school-age players, will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 30 to Aug. 2. The fee is $50.
According to Saban, high school players should make every effort to attend the camp as there will be no two-a-day practices this season due to the early start of school.