Gc Games Come To Payson For Wrestling

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The competition is tagged the Tucson edition of the Grand Canyon State Games, but its wrestling events will be staged in Payson.

The community's reputation as a hot bed of the sport apparently led GC officials to choose Payson as the site of the wrestling games. Also influencing their decision was the fact that new Longhorn head coach Dave LaMotte and his staff were more than willing to serve as hosts.

In Wilson Dome June 2, grapplers from around the state will gather to participate in both freestyle and Greco-Roman competition.

The Horn coach expects mat action to begin about 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day.

Because the games are a first for Payson, LaMotte is not sure how many wrestlers will turn out, but he and his staff are gearing up for big numbers.

Among the contingent, will be a bevy of Rim country wrestlers who only that day will have finished participation in the three-day Longhorn wrestling camp.

In addition to the camp and the GC games, the Horns play host at 6 p.m. June 1 in Wilson Dome to a traveling team from Star Valley High School, Wyoming.

"They'll bring about 25 kids and will match up with them in a friendly type competition," LaMotte said.

Wrestling fans might recall Star Valley as the alma mater of Greco-Roman Olympic champion Ruben Gardner who outdueled an undefeated Russian grappler in the championships.

Fans are welcome to attend both the Wyoming match and the GC games free of charge.

GC games

During the Tucson edition of the games, 14 sports will be contested.

The games continue June 14 to 17 with 37 sports at various Phoenix locations.

Athletes are eligible to participate in one or both competitions.

Billed as "America's Premier Olympic-Style Sports Festival," the games originated nine years ago as a showcase for amateur athletes of all ages and abilities.

Last year, the Tonto Apache Track and Field team was named the games' "Male and Female Athletes of the Year."

Annually, the Tonto Apache team under the tutelage of Billy Joe Winchester enters a medal-winning team that has become one of the highlights of the competition.

Phoenix Suns star Tom Gugliotta and Arizona Diamondbacks standout Luis Gonzalez will serve as executive commissioners of the games.

Entry forms and brochures are available at all 76/Circle K locations.

Call (480) 517-9700 or visit games Web site at www.gcsg.org for more information.

To enter the Longhorn wrestling camp or participate in the games as a Payson representative, call LaMotte at 474-2233.

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