Rim country lawyer Steve Rensch, founder of the Copper State Jam boys basketball tournament and the Shelby School hoop team, coached the Copper State All-Stars to a 6-3 record in the Adidas Big Time tournament.
The tournament, played last week in Las Vegas, drew 344 teams from 44 states. California sent 80 teams. Games were played over the course of five days at Las Vegas sites.
On the club teams were the finest high school players in the nation. Coaches and recruiters from almost every university in the United States were on hand to watch and evaluate the players. Arizona's Lute Olson and Texas Tech's Bobby Knight were among the coaches who attended the tournament. Although the college recruiters could watch the tournament games, NCAA regulations prohibited them from having contact with the players or the coaches.
Other Arizona all-star teams entered in the prestigious tournament were the Arizona Stars, Arizona Heat, Do Right, Just Hoops, Phoenix Catholic, Arizona Elite and Scottsdale Sahuaro.
On the Arizona Stars team was Mesa Mountain View point guard Yahosh Bonner who earlier this summer helped his Toro team win the championship of the Payson Summer Invitational Basketball Tournament.
On the Copper State team was former Payson High School player Dallas Rensch the coach's son. Dallas will be a senior next school year at Mesa Mountain View. Other standouts on Copper State were Gabe Freeman of Tempe McClintock and Gilbert's Ryan Toolson.
Copper State played its way to the championship of the tournament but lost the finale.
Throughout the spring and summer, Rensch has taken his team to several prestigious tournaments around the country.
In addition to sponsoring the Copper State Jam tournament and coaching Shelby School, Rensch has hosted summer basketball camps sponsored by the town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department.
Fall sports begin
Preseason practices for Payson High School football, cross country, volleyball, boys soccer and girls soccer begin Monday about 3:15 p.m.
Athletes planning on participating in any of the sports must have their required paperwork on file in athletic director Dave Bradley's office before they will be allowed to practice. Once all the paperwork is completed, the student athletes will be given a blue card which tells coaches the player has been cleared to practice. Among the requirements for participation is a physical exam, parent permission slip and proper insurance. Call Bradley at 474-2233 for more information.
At Rim Country Middle School, football and softball practices also begin Monday. The requirements for participation are much the same as they are at the high school. Call athletic director Tim Fruth at 474-4511 for more information.
Don't go there
As workers continue to lay the new artificial all-weather track surface at Payson High School, officials are urging everyone to stay away from the facility until the project is complete. In about two weeks, the surface should be in place, the rubberized coating cured and the striping done. Until then, police are keeping a close eye on the track to ensure that no one interferes with the long-awaited and much-anticipated all-weather surface. When the project is completed, Payson will have one of the finest facilities in the state.