Sports Camps Highlight Summer Season


A trio of the Payson High School varsity coaches Shaun Hardt, Chris Schwind and Mike Loutzenheiser are prepping to host youth sports training camps.

All three agree that one of the purposes of the summer clinics is to produce athletes capable of someday contributing to their high school programs.

In addition to those camps, local lawyer Steve Rensch who is fresh off a stint coaching an Arizona High School all-star team in a national tournament will host the Copper State Hoops Clinic June 3 to 7 in the Payson High School gymnasium.

All of the summer camps will be sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

The Copper State clinic tips off each weekday morning at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 11 a.m. An afternoon session will be held from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The clinic is open to boys entering grades five through eight next school year. Rensch, the coach of the Tonto Village Shelby School team, has years of experience coaching elementary and middle-school youngsters.

In coaching the young players, he usually focused on developing solid all-around team play, rather that relying on the individual skills of one or two players. At the camp, Rensch is expected to continue to teach team-play fundamentals.

Registration for the Copper State camp and all other summer offerings may be completed at Parks and Rec office located at Green Valley Park. The Copper State fee is $50 per camper.

While Rensch's charges are heating up the hardwood in the old PHS gymnasium, Hardt will be putting Lady Longhorn hopefuls through their paces in Wilson dome.

From 9 a.m. until noon June 3 through 6, the Third Annual Lady Horn basketball camp is open to girls who have completed third through 10th grade.

On hand to assist Hardt will be Lady Longhorn jayvee coach Rory Huff, former PHS boys basketball coach Chuck Hardt and former PHS star Ellie Hardt.

Shaun Hardt will also enlist the services of several of his junior and senior players to provide individualized instruction to the campers. The coach estimates that about 40 girls will participate. Registration is $30.

Next on the agenda is the Lady Longhorn Volleyball Camp, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Wilson dome. Girls who have completed fifth through eighth grade are eligible to enroll in the camp.

Schwind said the goals of the clinic will be basic.

Later in the camp week, instructors which will include PHS freshman coach Trevor Creighton and jayvee coach Crystal Garvin will teach the basics of passing, setting, serving and hitting. Last summer, 34 fledgling players participated.

"That was pretty good for the first year," Schwind said.

This season, coaches are anticipating that more youngsters will enroll. The fee is $30.

The final summer clinic on the calender is the Longhorn boys' camp, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 17 to 20 and June 24 to 27 in Wilson Dome.

Boys entering grades three to eight next school year are eligible to participate. Youngsters may sign up for the first, second or both sessions.

As the coach of the PHS boys' program, Loutzenheiser says the clinic will develop the court skills of aspiring young players. The fee is $30.

Among the skills to be covered will be shooting, passing, rebounding, dribbling and defense.

Loutzenheiser also anticipates the camp will have its lighthearted moments.

In addition to the camp, Loutzenheiser will host open gym sessions from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday throughout the summer.

For more information on the clinics, call 474-5242, ext. 7.

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