Rim country football fans now have the opportunity for a free sneak peek at a team expected to battle for the PAC-10 championship.
All it takes for the gridiron preview is a quick trip to Camp Tontozona where the Arizona State University Sun Devils will practice for the next eight days. The scenic mountain retreat is located 17 miles east of Payson near Kohl's Ranch.
Early this morning, the Sun Devils escaped Tempe's searing desert heat to travel to the camp where they will practice under coach Dirk Koetter.
The Tontozona schedule has the Sun Devils traveling to Payson Aug. 17 for a dip in Taylor Pool.
Last summer, the team had two practices on the Rumsey Park multi-purpose field. The Sun Devils worked out there because the all-weather playing surface was identical to the field at the University of Nebraska where ASU opened its season.
This year, ASU does not play Nebraska and is not expected to practice at Rumsey.
One of the prime opportunities fans will have for a glimpse of the Sun Devils and Heisman Trophy-hopeful Andrew Walter is at the camp-ending fans scrimmage, 10 a.m. Aug. 23 at Tontozona.
Because the Devils are a pre-season top-25 pick and a favorite to make a run at the PAC-10 crown, a crowd that could swell to more than 5,000 fans is expected for the scrimmage.
The early birds are the only ones able to stake claim to prime parking spots. Late arrivals usually must hike up to a mile or more into the camp.
All practice sessions, including the fans scrimmage are open to the public and free of charge.
ASU's Tontozona practice schedule is as follows:
- Friday: 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (full pads)
- Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Aug. 17: 8:30 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (walk-through)
- Aug. 18: 8:30 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Aug. 19: 9:30 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. scrimmage
- Aug. 20: 8:30 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Aug. 21: 8:30 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (walk-through)
- Aug. 22: 8:30 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (walk-through)
- Aug. 23: 9 a.m. scrimmage