As a former junior high and high school basketball coach who sent many players, including two sons and a daughter to Arizona Sports Camp in Prescott, I'm excited Mike Loutzenheiser has joined the camp staff.
Arizona Sports Camp has long been one of the best youth camps in the state.
There are other camps that use big-name professional players as promotional tools. But the ASC camp staff is made up mostly of high school coaches who are in the trenches everyday with young players.
In addition, most of the coaches also are public school educators sincerely interested in the welfare of youngsters.
Most impressive about ASC is the character building, positive attitudes and solid discipline that is a part of the curriculum. Sure, the focus is on basketball, but coaches use the sport to teach leadership, unselfishness, self-discipline, sacrifice and concern for the common good.
Almost every player I have encouraged to attend Arizona Sports Camp came away saying it was a great experience.
The younger athletes sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to being away from home for a week, but the ASC coaches are tuned in and do everything possible to alleviate fledgling campers' uncertainties.
Four of our grandchildren, all of whose fathers once attended ASC, have received as first birthday presents from us, U.S. Savings bonds to be used to attend Arizona Sports Camp when they reach third grade.
Cash at stake
There's still plenty of time to register for the Payson Area Habitat Home Run 5K, scheduled for May 15 at Green Valley Park.
First place is worth $100 and second-place finishers receive $50. Third-place runners earn $25. Medals also will be awarded to the top three men and women in each age category. All racers are also entered in a raffle.
The 5K will be May 15 at Green Valley Park. The annual event, which draws both walkers and runners, starts at 8 a.m. Registration and T-shirt pickup begins at 6:30 a.m. Immediately after the run, until about 10 a.m., a pancake breakfast and awards ceremony will be held in the park. Registration fee is $15 if paid before May 7. After May 7 and on the day of the race, the fee is $20. The registration fee includes participation in the race, an event T-shirt and breakfast. Guest breakfast tickets will be available on race day for $3. Child's tickets are $1.
In addition to the breakfast and run, there will be free family activities on going in the park.
Registration forms are available at the Payson Athletic Club located at 400 E. Highway to 260 or the PAHH offices at 1013 S. Goodfellow Road. Call (928) 474-0330 for more information.