Sports action is heating up the Payson High School playing fields and courts.
Longhorn football practices kicked off at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 1 and will continue Monday through Thursday until the conclusion of the season in late October.
For the PHS soccer and volleyball contingents, training camps also opened Aug. 1. The soccer camp is being held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Rumsey Park North until Aug. 5. The after-school volleyball training sessions in Wilson Dome will also continue until Aug. 5.
Practices in earnest for volleyball, boys and girls soccer and cross country will begin after school, about 3:30 p.m. Aug. 8.
All fall sports teams will have about three weeks to prepare for the opening of their 2005 campaigns.
The football team will be the first to open to the season when it travels to Parker Aug. 26. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Coaching again this season is Jerry Rhoades.
Next on the sports calendar is coach Joe Schmidt's Lady Longhorn soccer crew. The kick squad is scheduled to host the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets Aug. 30 at Rumsey Park. Game times are 4 p.m. (junior varsity) and 6 p.m. (varsity).
Also Aug. 30, the Lady Longhorn volleyball team, under the tutelage of second-year coach Arnold Stonebrink, opens the new season at Globe. Game times are 4 p.m. (freshmen), 5 p.m. (jayvee) and 6 p.m. (varsity).
On Aug. 31, the Longhorn boys soccer team, led by Roger Wholly, hosts Blue Ridge at 7 p.m. at Rumsey Park.
The final sport to spring into action, coach Chuck Hardt's cross country runners, debut Sept. 7 at Payson Golf Course. Start time will be announced later this week. Many of the PHS runners are expected to participate Aug. 13 in the town-sponsored Payson Monsoon 5K run.