Preseason practices in the fall sports of football, volleyball, cross country and soccer are now under way.
Football training kicked off July 31 and the other sports began yesterday, Monday.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association, the governing body of prep athletics, dictates when practices can begin in all sports.
After about three weeks of huffing and puffing through conditioning and skills training, the athletes will have the opportunity to showcase their abilities in scrimmages and regular season games.
Only football, volleyball and soccer feature scrimmages. In those, no scores are to be kept and they are to be used only for training purposes.
Cross country does not hold a scrimmage, but rather jumps directly into the regular season.
Coach Chuck Hardt is, instead, asking his athletes to participate in the Monsoon 5K Run on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Rumsey Park.
Since the conclusion of the past school year, PHS athletic director Dave Bradley has been in the process of putting together schedules for all fall sports.
Because schedules in the 3A conference are done in two-year blocks, the 2006 schedule is often the same as 2005 -- only the home and away sites are reversed.
For example, in 2005, the Longhorns opened the season in Parker. The 2006 season begins with Parker visiting Payson.
Fans, parents and athletes should remember that the schedules could change for a variety of reasons including weather, cancellation of programs and conflicts with other school activities.
Individual admission tickets to all East region volleyball and football games will remain the same as last year -- $5 for adults and $4 for students.
Although Payson High does not charge admission to soccer games, some East region schools do, Bradley said.
In addition to PHS individual tickets, a variety of passes are available for purchase.
The options include a $120 family pass that will be accepted at all sports events this school year.
Bradley warns, however, that the pass is valid only for immediate family members living in the same home.
"Not cousins, aunts and uncles," he said.
For $55, family passes to football, volleyball or basketball-only may be purchased. A boys and girls basketball family pass is available for $65.
Bradley said the family pass for football is a good deal because there are six varsity home games this year. Student passes for all sports are $30 and individual adult passes are $42.
Bradley calls the passes a good deal for fans who plan to attend more than seven sporting events during the school year.
"That many games will pay for the pass, then (the games) are basically free," he said.
Pickup the Aug. 8 Payson Roundup print edition for clip-out schedules for Payson High School football, volleyball, soccer and cross country.