A highly successful preseason football camp has set the stage for a July 30 kick off of two-a-day practice sessions and the onset of the 2007 gridiron season.
During the camp, held July 16 to 20 on the Payson High School campus, 51 aspiring Longhorn players learned the nuances of the system under second-year coach Josh Anderson.
"It was a very productive camp; the success, attitudes and expectations were high," Anderson said. "I was also excited about the leadership and character that was shown."
The players will take this week off and then report Monday for practices that will be held the first five days, from 8-10 a.m. and 4-6 pm.
Also on Monday, a mandatory meeting for players and at least one parent will be held at 6:30 p.m. in old PHS gymnasium.
During the meeting or prior to it, prospective team members and parents must complete required paperwork which includes a physical exam, insurance information, parent's consent for their children to participate and be treated (if necessary), a birth certificate and domicile information.
Players will not be allowed to practice until all the necessary paperwork is completed.
Also, a $60 participation fee must be paid.
All forms are available from athletic secretary Hannah Reedy in the PHS administrative offices.
After school begins Aug. 8, single football practice sessions will be held weekdays, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
The season kicks off at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 in Longhorn stadium against Camp Verde. The showdown is a controlled scrimmage only and, by rules, no score is to be kept and there will be no kick offs or punt returns. Also, coaches are allowed on the field and play may be stopped at any time to give instruction.
The non-region season begins 7 p.m. in PHS stadium against Fountain Hills.
Because the East is down to six teams, from last year's seven, region play doesn't begin until Sept. 28 against Show Low.
The Longhorn coaching staff this season will include Kenny Hayes, Bret Morris, Joe Parone, Brian Young, Byron Quinlan and possibly former Longhorn standout Chris Harold.
Quinlan, who starred for the Longhorns in the mid-1990s, will coach the freshman team. Junior varsity coaching responsibilities will be rotated among the other assistants.
For more information, call Reedy at (928) 474-2233.