Town Support For Phs Team

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If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes more than a town to field a championship football team.

No one understands that better than Payson High School football coach Josh Anderson.

That's why he's practically turning cartwheels over the support he received during the recently completed PHS football camp.

Anderson would like to say "thanks" to those who contributed to the success of the camp.

His words:

"The Tonto Apache Tribe and the casino did a great job of taking care of the coaches from Payson as well as the teams we brought up to camp. (The coaches) just loved it out there.

"The town parks and recreation department did a great job of keeping everything open for us as well as super clean. The other coaches couldn't believe how nice the fields were, as well as how clean the bathrooms were for a park.

"The kids had a blast at the pool and we appreciate all of what (Taylor Pool manager) Deb Rose's staff did for us.

"Our FAN club was at the dome every night from 8 to 10:30 (p.m.) cooking away with the help of some cheerleaders. They made the best food and sold a lot to the boys in the camp. It was a great production all around.

"Our school custodians and the lunch staff did a great job of keeping this place clean and 185 people fed.

"I'm very thankful to have such a tremendous supporting staff from this community. I can't believe how much people are willing to help and be a part of our special group of kids. It's so much fun for me as a coach to watch people take care of each other.

"This is truly a great place to live."

Volleyball and dinner, what's better?

An upcoming varsity and alumni volleyball tournament coupled with an attractively priced steak dinner highlights this week on the PHS campus.

The dinner kicks off at 5 p.m. Aug. 1 near Wilson Dome and will be followed by the volleyball tournament at 7 p.m.

The meal menu will include steak, beans, salad and rolls. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children 10-years-and-younger.

"The price is very affordable and the dinner is available to anyone, whether you are alumni, friends or family," said varsity volleyball coach Arnold Stonebrink.

Following the meal, the volleyball tournament will begin inside the dome.

"It will be open to anyone who has ever played varsity volleyball for Payson," Stonebrink said. "I will also enter a ‘varsity' team."

The coach now anticipates there will be at least three, and possibly four, alumni teams.

Among those former Lady Horns participating will be Haylee Huff, a three-year varsity setter who wrapped up her career in 2004, Stonebrink's first year at the helm of the program.

"I called and asked Haylee if she would be there and she said, ‘heck, yeah' and then she proceeded to start trash talking, even though there was no one yet to trash talk to."

Huff, a Grand Canyon University senior majoring in nursing, says she is stoked about the idea of playing with some of her former teammates.

"We're hoping Britney Owens, Rikki Ray, Celena DeSchaaf, Retosha Marshall and some others can come back and play," she said.

Four years ago, Huff and Marshall were senior All-Grand Canyon Region honorees for the Lady Horns.

Huff's enthusiasm over the upcoming game has convinced Stonebrink that the skirmish will be a spirited one that should provide the school and the town with links to the past.

The coach would also like all alumni to know that it's not too late to enter a team.

"If players would like to band together to form a team they can do that," he said. "Otherwise we will divide the alumni up on teams."

The teams will be formed the evening of the tournament, Stonebrink said.

He is, however, hoping the alumni can form their own squads with a central theme.

Alumni interested in participating should call Stonebrink at (928) 468-6903

Dinner tickets may be purchased at Payson Eye Care and from assistant coach Trevor Creighton (928) 595-1844, Stonebrink or at the door.

There is no admission to the volleyball tournament.

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