Teens around the Rim Country are gearing up for the onset of the fall sports seasons of football, volleyball, cross-country and soccer.
The first programs to begin preseason preparations are football and volleyball. Practices open for both after school on Aug. 3. The cheerleaders can also begin practicing that day.
Cross-country and soccer practices tip off Aug. 10.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association regulates when practice sessions may begin.
Before any Payson High School student athlete may participate in practices they must fulfill several requirements.
First, they must have a current physical exam. The school district offered those last spring for a minimal charge. Athletes who did not take advantage of those must schedule their own personal physical with their family doctor.
Second, athletes must have on file in athletic director Jason Lobik’s office a “consent to participate” form signed by their parents or guardians.
Third, sports fees must be paid. Those are $60 for the first two sports and $30 for a third sport.
There is a maximum fee per family of $150.
Once all three requirements are completed, the athlete will be given a “blue card” which he or she will give to the head coach of their respective sport.
Those cards signal the coach that the player has been OK’d to begin practicing.
First up in competitive action is the volleyball team, which has a preseason scrimmage at 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 20 in Florence against the Florence Gophers.
Football will be the next team in action, traveling Friday, Aug. 21 to Camp Verde for the traditional preseason scrimmage. Start time is 5 p.m.
Both PHS soccer teams scrimmage Round Valley on Aug. 28 at Rumsey Park. The girls scrimmage begins at 4 p.m. and the boys two hours later.
Cross country action tips off Sept. 5 at the Padre Invitational in Tempe. Payson’s lone home meet this season will be Sept. 9.
The highlight of the campaign could be a trip Oct. 17 to the Rio Rancho Invitational in New Mexico.
For further information, call the high school at (928) 474-2233.