The NCAA National Champions are coming to Payson and bringing their Coach of the Year with them.
They arrive in the form of the Arizona State University softball team coached by former Sun Devil and professional baseball star Clint Myers, also last year’s collegiate Coach of the Year.
In 2008, Myers led the Sun Devils to a 66-5 record and the national softball championship
With those lofty credentials in tow, Myers, assistant coaches and some players will be in Payson June 23 to 25 to host a Sun Devil Softball Camp at Rumsey Park.
Also on the agenda is a coaching clinic to be held from 6 to 9 p.m. June 24 at Rumsey Park.
Bringing the camp and clinic to Payson represents a coup of sorts for the Rim Country in that the last few years the camp has been conducted in the White Mountains. A few months ago, Town of Payson recreation coordinator Charlene Hunt and Lady Longhorn coach Will Dunman traveled to the ASU campus where they were able to convince Myers and his staff to move the camp to Payson.
“Yes, we did heavily pursue (the camp),” Hunt said. “We think it will be good for the players, coaches and hopefully a boost for the local economy.”
It was a promise from Hunt that convinced Myers to move the camp to Payson.
“Charlene notified me that her department would be behind the camp 100 percent, and that’s all it took,” Myers said. “It seemed to be a perfect fit for us, the support, the fantastic layout of the camp site with all the fields — including lights.”
Hunt is hoping the camp attracts more than a 100 youths, and their families, to the Rim Country.
Myers is anxious to visit, “We look forward to coming to Payson for our first-ever all skills summer camp in your community.”
The camp is open to aspiring players ages 10 to 19 years of age. The clinic is open to all coaches, from youth leagues through high school and college.
Myers said that for the camp he will bring enough instructors, which will include ASU players, to keep the coach-to-player ratio about 6 to 1.
Also, the sessions will be very similar to Sun Devil team workouts.
“At the camp we will use the same drills we use in our daily practices with our college team to teach mental and physical skills development,” Myers said.
Which means, the campers could be exposed to some state-of-the-art teaching tools like The Extra Infielder, Swift Stik, Grand Slam Pitching Machine, Weighted Agility Gloves and Zone-In.
The skills to be taught include:
• Throwing mechanics
• Base running — leads, steals, tagging up
• Defense — infield and outfield play
• Position play and responsibilities
• Fly ball
• Ground balls
• Tag plays
“Campers attending the Payson camp will be introduced to skill development and the knowledge of how to play the game,” Myers said.
“They will learn the ASU way of playing softball.”
Hunt touts the camp as a way for players to learn all they need to reach their goal of being the best softball player they can be.
Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each of the three days of the camp. There will be a lunch break from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Campers must bring their own lunch.
The camp fee is $300 and the coaching clinic fee is $50.
Registration forms are available from Hunt at the Green Valley P&R offices or online at: http://www.freewebs.com/sdscamps/
For more information, call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext 260.