Business Steps Up To Help Pole Vaulting Camp

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Bo Althoff is extending a huge “Thank You” to Jim Carr at The Rock Yard in Payson.

The show of gratitude is because Carr helped Althoff acquire the building materials and pallets he needed to co-host the Kiss the Sky pole vaulting camp that was held June 13 to 17 at Camp Tontozona east of Payson.

By securing those materials at low costs, the savings were transferred to the seven Payson High School athletes who attended the camp.

The savings were in the form of reduced camp tuitions.

The pallets and materials were needed to build the runways for the five pole vaulting pits that were set up on the Camp Tontozona football field.

The campers also helped lower their camp tuition by pitching in to help build the runways prior to the start of the camp.

The camp was put on by the Sky Athletes Pole Vaulting Club of the Valley, and drew 116 high school and collegiate vaulters from around the state.

Althoff, a former PHS pole-vaulting star, is an assistant track and field coach and is employed by Arizona Public Service.

Deadline is Thursday

Time is growing short for prospective donors to help former Lady Longhorn softball star Mary Hagen travel Aug. 1 to Italy where she will be a member of the American Prospects team that will compete in international tournaments.

To make the trip, Hagen must raise $3,800 to pay expenses. So far, she has raised only a portion of the money needed and is scrambling for the remainder before the July 1 deadline.

Those who would like to help Mary represent the Rim Country overseas can contribute donations at Payson Compass Bank or by calling her at (928) 951-4835. Donation forms are also available at the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline Highway.

Pay to play fees increase

PUSD Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Bobette Tomerlin has released the change participation fee schedule for RCMS and PHS.

The new fees at the high school will be $200 for the first sport, $50 for a second sport with a family cap of $400. At the middle school, the fees will be $75 for the first sport, $50 for a second sport with a cap of $150 per family.

The good news for parents is that the fees qualify for the extracurricular tax credit of $200 for a single person and $400 for a family.

Last year, the fee at the high school was $60 per sport with a cap of $150 per student and family. The fee at the middle school was $20 per sport with no family cap.

The increases in fees at both schools were needed to cover the cost of coaching salaries and benefits that last spring were removed from the district’s maintenance and operation budget, formerly the source of the funds.

They were taken out of M&O coffers because the district needed to reduce the budget by $1.2 million.

Hometown boy returns

Don’t forget to put on your calendar a memo to visit Payson Event Center July 2 and 3 to say hello to a 30-year-old freestyle motocross rider with deep Rim Country roots.

Tyler Polk, who was born in Payson and calls it his hometown on his motocross Web site, will provide the FMX Freestyle Motocross exhibitions during performances MoToX Madness.

Polk, however, will not perform any of the daredevil tricks because he’s recovering from a broken collarbone suffered at an earlier exhibition.

A track party during which fans can meet, greet and ask questions of Polk and other riders begins each night at 5 p.m. The gates open at 6 p.m. and the actual motocross an hour later.

Admission at the gate is $15.

Open field sessions for soccer

Now that the United States has been eliminated from the World Cup, young fans can take more advantage of the skills sessions Longhorn boys coach Chris Avakian is hosting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday at Rumsey Park.

All high school players are invited to attend free of charge.

The coach says during the sessions, players “do a little bit of everything” including ball handling, 1-on-1 drills and scrimmage.

Avakian is urging all prospective players to attend the sessions to better prepare for the upcoming fall season.

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