Each year parents of high school athletes dole out hundreds of dollars to send their sons to football camps around the country hoping they’ll pick up the skills and moxie to excel in the sport.
There is however, a free camp being offered that requires only a one-day trip to the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.
Newly appointed ASU head coach Todd Graham is hosting the Sun Devil Experience clinic at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, March 31 inside Sun Devil Stadium.
The clinic is open to both boys and girls ages 8 to 13 who are not enrolled in ninth grade or above.
It is open to the first 500 youth to register.
The Sun Devil coaching staff and several of the current players will conduct the camps, which will focus on form tackling, ball skills, blocking and running.
Youths attending should wear sweats or sweatpants and a T-shirt preferably representing Arizona State University.
Participants will not wear helmets or shoulder pads and are asked not to wear apparel from any university other than Arizona State.
Check in for the clinic is 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and parents must stay on the premises until the conclusion of the clinic at about 12:30 p.m.
Those who arrive early to the clinic are invited to watch the Sun Devil football team practice, beginning at 9 a.m.
To register go to www.thesundevils.com or call Jill Adams at (480)-965-3037.
In 1994, a group of Payson youngsters, including Blair River, Cable Morris, Josh Barnhart and others, attended a daylong free football clinic at Arizona State University that was sponsored by the Fiesta Bowl.
At the clinic, collegiate stars who later went on to pro stardom tutored the local players.
Lou Holtz, then the Notre Dame head coach, gave a rousing camp-ending speech to the hundreds of youths in attendance.
The group of Payson players who attended the free clinic were members of Rim Country Middle School’s first-ever football team and one that finished the season undefeated, winning the White Mountain League championship. The players went on to form the nucleus of Payson High School’s undefeated 1998 state championship team.
Horse group needs sponsors
The Tonto Basin High Flyin’ Hooves 4-H Club will be holding the its inaugural Tonto Basin 4-H Horse Show on April 20 and April 21 in Tonto Basin at the Brownsville Arena.
Friday evening will be timed events beginning at 5 p.m. and Saturday will start at 9 a.m. with Western and English events,” rancher Lori Brown said.
Admission is free.
Anyone interested in sponsoring the activities, or a portion of them should contact Brown at (928) 978-2440.
Wrestling camp on deck
The Lil’ Longhorn Wrestling Camp for aspiring grapplers in third to eighth grades will be held 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Feb. 28, 29, March 1, 6, 7 and 8 in the Wilson Dome wrestling room on the PHS campus.
Registration is $25 per camper.
Among the main attractions of the camp is that wrestling hopefuls will be tutored by most all of the varsity team members including state champion Jacob Spear.
Head coach Casey Woodall and assistants Zach Lee, Rocky Berry and Dave LaMotte will also help oversee camp activities.
To register, log on: http://www. paysonrimcountry.com/ParksRec.aspx.