Aspiring Payson High School football players, including those from Pine and Strawberry, have a golden opportunity for a jump-start on the upcoming 2019 season by attending the 2019 Longhorn football camp Monday, July 15 through Thursday, July 18 on the PHS campus, at Rim Country Middle School and the Rumsey Park south activity field.

During the camp, players will take their meals in the school cafeteria and be housed overnight in PHS gymnasium.

The cost is $100. Campers should bring running shoes, football cleats, raingear, toiletries including toothbrush and towels, three-ring binder, paper, pencils and more.

Leading the camp will be a coach very familiar to longtime Longhorn footballs fans.

PHS and RCMS alumnus Bryan Burke was appointed the new head coach in 2018 replacing Jake Swartwood.

Fans may remember Burke from Payson’s undefeated (14-0) state championship that reached the pinnacle of success in 3A football by slipping past powerhouse Blue Ridge 34-33 in the double overtime state title game.

Prior to being appointed head coach, Burke worked as an assistant under Swartwood for two seasons.

Over the decades, Pine-Strawberry teens have traditionally made significant contributions to the Longhorn football program.

For example, in 2006 Pine-Strawberry’s Luke Apfel, a speedy scatback, led the Longhorns and state in rushing with over 2,000 yards and was later named the MVP of the Arizona Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star game.

Not bad stuff from a player who teammates good-naturedly called “Pine Cone.”

But in recent seasons, participation has waned for unknown reasons. Here’s hoping our local players turn out to support the greatest prep sport played today.

Library hosts movies,

reading, computers and more

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library is offering a myriad of activities throughout July including the always popular Movie Madness showings which will be held at 1 p.m., July 17 and the same time on July 24.

On July 17, “Lego, the Movie Part II” will be shown and “Scooby-Doo Moon Monster” will be the flick of choice one week later.

Pre-School Story Time is at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 18 and 25.

Independent Art Projects, Duplo and Lego are offered throughout most of open hours, Tuesday through Friday.

Patrons can lend the library a helping hand by purchasing tickets for the “Gift Card Tree Raffle” that will be at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 1 in the library.

Tickets are one for $2, six for $5 or 15 for $10.

The tree is decorated with a myriad of gift cards donated by library patrons.

Board in executive session

The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District governing board is scheduled to meet in executive session at 5 p.m., Thursday, July 18 to discuss a lawsuit with district attorneys. While the subject of the lawsuit being discussed has not been disclosed, it could concern legal action PSWID has filed against CH2M, the district’s former consulting firm.

Becky Sigeti, a former district bookkeeper and CH2M employee, embezzled thousands of dollars from PSWID and the district has filed a $418,000 lawsuit to recover the funds. The suit is said to be, “In the discovery process.”

On time physicals, paperwork essential to success

During this scribe’s coaching career, which began in 1967 and continued to 2005, I learned one of the biggest obstacles student-athletes face before the start of the school year or a particular sport, is being prepared for the first day of practice.

They must have a physical exam completed and on file in the school/district office and all paperwork, including parent permission slips and insurance forms, also finished and on file.

Those who do not complete those requirements are not allowed to practice and will miss valuable learning and conditioning time that is difficult to make up.

Almost every season coaches find themselves in a quandary trying to find playing time for student-athletes who have fallen behind teammates because they were not available for preseason practices and conditioning.

That often leads to parent-coach conflicts since parents mistakenly believe their child is available at the moment and should be seeing playing time. The coach, however, knows the athlete has missed so much preparation that if playing, his lack of training will hurt the team and teammates.

Student-athletes can avoid that dilemma during the upcoming 2019 school year by filing all eligibility requirements before the onset of classes on Monday, July 29. Students whose last physical exam was prior to March 1, 2019 must have another before being allowed to practice a fall sport.

Those who have not yet had their physicals may find scheduling a doctor’s appointment on short notice difficult. An alternative is to opt for “Next Care Urgent Care,” which is preferred by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

The closest facility is located in Cottonwood. For an appointment or more information, call 888-705-8562.Thought for the week

“Success isn’t owned, it’s leased and the rent is due every day.”

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