Sun Devils announce return to Tontozona
Thanks to donations from nearly 500 fans, former players and Arizona State Sun Devil Alumni, the Sun Devil football team will be returning to camp Tontozona from August 14 to August 18.
The campaign, which was coined "Return To Camp T," called on those close to the team to raise $150,000 dollars for the Sun Devil Club before June 1, in order to send the team back to the camp. It was led by head coach Todd Graham and athletic director Steve Patterson.
"Ever since Todd and I visited up there and were so warmly received by the mayor and the other folks up there, we got really excited about it," Patterson said at a press conference Thursday. "We wanted to re-engage in one of the great traditions that ASU football has had, first started by Frank Kush so many years ago and so we're really excited about going back there."
The White Mountain Sun Devil Club Alumni Chapter announced they would be matching donations to a total of up to $65,000, which helped bring the team over its goal.
The trip will end with a scrimmage on the final day at the mountain retreat, where football will be the sole focus for players, coaches and staff.
"To be able to go to a secluded place like that in our first year when relationship is so important, to develop our team, to strain them, to train them, and have no distractions is going to be exactly what we need in our first year and something we want to continue," Graham said.
Legendary head coach Frank Kush first took his Arizona State team to the facility east of Payson back in 1960, and the Sun Devils spent at least part of training camp there every year until the tradition stopped in 2008.
"Camp Tontozona was simply about a bonding experience for us, especially as freshmen," said former Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer. "For me, it was my indoctrination to college football. It culminated in a Rose Bowl for us in 1996. It was Camp Tontozona that brought us together."
Arizona Sports' Vince Marotta contributed to this report.
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