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ASU football cancels annual trip to Camp Tontozona

Arizona State announced the cancellation of the football team’s annual summer practices at Camp Tontozona on Friday due to the recent rainfall that has hit Payson.

“We have been monitoring this closely for the last several weeks and our student-athletes’ safety is our No. 1 priority,” Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said. “Unfortunately, the amount of rain Payson has received impedes the crew’s ability to efficiently level the ground and proficiently complete the construction of the playing surface.”

According to the school, rain has caused tributaries and streams that run under the field to percolate up to the ground when the necessary equipment was brought in to compact the new playing surface. With the added water, crews have been unable to evenly lay the bottom layers of the field, leaving hazardous soft spots and causing delays.

In March, Arizona State announced its plans to revamp Camp T with a synthetic field and other renovations. The renovations were expected to be finished by the start of camp on Aug. 3.

“We are disappointed the team will not be able to experience Camp T together this year but this further exemplifies the importance of constructing the synthetic playing surface,” Anderson said. “The completion of this project will help alleviate future disturbances for our football program and our fans.”

ASU looked into going to camp later, but it was too difficult with classes starting, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

The Sun Devils will hold all of their 2018 preseason practices in Tempe, with hopes of completing the project when weather permits for a return next summer.

“This was a tough decision for our program, especially for me, who has yet to experience the mystique of Camp Tontozona,” ASU head coach Herm Edwards said. “But the health of our players comes first. I’m already anticipating the experience we will have next season and the new field will help enhance the amount of work the team can accomplish during our stay at Camp T.”

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