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Without a field, ASU football will still make trip to Camp Tontozona

Arizona State kicker Brandon Ruiz gets set for a kickoff run through at Camp Tontozona in 2017. (Photo by Greg Macafee/Cronkite News)

First-year Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards said Thursday that his Sun Devils will make their annual trek to Camp Tontozona despite canceling their previously-scheduled practices near Payson.

“We’re still going up there on Wednesday (Aug. 8),” Edwards said Thursday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf show. “We’re going to do the tradition of going up there and have some meetings and have a walk-through … position groups will walk the mountains while the other guys are meeting.

“The tradition is going to stay alive.”

Arizona State announced on July 13 that recent rains had forced the team to cancel the annual practices in the pines after the weather set back crews in setting up a synthetic turf field that was one of the improvements to Camp T announced in March.

“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,” vice president for university athletics and athletics director Ray Anderson said in a statement.

Renovations were expected to be completed by Aug. 3.

The Sun Devils moved their practices, which run Aug. 3 through Aug. 15, to Tempe. They will break for a day on Aug. 8 to make the trip up north.

“Now we’re not able to practice up there because of field conditions and that’s no one’s fault,” Edwards said Thursday. “That’s mother nature and mother nature rules everything. She says, ‘it’s raining and you can’t work,’ you can’t work. What we’re going to be able to do because we’re going to be here, we’re going to practice at night, which I think will help us because we play at night.”


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