TEMPE, Ariz.--Arizona State University's football team, under the direction of third-year Head Coach Todd Graham, will visit Camp Tontozona, ASU's iconic preseason football camp, on Tuesday, August 12 through Saturday, August 16 this fall.
The stay at Camp Tontozona will culminate with the annual scrimmage on Saturday, August 16.
In 2012, under the direction of Coach Graham and the Sun Devil Athletics Administration, ASU made the "Return to Camp T" campaign successful that resulted in ASU's first trip to the property in the Tonto National Forest since 2008. The White Mountain Alumni Chapter Board, volunteers and sponsors took the lead and helped to make the return a reality with a matching donation program.
"I've stated many times that I love the traditions of college football," says Graham. "Camp Tontozona for ASU is one of those iconic traditions. I want to take my teams to Camp T because that is where the tradition and the season begins. Coach Frank Kush had a vision and it worked out very well. I want to perpetuate that tradition.”
Set within the cool mountain country near Payson, Ariz., the camp borders the Tonto National Forest, which provides the first two syllables of Tontozona. The state of Arizona offers the last pair.
Mountains skirt the camp with water, contributing much of the beauty to the area with clear-running Tonto Creek just a moment's walk from the practice field. As a matter of fact, the bubbling springs on the camp property are a popular place for a cold drink or a refreshing natural whirlpool after practice. But the creek is even more popular after drills. Three man-sized waterfalls and clear-bottom swimming holes serve as refreshers to the Sun Devils.
Wildlife is another prominent specialty of Tontozona; deer roaming the surrounding country and hawks circling the morning and evening skies are not uncommon sights.
Just minutes away by car are other attractions such as the spectacular Mogollon Rim and its breathtaking view and countryside that provides a haven for campers, horseback riders, hikers and picnickers.