Sept. 29, 2004 - AHEAD OF THE GAME: It's never too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving and with football season well underway, what goes better with Turkey than football? Plans are already underway for the annual Marana High School Alumni Turkey Bowl which is currently scheduled for Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving.

Turkey Bowl is a tackle football game started by Toby Bourget for alumni of Marana High School. The original game, held three years ago included a small gathering held at Marana High School. Since then the game has gradually gained followers. Last year's festivities were attended by nearly 90 players and spectators. This year Bourget is expecting to have between 200 and 300 attendees.

The annual game isn't just a clash of aging, former Marana athletes looking to hold onto the golden days. This year's bowl game will look to raise food and money for local charities with a canned food drive. To add the ambience of a real high school football game, joining the players will be cheerleaders, the Tiger mascot and vendors.

"We want it to have the feel of a Friday night game," said Bourget.

To add to the magic and lure of the game, Bourget is hoping to add country music sensation Troy Olson to the mix. Before setting out on the road to Nashville, Tenn. and a rising career in the country music industry, Olson graduated from Marana High School. With any luck, the singer, who has toured with legendary country music stars such as Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard and Clint Black to name a few, will perform the game's national anthem, said Bourget.

Local sponsors are expected to join community churches in supporting the game that is open to public. For more information Bourget can be reached at 247-0904.

Tennis anyone?

It's time to restring those racquets that are collecting dust in the garage. The Westward Look Resort, 245 E. Ina Road, is beginning tennis lessons for children ages 5 years old and up. The sessions are part of the resort's Junior Tennis Program which will begin Oct. 4 with a free clinic at the scenic resort.

Hour-long lessons will be broken up by age, children ages 5 to 8 and 9 and up. The after school program will run from Mondays through Thursdays with the 5 to 8 group beginning at 4:30 p.m. and the 9 and up starting at 5:30 p.m. Classes will be taught by tennis pros Tom Lepisto and Dan Imperato. New to the Westward Look Resort, Lepsito brings with him more than 18-years of tennis training to the program. Lepisto is certified by both the United States Professional Tennis Association and the United States Professional Tennis Registry.

The price for a monthly lesson is $65. To fit into busy schedules, children are allowed to choose whatever days, Monday through Thursday, that they wish to play. Every month, Westward Look will host a tennis tournament for the group on the program's eight available courts. A membership tourney will follow the free clinic Oct. 4. For more information about the after school program, call the Westward Look Resort at 297-1151.

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