Christmas Amid The Cactus

Dec. 25, 2000

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - It was a Christmas amid the cactus.

Oregon State's football team spent the holiday relaxing in sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s on Monday. It was the last day the fifth-ranked Beavers won't practice until their Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl date with 10th-ranked Notre Dame.

OSU resumes its workouts Tuesday morning at Scottsdale Community College. The Beavers will practice at SCC through Saturday, then hold a private walkthrough session at Sun Devil Stadium on Sunday.

After their latest workout concluded early Sunday afternoon, the Beavers began their brief holiday break in the desert.

On Christmas Eve, the OSU traveling party attended a banquet at their Scottsdale Plaza Resort headquarters. As the group dined amid holiday decorations and carolers, Santa Claus made his way from table to table presenting the Beaver players with their Fiesta Bowl watches. Later, before starting his global rounds, Santa greeted the children in the contingent.

Christmas morning, there was a holiday brunch and then the Beavers kicked back for the afternoon. A game room available to OSU's players at the resort, plus pools and tennis courts and Monday also provided a load of televised sports.

'I know a lot of guys are Lakers fans and Blazers fans and they're going to check that out,' OSU quarterback Jonathan Smith said. 'I know me and (backup quarterback) Tyler Thomas are going to play (wide receivers) Shawn Kintner and Turner Byrd in tennis - we had a Christmas date for tennis. There's a lot of things going on. We play a lot of cards ...'

'I just want to say Merry Christmas to everyone in Corvallis,' Smith said. 'Hopefully they're surviving the weather there, because it's been great here.'

NOTES: OSU's practices at Scottsdale Community College are scheduled to be open to the public through Saturday, starting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 2:30 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's walkthrough workout at Sun Devil Stadium will not be open to the public.

The two tractor-trailers used to haul nearly 9,000 pounds of OSU football equipment to Arizona were contributed by Art Carll's company, and one of those trailers made the trip sporting Oregon State's logo. Carll and OSU equipment manager Steve McCoy obtained university permission to use the logo, then Carll had to have the trailer taken to Spokane for the paint job. Carll has assisted McCoy in OSU's equipment duties this season.

OSU has also benefited from the generosity of Infocus of Wilsonville, which contributed three video projectors for the Beavers' use. Oregon State's athletic video staff has set up equipment for seven meeting rooms at the Scottsdale Plaza and the Beavers are taping each practice in Scottsdale.

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