5/22/2013 6:00:00 AM Kramer optimistic on NFL camp's 2nd year
Jonathan Seybert (white shirt) and Cody Ricker participate in a drill during the NFL High School Player Development camp last year at Kingman High School. The camp attracted 165 campers, and this year LWHS football coach Eugene Kramer hopes 200 players attend the camp June 3-7 at Lee Williams High School. JC AMBERLYN/Miner
KINGMAN - After attracting 165 players last year, Lee Williams football coach Eugene Kramer hopes to get 200 players for the NFL's High School Player Development football camp June 3-7 at Lee Williams High school.
"It's a great camp. It teaches the fundamentals of each position," Kramer said. "The offensive line, defensive line, quarterback, receiver. They get a shot at everything. They get a shot to learn how to do special teams, kicking, PATs and punting."
The camp is free and open to students entering ninth through 12th grades for the 2013-14 school year. Players will wear helmets and shoulder pads, and will receive a practice jersey and a planner that will be provided by the National Football League.
Coaches from LWHS and Kingman Academy football coach Wally Mueller will help run the camp. Kramer also extended an invitation to new Kingman High football coach David Ward, who said he would like to participate.
"Whatever they need is fine by me," Ward said.
Kramer added: "We would like to have him on board. I know he's not here yet, but if he could come down and help out a few days, we would love to have him."
In addition to attracting football players from LWHS, KHS and KAHS, the camp last year attracted eight players from Lake Havasu City and Kramer has heard that number might increase to 12 players this year.
"It's a Mohave County football camp," Kramer said. "We invited everyone from River Valley, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu. Everybody within our county, including some areas in the surrounding areas."
Kramer has registration flyers in all three high schools in Kingman and all the middle schools. He said the response has been slow, but he expects it to pick up as the camp draws closer.
"Last year, I had about 80 kids show up on the day of, but I would really like to have them in before so we can start to enter everyone into the computer," Kramer said.
The camp was moved from the Phoenix area to Kingman last year after getting dismal participation numbers. In order for it to return, it needed to have at least 150 players. Kramer said the NFL was very pleased with last year's turnout.
"It really was successful and the NFL said that we had one of the better camps that they had witnessed."
Because of the NFL's partnership, it raises the possibility of an NFL player showing up on the final day.
In 2011, when the camp took place in the Phoenix area, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald made an appearance.
Last year, no player made the trip to Kingman, but with the Cardinals firing Ken Whisenhunt at the end of the season and hiring Bruce Arians, Kramer hopes the new coaching staff will be more accommodating to the camp.
"It's really hit and miss. Last year's coaching staff wasn't really cooperative so we are hoping that the new coaching staff will be more cooperative," Kramer said.
"I will probably know as early as this week."
For more information contact Eugene Kramer at (928) 718-6000.