Juneau hosting football camp at Adair-Kennedy

Juneau-Douglas head football coach Rich Sjoroos celebrates after his team goes up 18-7 against Chugiak during a playoff game last season at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Football coaches around the Southeast are always looking for ways to improve the quality on the field come the fall season, and this summer’s Southeast Safety Football Camp promises to be one of the best yet in Juneau.


In the past, Crimson Bears coaches would put on a local camp for high school football players in the capital city in an effort to prepare them for the upcoming season, but Juneau-Douglas coach Rich Sjoroos said this year is going to be different.

“North Pole was interested in bringing their team to Juneau and making this thing a little bit bigger,” he said. “Then this thing really took off.”

Sjoroos said not only will both the Juneau-Douglas and North Pole coaching staffs be running the camp, but six coaches from the 2010-11 FCS national champion Eastern Washington Eagles will be in attendance for instruction as well.

Headlining the coaches from EWU will be Dan Graham, the team’s defensive backs and wide receivers coach. He also is a member of the Washington State Coaches Hall of Fame and coach of eight high school state champion teams in 36 years of experience.

Alongside him will be EWU linebackers coach John Graham, running backs coach Chris Hansen, quarterbacks coach Zak Hill, offensive line and tight ends coach Heath Pulver, and Jay Tulley, another defensive backs and wide receivers coach for the Eagles.

Sjoroos said there will be ample instruction available for those who attend the camp.

“This is going to benefit all levels (of players). A lot of times when you go to a camp, it really benefits only the best. There are so many kids at some of these camps that you can’t really get a lot of one-on-one attention,” he said. “But with all the coaches we’ll have there, there will be opportunities to take guys of all different skill levels and break them down, work with them in a kind of one-on-one, one-on-two situation.

“You don’t get that at the bigger camps.”

Juneau-Douglas is expected to have 40 kids at the camp, while North Pole is bringing around 20. Sjoroos said he’s also gotten interest from Thunder Mountain and Sitka players.

“We’re definitely trying to get this going throughout Southeast, but that may take a little while,” Sjoroos said. “Still, I think the experience the kids will get this week will just build on itself once the word gets around about how good it is to work with these coaches.”

The 2011 Southeast Safety Football Camp is a full-contact, padded camp running from 5 to 9 p.m. beginning Monday and ending Friday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Camp participants should attend with cleats and appropriate athletic attire. Registration is $100.

“We’re trying to break new ground here and everybody is kind of nervous. But at the same time, there’s a lot of excitement,” Sjoroos said. “We’re trying to build football around here and this is one way to do it.”

Contact Sjoroos at ersjoroos@gci.net for more information.


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