Juneau’s Cori Metzgar went off to college in 1994 and hasn’t left since.
What’s kept her there — first as a student-athlete, then master’s student, graduate assistant and finally strength and conditioning coach — is a desire to shape college athletes into the best versions of themselves.
It’s also part of the reason why come July, Metzgar, the Director of Sports Performance at Western Oregon University, is returning to her roots with some of her colleagues to host the inaugural Juneau Football and Sports Performance Camp.
According to Metzgar, a multi-sport athlete who grew up in Juneau during the ‘90s, she also wants give back to the place where she discovered her passion for sports. If it wasn’t for out-of-state sports camps though, her collegiate skiing and soccer career at Fort Lewis College may never have materialized.
“I feel like the one thing that was missing when I was growing up was that exposure to elite camps,” Metzgar said earlier this month. “Unless families have the money to send their kids down south, there’s really not that access to great camps like this. Now that I’m in a position, where because of my career in (Division I) and (Division II) I have a lot of connections to NFL athletes and pro athletes, I just felt like I was finally able to do it.”
“It” is a in-depth football and sports performance camp from July 10-14 at Thunder Mountain High School. The camp will be broken up into two segments — a football segment in the morning and strength and speed segment in the afternoon.
Middle and high school football players can choose to participate in both sessions or just one.
Metzger is bringing plenty of helping hands, too. Los Angeles Charger and former WOU wide receiver Tyrell Williams is coming. So too are most of the WOU Wolves football coaching staff — including defensive line coach and former NFL defensive tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen.
One name very familiar to the Juneau football scene — Phillip Fenumiai — will also serve as a camp instructor. Fenumiai is going to be a senior next season at WOU. The former Crimson Bear standout threw for over 1,500 yards at quarterback last season for the 4-6 Wolves.
“She’s been amazing,” Fenumiai said on Tuesday of Metzgar. “These last four years have been great with her and she’s gotten not only me, but everyone else on the football team and all the athletic teams to a level where they can perform their best and excel.”
Youth who play in something other than football are welcome to participate in the afternoon strength and conditioning classes. Two campers who will fall in this category are brothers and youth hockey players Caden and Colton Johns, 10 and 13.
The Johns’ mother, Jody Levernier, went to college with Metzgar and has been helping her get the word out about the camp.
“She always wanted to come back to Juneau and provide some sort of strength and conditioning for Southeast Alaska,” Lervernier said. “This was kind of always her dream.”
All the camp instructors will be donating their time and half the proceeds from the camp will be donated to local sports programs.
“I think this is actually the first time a school has come down to Juneau,” Fenumiai said of the football camp. “I know as long as I lived there we never had a university come down, or any coaches for that matter come down and just share their knowledge with high schoolers, middle schoolers, elementary school kids and getting them started on the process of getting them thinking about college.”
For more information and to register, go to: www.juneaufootballandsportsperformancecamp.com
Football Skills, Strength and Speed (all-day) — $199 ($229 after July 1)
Football Skills Only (half-day) — $129 ($155 after July 1)
Sports Performance Camp (half-day) — $75 ($99 after July 1)
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.