For the second straight year, former Mount Tahoma football teammates Mike James and Earl Davis combined forces to hold the All Sports Speed and Conditioning Camp at Cirque Park in University Place on Aug. 1-13. Offering a unique array of drills and conditioning tools, the camp is beginning to gain popularity because it maintains students’ summer conditioning during the “dead period” before fall practices begin.
“A really important thing about the camp is doing it in that two-week period,” said James, a former University of Washington player. “Lots of kids spend summer focusing on their conditioning and then lose 75 percent of it in two weeks.”
Both James and Davis spend time training with athletes in the fall and winter, and Davis noted that while they were able to advertise a bit more and get some new attendees, a number of students returned from last year’s camp.
“A lot of the kids that came back put the work in,” Davis said. “They knew what it was all about, and they wanted to get something out of it again, and they did.”
The camp was separated into eight two-hour sessions, with James leading drills that included running through step ladders and sprints with parachutes attached to athletes’ backs. A large contingent of attendees came from the nearby Charles Wright Academy football team, which was looking to get a jumpstart on the season.
“This year was a lot better than last year because we got more people out from our team, which allowed us to work on some route timing,” said Charles Wright senior quarterback Fritz Jacobson. “I think it’s just important to stay in shape for the season, so you’re ready to play all four quarters.”
Teammate Colin Reynolds, coming out for the first time, also saw the benefit for his specific position.
“At running back, lots of times you’ve got to cut fast and quick, and we did a lot of stuff with cutting and lateral stuff,” Reynolds said. “It’s not all sprinting. We did everything you need to do to be in shape for the season.”
Also among the 20-plus attendees was Charles Wright football and track star Alexander Moore and recent Fife High grad Sonteona Stinson, who both advanced to the state meet in their respective divisions last spring.
“This year I’m just focusing more on the speed, and getting in shape before the indoor season and college starts,” said Stinson, a hurdler who will attend Saint Martin’s University this fall.
“This is the first camp I’ve ever been to like this,” added fellow Saint Martin’s freshman hurdler Whitney Echols, a graduate of Auburn Mountainview High School who was also a state meet participant. “We worked a lot on lengthening our strides and step rotation, which are things we need when it comes to hurdles.”
Recent Charles Wright graduate Nick Mungia also sees the benefit as he looks to stay in shape for the upcoming football season at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
“It was a great first experience,” Mungia said. “It’s nice, since I’m going to college and I don’t really have an organized lifting routine or anything.
“They’ve brought in a lot of drills that I’ve never done before or experienced, and I think that’s helped a lot.”
Both Davis and James hope to continue to expand and attract top level high school and college athletes in all sports.
“One thing we’re trying to do is get the elite of the elite out here, so that there’s more competition and we can create that atmosphere,” said James.
For more information on future camps contact Earl Davis at 253-905-0893, or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.