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Friday, July 03, 2009

Game Plan Football Academy to track participants

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

LA'IE — In the idyllic setting of Ko'olauloa, the Game Plan Football Academy quietly and effectively wrapped up its sixth annual camp yesterday at Brigham Young University-Hawai'i.
And in a new feature, the college preparation program will continue over the next eight months for the dozens of seniors who attended.

Asai Gilman, executive director of the "Education 1st" non-profit organization that administers the Game Plan Academy, said he and his staff wanted to find ways to make the camp's lessons extend beyond just the past four days.

"We saw that in order for it to really have an effect, we have to follow through," Gilman said. "Sometimes, they don't retain the information in their memory after the camp ends."

To make sure the lessons are retained, the Academy plans to "huddle" with the seniors through monthly "Chalk Talks" until March. Communication will be done through e-mail, and workshops and presentations will be offered covering topics such as creating video profiles and SAT/ACT preparation.

"These are the next steps for seniors," Gilman said. "We'll have academic advisers available, college presenters. We're excited, we're looking forward to it."

The camp participants and even their parents soaked in a lot of information since Monday, when the program began at Radford High School.

After an opening address by BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall, parents broke off into three 35-minute sessions offering four workshop topics to choose from in each session. Topics included "Division I: Reality Check and Athletic Scholarship Opportunities," "NCAA Eligibility: What to Know, What to Do," "Academic Standards: GPA, Rigor, SAT Scores — What to Know for Each Division," and "Prepare and Prevent: Common Pitfalls of the College Athlete."

The workshops were led by such presenters as Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker, New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker and Hawai'i associate head coach George Lumpkin, and were conducted in a Q&A format.

"I learned a lot, and my wife enjoyed it immensely, even though she's not a football fan at all," said Derek McMoore, whose son will begin his freshman year at Kapolei this month. "They made a lot of good points."

The camp continued at BYUH Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday with players participating in classroom sessions and field practices.

"I think I improved a lot of my skills as a linebacker," said Farrington junior Justin Vele. "I learned a lot on and off the field, especially how important grades really are. It makes me more prepared."

Camp Awards — Offense: Darin Kamealoha, Pac-Five (skills); Christopher Thee, Kahuku (line); Defense: Charles Tua'au, Leilehua (line); Tevita Malafu, Baldwin (skills).

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