1st Annual Kicking Camp Has Over 60 Participants
Coaches, participants, parents and observers alike agreed on one thing: the First Annual Mario Danelo Kicking Academy was highly successful. The Friday evening Special Teams camp was a testament to the Danelo family and simultaneously showed that there is clearly a need for a special teams camp in the Southern California.
The camp was initiated in honor of the late Mario Danelo. All of the proceeds were donated to the Mario Danelo Scholarship Fund.
SCPlaybook was in attendance and brings you a recount of this great event.
SCPlaybook Catches Up With Brad Bohn
Coach Brad Bohn (West Coast Kicking Academy Director) brought about 20 athletes to the event. Participants included 2009 recruits: Kickoff specialist Mike Bowlin (K) from Aliso Niguel High School, Mike Loftus (P) from Servite High School, Vince Damato (K) El Toro High School, Richie Hogan (K) from Laguna Hills High School and Trevor Romaine (K) Corona Centennial High School.
2010 recruits included #1 ranked Nick Diaz and Jake Van Ginkel (Upland).
Said Coach Bohn, "The camp was a success, exposing the parents and athletes to a highly organized successful program at USC. Not only were there some 60-65 attendees, but also the talent level was high, kickers routinely kicking 50-55 yard field goals."
Coach Nick Basile Pierce College
Head of Football Operations, Nick Basile (Pierce College) attended the event, accompanying incoming Pierce College freshman Brandon Chandler.
Basile said, "Brandon Chandler, long snapper, played at Canyon High School and won the State Championship two years ago. He was the long snapper for two years, and just graduated from high school."
He continued, "Chandler's father was a long snapper and it runs in the family. He takes it quite seriously. USC has seen his film and they will take a look at him. He will be a freshman at Pierce College this fall."
Basile added, "Chaz Russell is a cover corner, 6'0", 200 lbs., he is working on his grades and USC is very interested in him."
Speaking of Pierce Colleges recent success in sending players to four-year colleges, Basile said, "Cameron Yancy transferred to UC Berkley, Rodney Fritz transferred to Florida International, Steve Johnson got a scholarship at Tulsa. Quarterback Alex Petee got a scholarship with Toledo, quarterback from Hart High School."
"At Pierce, we're training our athletes to improve their study skills to improve their academic standing. We'd like to get them out as soon as possible to get to a four-year college. We also teach them social skills and build their character."
Finally, Basile said, "We are here today because of Mario Danelo, he had character. This is an exciting day to be here at the inaugural camp."
Some Parents Discussed Their Thoughts
Chris Diaz commented on his son, Nick Diaz, "Besides attending the Mario Danelo Kicking Academy, Nick Diaz (K-2010) recently attended the Sailer Prep Camp in Sherman Oaks (CA), and on Saturday he tied for first place for ‘last man standing' and on Sunday he won it again. Then he went to the camp in Las Vegas and took ‘last man standing on Saturday. Right now he's ranked #1 for kickers in 2010. He works out with Brad Bohn at the Kicking Academy."
He said thus far, "Oregon State is showing some interest. He has a very strong work ethic. He led Redondo Beach Union to their first championship in quite a long time."
Craig McMahon commented on his son, "Craig McMahon Jr. is currently ranked 5th in his class as a kicker (2010). He will be a junior this year at Bakersfield High School (CA). He was the starting kicker as a sophomore last year. He was only 14 years old and had to get special permission from the CIF to play varsity football. Bakersfield won the Central Section Division 1 Championship with a 12-1 record."
Brad Bowlin's son, Michael Bowlin is ranked #4 kicker, "He will be a senior this year and is getting attention from a lot of schools. He preps at Aliso Niguel High School. He would love to attend a Pac-10 school. He's getting interest from a lot of East Coast schools such as Notre Dame, Boston College and LSU. Vanderbilt sent him a letter this week. We'd love for him to attend a local school so we can attend all the games."
A Very Good Start to an Annual Event
Overall, the Mario Danelo Kicking Academy drew praise by all those in attendance. The event was well organized, and many donated their time and energies to benefit the Mario Danelo Scholarship Fund.