Skill players under 'Attack' in Beaverton

There's a gem of a football camp run by Greg Barton, former NFL and CFL quarterback that many high school coaches know about, but still it seems like the word hasn't gotten out in the Puget Sound area. The Air Attack camp in Beaverton is a four-weekend camp in which skill players can hone their offensive skills, whether it be as a quarterback, running back or receiver.

This camp is all about running, throwing and catching the football, and it's brought together some of the best coaching minds in the Northwest to tutor players from the 8th grade up. Even players that have already made their college choices, like Sawyer Smith (Portland State University), Carl Bonnell (Washington State), Adam Hazel (Montana) make the trip to Beaverton for four Sundays in a row to get instruction and to fine-tune their games before they head to college in the fall.

Barton, the ringleader of the camps, gets the finest coaches and even gets some current college players to volunteer their time and energy towards teaching kids the basics. UW freshman phenom Reggie Williams spent a Sunday showing receivers the ropes as he made the trek down to the Portland with Taylor Barton, Greg's son. Other players that have spent time at Air Attack include Jason Jacola - QB, Portland State University, Neil Zellick - QB, Portland State University, Justin Wood - QB, Portland State University, Jesse Levin - WR, Portland State University, Antonio Jackson - WR, Portland State University and Eric Hillison - DB, Linfield College.

The coaches involved are a vertible who's-who when it comes to prep and college coaching in the Willamette Valley. Heading the list is Ad Rutschman, who coached at Linfield where he won national championships in both football and baseball. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Here's a compelete list of the other coaches you'll see if you take in an Air Attack 'session':

Mike Fanger - Head Coach, Lewis and Clark College
Neil Lomax - former QB, Portland State University, played in the NFL
Jeff Rudolph - WR, former teammate of Neil Lomax at Portland State University Kenny Taylor - former DB, Oregon State University, won a Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears in 1995
Roland Hawkins - former NFL DB, played with the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Walcha - Offensive Coordinator, Portland State University
Brian Harris - Receivers Coach, Portland State University
Jim Craft - RB Coach, Portland State University
Chris Crawford - former QB, Portland State University
Jon Francis - RB Coach, Lewis and Clark College
Jason Phillips - DB Coach, Lewis and Clark College
Matt Rhodes - TE Coach, Lewis and Clark College
Greg Breitbach - WR Coach, Lewis and Clark College
Chris Budke - Quarterback Coach/Offensive Coordinator, Central Catholic HS
Joe Rollins - DB Coach, Central Catholic HS

On these Sundays, the camp is broken up into two sessions; the first session, which lasts from 10 until 12:30 and the second session, which lasts from 1:30 until 4. This gives players an opportunity to choose a session, or to attend both. The day that I watched, Spanaway (Wash.) Bethel QB Johnny DuRocher decided to do both, a testament to his drive and determination to get better.

Two days after I saw Johnny in Beaverton he verbally committed to Mike Bellotti and the University of Oregon. While the top signal-caller from Washington is now going to be wearing the yellow and green, there is another quarterback from Bethel that Husky fans should keep their eyes on. James Wright is DuRocher's backup, and is currently a junior-to-be. He's taller than Johnny and very athletic for a big man, but still very raw and has a lot of work to do to fill DuRocher's shoes for the Braves in 2003.

The interesting thing for Dawg fans? He was wearing UW shorts. Is it a sign of things to come for Wright? We'll see.

Other prep quarterbacks there that impressed during the two Sunday sessions were West Albany, Oregon's Zac O'Bryan, Brad Addink from White River, Washington, The Dalles' Cory Carpenter, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic's Ryan Gunderson, Auburn (Wash.) Jefferson's Jared Bronson, Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon's Alex Brink, Wilsonville, Oregon's Travis Galbraith and Chris Peerboom from Portland (Ore.) Jesuit.

Gunderson and DuRocher look to have struck up a pretty nice friendship, as they were always pushing each other during drills, but with big smiles on their faces.

The future for quarterback in the Northwest looks extremely strong. Next year's DuRocher in the state of Washington will be Castle Rock's Kyle Carson. At 6-5 and very well put together, the southpaw gunslinger will remind everyone of Brock Huard. He's got a cannon for an arm and knows how to use it.

Neil Lomax's son Nick will be another one to watch out for. The scary part is, the 6-6 sophomore-to-be from Lake Oswego won't start to get recruited for another two years, and LO's incumbent QB, Mike Stutes, will just be a junior this fall.

Stutes is a pretty impressive field-general in his own right, but baseball may be his future calling. He will be good enough to play D-1 football, but will probably end up being a 4th or 5th round draft choice in baseball. Colleges throughout the PAC 10 are already looking at him in baseball. He's not the biggest kid at 5-10, but you'll be hard pressed to find a better all-around athlete in the Northwest.

Glencoe's Erik Ainge is another signal-caller that has athletic family ties. His uncle is none other than Danny Ainge. The 6-5 Ainge is very athletic and a three-sport star, playing QB in football, PG in hoops and SS and P in baseball. Barton predicts he'll will be a major talent as a senior.

Youngsters Jay Mathews and Dan Wagner just might be the best of all of them. Mathews will be a 7th grader in Lake Oswego and Wagner is a year ahead of him. He may attend Lincoln or Jesuit next year. Dan's father Brent coached football at the University of Washington. Barton has worked with Mathews and Wagner for two years already and remarked of all the QB's at camp, they just might be the two top QB's with the best fundamentals.

"If you want to see the future of quarterbacks in the Northwest Lomax, Ainge, Mathews, Wagner and Carson are pretty good starts," Greg said.

David Lewis joined his Bethel teammate down in Beaverton for the first session, and looked to be working very hard on his route running and precision when making his cuts. David is known mostly for his defensive prowess, and is looking to be a true impact player on both sides of the ball this fall.

Scott Selby, a senior to be from Castle Rock, Washington also had an outstanding camp and has attended Air Attack for 4 years now. Selby's dedication is paying off in a big way, as Mike Price and Tom Cable just offered full scholarships to Scott from Washington State and Idaho, respectively. At the Reebok WSFCA combine in Tacoma last Saturday he ran a 4.51.

Tacoma (Wash.) Lincoln is normally represented by QB Ben Shelton, but Ben couldn't make it down to the session we attended. However, there were three good looking WR/DB prospects from Lincoln who turned our heads: juniors Tony Henley and Todd Gaines and freshman Rickey Chapman. Remember Chapman's name down the road.

Other receivers that looked to have D1 potential written all over them were two Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic products, Demarcus White and Carl Appleton. While both looked good catching the ball, it's obvious their athleticism extends far beyond offense. Look for both to be impact linebackers at the next level.

Travis Cole's little brother Michael has all the makings of a fine tight end prospect. At 6-6, he's plenty tall, but still needs to fill out. Look out for him at Portland (Ore.) Lakeridge when you get the chance.

Perhaps the best receivers at camp are the underclassmen. Slade Norris and Kalei Buchanan from Jesuit are two to definitely watch this fall as their games continue to progress. Having Peerboom throw them the rock isn't going to hurt them either, as both should have outstanding junior campaigns.

The ironic thing about both Norris and Buchanan is that they go to school in Portland but live in Battle Ground, Washington. When you add senior-to-be Epaphroditus Gordon into the mix, you see that Southwestern Washington has some nice receiving talent in place.

For anybody interested in more information, this summer there are 3 Greg Barton Quarterback and Wide Receiver Camps. These camps are a week long each. They are held through the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland. Camp 1: Monday, June 17 through Friday, June 21....9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Lake Oswego High School. Camp 2: Monday, July 15 through Friday, July 19....10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at PGE Park. Camp 3: Monday, August 5 through Friday, August 9...8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at PGE Park.

The camps are for boys 8th grade through College. Cost is $85. If you want any more information on either the Air Attack or Barton QB and WR Camps, you can reach Greg Barton at or

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