The Duel a smash hit

Duel 2012

The top competitors in the National Football Academies Duel of the Dozens squared off on June 14 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio.

The historic setting served as an ideal backdrop as talented young quarterbacks from all over the United States, Canada and Mexico went through “The Gauntlet” to determine individual champions from Grades 5-12.

The Gauntlet was a timed throwing test that challenged every competitor’s arm strength and rewarded accuracy and endurance.

Check back soon to see the top finishers in the grueling test of skills.

And keep the words of Darin Slack, the NFA/QBA founder and president, in mind when it comes to any type of individual achievement.

“The scores are just scores,” Coach Slack said. “At the end of the day, you competed. Your score is not what matters. What matters are the scores you’re going to generate on offense with your team this fall.”

As the quarterback prospects filed out of Paul Brown Tigers Stadium when the Duel of the Dozens wrapped up, they were all well prepared to compete in their upcoming seasons.

And when the time comes for the first team practice, the NFA/QBA quarterbacks are not only going to be better suited to move the chains, they’ll also be cognizant of the importance of leadership.

All of the NFA’s top coaches made the trip to Ohio for the Duel of the Dozens, and the message was continually stated during the two-day showcase camp.

An All-American quarterback at the University of Central Florida, Coach Slack knows a football offense is not a one-man show.

Quarterbacks play the most high-profile position in any sport, but they have to rally the rest of their teammates if they truly aspire to be successful.

“You’ve got to move the chains every single day so everybody gets there together,” said Coach Slack, who has been training promising young quarterbacks for 24 years. “A champion is willing to do what others will not do for their team. He will take risks others will not take. It takes courage and humility, but take those steps and you will earn the respect you so deeply desire. The heart of a champion is measured by the heart of the people he served. That’s his legacy.”

NFA/QBA has been producing quarterbacks that move to the collegiate level for years, and the next batch was on hand at the Duel of the Dozens.

It was an impressive event all the way around.

The facilities were top notch – the Massillon High School Tigers have a rich history and have won 22 state championships.

Duel of the Dozens invitees also got to work out on the school’s indoor practice football field.

And best of all, the nearly 200 quarterbacks attending the Duel learned there is much more to playing the position than dropping back in the pocket and throwing the football.

“Everyone of you has the ability,” Coach Slack said. “It’s up to you to take it back to you teams and make it happen.”