NFA pumped for Alaska debut

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NFA pumped for Alaska debut

NFA is headed to the Last Frontier. John Wedin, among others, could not be more thrilled that NFA Director and Senior Certified Coach JC Boice and crew are going to be at West High School in Anchorage on June 28-29. Click here for details.

This is NFA’s first foray into the great state of Alaska. “It’s huge,” Wedin said. “We’ve got quite a few players in the NFL out of Alaska. We’ve got a lot of lot of kids, even last year, that are playing Division I football, a lot of D-II and a ton of D-III, but this is a tough, tough road for these kids. We play in a virtual vacuum. We might be playing football in a broom closet up here because there is no football college program at any level in Alaska. Nobody sees us.”

Coach Boice sees a tremendous opportunity to provide talented QBs in Alaska the complete experience – intense instructional training built on NFA’s proven development model that accelerates understanding and execution of a quarterback’s primary movements (mechanics for throwing motion and footwork) along with developing the ability to self-correct, not self-destruct, under pressure.

“NFA is very excited to be coming to Anchorage to serve Alaska quarterbacks,” Coach Boice said. “We have noticed a steady increase of athletes flying in and participating in our West Coast camps and trainings. It is obvious these young men and their families are committed to becoming the best they can be.”

Wedin knows all about the Alaskan commitment to football. His son, Sam, is a standout quarterback at West H.S., and under rising young Head Coach Tim Davis, the Eagles have won two state championships in the Large School Division over the last four seasons, including 2013.

‘Absolutely thrilled’

But in past years, Alaskan families with skilled young quarterbacks were faced with the expensive challenge of traveling down to the lower 48 for quality training.

“A lot of these families can’t afford that, so this a chance to get a nationally recognized, top echelon quarterback camp, and their kid can go to this camp for a lot less,” Wedin said. “They are absolutely thrilled. NFA coming here, this puts us on the map. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, but a lot of people up here resent the fact of how we’re kind of treated when it comes to football. And hockey is king in Alaska, even though there are so many good football players.”

Conor Feckley, a former West star and Alaska’s all-time high school passing leader with over 7,000 yards, signed with Colorado Mesa University High School and is still playing college football. Zach Lujan, an Anchorage South High School product, starred at Chabot College in California last season and has moved up to South Dakota State.

Both QBs attended NFA camps while overcoming the inherent challenges of playing prep football in Alaska. “The Alaska QBs are very coachable and they work very hard,” Coach Boice said. “They are a pleasure to work with and always improve so much when we work with them. Bringing a camp to them only makes sense. I cannot wait to get up there and train these kids, and I foresee many more Alaska quarterbacks getting the opportunity to compete at the next level with the utilization of the NFA system that is now local for them.”

Immediate results

John Wedin can attest to the improvement factor. His son Sam is a perfect example.

“When he was 9, 10 years old, I wanted to send Sam to a camp,” John said. “It would be 10 below in middle of January and the street was covered with two inches of ice and he wanted to throw. That’s how he’s wired. Because of all his hard work and love of the sport, I wanted to send him to a QB camp. I looked at the Manning camp, various camps, but when I saw NFA and talked to a couple of people I really respect, it seemed hand’s down the perfect camp for Sam. He’s always had a good arm.”

Feckley, who broke Alaska’s all-time passing record in 2012 after attending an NFA camp in Northern California, benefited tremendously from the experience. Before that, Feckley’s natural talent enabled him to sling the ball 55, 58 yards, but his mechanics and accuracy were inconsistent. NFA took all of his raw, natural talent, refined it and helped Feckley develop into the outstanding quarterback he is today.

For over 20 years, the state has had an excellent football camp – founded by Randy Klingenmeyer, an Alaskan institution. The All-Alaska Football Camp will continue to thrive and help get players from around the Last Frontier college scholarships, and NFA can only reinforce the growing football frenzy up north.

“I really think AFC and NFA can cooperate and work together,” John Wedin said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to help and feed each other. With NFA, they are checking out Alaska and a lot of people want to see them. It’s a small beginning but I think the potential for NFA to be a real big deal up here is tremendous.”

 

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University

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