Archive for September, 2010
We had a Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp a few years ago in Chicago and Ray Guy made a phone call – and his former teammate George Blanda came by to see us. What a great man! He stayed for a couple of hours – talked to the campers, talked about playing with Ray, and he took pictures with each and every camper there – including the staff. He was unbelievable with his time – and before each picture was taken – he shook the hand of each camper and asked them their name and where they were from. He genuinely cared (and it was obvious). Everyone at that camp walked away with a photo of themselves centered right between Ray Guy and George Blanda! We were all so fortunate that day to share a few moments with a great man who happened to be an NFL Legend.
Hall of Fame QB/K George Blanda dies at age 83; Blanda played 26 seasons with the Bears, Oilers and Raiders
Ammon Lakip had the confidence. All he needed was a stage on which to display his talents.
On the heels of a breakout junior season at Chattahoochee High School that saw him connect on 7-of-8 field goals (with a long of 52 yards) and send 34-of-42 kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks in 2009, Lakip wondered how he stacked up against some of the top high school kickers in the country.
So he did some quick research.
A simple Google search yielded a link to Prokicker.com. Once there, Lakip noticed American Football Specialists — an instructional academy headed by director Rick Sang and former NFL punting great Ray Guy — was hosting a skill-charting competition for kickers earlier this month at The Lovett School in Atlanta.
“I wasn’t planning on going because I had gotten hurt before that and I hadn’t really practiced kicking in awhile,” said Lakip, also a soccer player who has suffered right ankle injuries as a center-midfielder.
“My dad was just telling me, ‘This is your last chance before your senior year’,” Lakip recalled. “I signed up…but I only went for the skill-charting session, which was three hours on July 16.”
Good thing he did, because Lakip’s showing at Lovett launched him atop the chart as the No. 1 kicker on the ProKicker.com national leaderboard.
Along with various kickers from across the Southeast, each player was asked to boot field goals, kickoffs and extra points, with every kick being measured and timed. Lakip tallied bests of 74 yards and 3.86 seconds worth of hang time on four kickoffs, and he was perfect on 10 field goal attempts.
“It was an eye-opener, I guess, for how good I can really be,” said Lakip, whose parents are of Filipino and Colombian descent.
‘Hooch head coach Terry Crowder is ecstatic to have Lakip around for one more season.
“I know I’ve got a guy that just adds another weapon to our team,” said Crowder. “Once you cross the 50 [yard line] you know you’ve got a shot at [a field goal], and that’s huge.”
Lakip had been debating between pursuing a college scholarship in soccer or football, but said his mind is now made up.
“This camp made my decision,” he said. “I realized football is a significantly better [option].”
DALLAS - Arlington, Texas – November 27-28
PHOENIX - Tempe, Arizona – December 4-5
TAMPA - Bradenton, Florida – December 18-19
Kickers, punters and long snappers can participate at any- one, two or all three- of the championship competition sites to establish or improve their score! Individual winners will be recognized at each site with the overall National Kicking, Punting and Long Snapping Champions being announced in Bradenton, Florida on Dec. 19, 2010. See the link below for additional details and registration information.