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  National full-contact football camp comes to Avila University  
  Kansas City, MO    
July 15, 2010

It was hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement … or, even the top of a football helmet.

The sultry, mid-summer temperatures and high humidity didn’t keep about 150 stalwart youths from attending the Offense-Defense Sports Full Contact Youth Football Camp, held from July 11-14 at Avila University.

In fact, by all indications, players, coaches, even parents closely watching the proceedings nearby, thrived despite the oppressive conditions.

“I did the Orlando/Atlanta/Miami tour, so this (heat) isn’t bad,” Brian Keidel, operations director for O-D Sports said on the camp’s final day, which also happened to be the hottest day of the summer thus far in the Kansas City area. “This is nice. It’s gone pretty smoothly. It rained off and on Sunday (July 11). Other than that, the weather’s been nice, so it’s gone well.”

Over the four days, coaches put players, decked in full pads and helmets, through a series of lessons and drills focusing on the basics of how to play football. Not until the afternoon of the final day did the players divide into teams, work a little on team schematics and prepare for the camp’s own version of the Super Bowl.

“These camps are really fundamentals,” Keidel said. “It’s only four days, so you can’t really get into schemes. We teach you how to read a block, shed a block, get hands up, bend knees. Things like that.”

The camp featured several coaches with former or current ties to the NFL. Terry Shea, a former quarterbacks coach with the Kansas City Chiefs, was on hand, as was Bob Saunders, son of former Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders. Jim Ryan, a former player with the Denver Broncos, Mike Ketchum, who coached at the University of Iowa and with the Chiefs, and Ron Hudson, former offensive coordinator at Kansas State, also served as coaches.

The final day also featured an appearance by Chiefs outside linebacker Andy Studebaker.

“This is probably the best camp I’ve been at as far as coaches and their resumes,” Keidel said.

Thomas Low, an executive with Cessna in Wichita, took his two sons to the O-D camp the week before in St. Louis and liked it so much, he enrolled his sons, 11-year-old Nicholas and nine-year-old Jake, in the Kansas City camp at the last minute.

“It’s been great development from a football standpoint,” Thomas Low said. “Just the extra training they get from being in pads and being able to hit is more relevant to playing football. My son said it’s a lot of hard work, but very rewarding and worth it. I see them getting in shape and getting a jump start when practice starts.

“It was a big investment, but it’s been well worth it.”


About Avila University
Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.