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June 12, 2006

GAVarsity.com HawgTuff Camp launches at JCHS

The first annual 2006 GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Offensive Lineman Camp got off to a great start on Saturday, June 3rd, at Jefferson County High School in Louisville (Ga). With a total of 45 participants on hand, the Hawg Tuff Camp was everything that we expected it to be. The GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Camp is making two more stops in 2006.....Lovejoy High School on Saturday, June 24th and Rome High School on Saturday, July 15th.

For 16 years, the SCVarsity.com Hawg Tuff camps have had some of the top offensive linemen in South Carolina pass through and made every player in attendance a better football player. Now the GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Camps look to continue the camp's success in the Peach State.

One year after leading Blackville-Hilda High School (SC) to a state title in 1988, Coach Mike Pope started the "Hawg Tuff" offensive line camps. Now entering its 17th year, coach Pope began the Hawg Tuff camps out of a desire to provide quality instruction to offensive linemen at a fraction of the cost of big camps where kids were paying high prices but not getting their money's worth. The first camp was held at Indian Land High School (SC) where 40 young men attended. Since that time, camps have been added and attendance has been as high as 275 players at some of them.

More than 6,500 young men have attended the Hawg Tuff camps from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Some of them have went on to play at the collegiate and professional level. All of them improved their skills and made themselves better high school players and an asset to their respective teams.

The success of these camps has always been the result of the excellent coaches involved. They are all dedicated, hard working, and enthusiastic with a vast knowledge about offensive line play and technique. Some of the great coaches involved in the 2006 GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Offensive Lineman Camp were Coach Mike Pope, Head Coach J.B. Arnold - Jefferson County, Head Coach John Pate - West Laurens, Coach Joiner - Lakeside-Dekalb, Coach Turner - West Laurens, and Ken Hildebrand among others.

GAvarsity.com talked to Jefferson County head coach J.B. Arnold about hosting the first annual GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Camps.

"I'm gonna tell you right now, it was good for Jefferson County," said coach Arnold. "It was good I believe for everybody that attended. All of the coaches in attendance thought it was great. We're gonna do it from here on out. We sat and talked to Coach Pope and decided that this is something we would like to do every year."

With some of the state's top coaches serving as instructors, the camp is designed to teach the basic fundamentals of the position to aspiring offensive linemen, as well as refresh and refine the technique of those experienced players.

"It's broken down into different segments," said coach Arnold. "They teach fundamentals first. Once you learn the fundamentals, then we go over the different kind of blocks that you have, both a run setting and a pass setting. I don't know of another camp that breaks it down and teaches the things you can apply in a game like this one. It was a great camp."

Coach Arnold is looking forward to hosting another GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Camp in 2007.

"It's just something that we're gonna really push and try to make a name for it here," he said. "And again, it's affordable for the kids, and that's what I like more than anything else. They players are here all day, they get lunch, and they get a t-shirt. We feel like it's really worth it."

It is the goal of GAVarsity.com that these Hawg Tuff Camps offer a fun, inexpensive, well organized and high quality learning experience for any young man who is a rising 7th grader through rising high school senior. Campers are divided into three groups - middle school, junior varsity, and varsity. All groups receive instruction in run and pass fundamentals and technique.

One of the top prospects in attendance was Jefferson County's A.J. Harmon. Harmon was the most impressive of the offensive linemen participating in the one day camp. The 6-foot-5, 306 pound, junior prospect has already picked up an offer from Clemson.

"He's getting interest from just about everybody," said coach Arnold. "He's got great work ethic, size, quick feet, and he can move for a big kid. I could easily see him as one of the top fifty prospects in the nation next year. I think he's got that much talent."

Other standouts included 6-foot-3, 255 pound, South Effingham's Taylor Medlin and 6-foot-2, 285 pound, Glenn Hills' Dan Johnson Jr.

** In addition to outstanding instruction, all campers receive a free T-Shirt, lunch, and the opportunity to have their photo's taken and information gathered for use in the GAVarsity.com and Rivals.com database. The Cost of the Camp is only $40.00 and the remaining 2006 Schedule is below.

2006 GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Camp Schedule
Date School Time
Saturday, June 24th Lovejoy High School 8:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday, July 15th Rome High School 8:00am - 4:00pm

CAMPS SITES, DATES AND CONTACT PERSONS FOR CAMPS ARE AS FOLLOWS.

JUNE 24
LOVEJOY HIGH SCHOOL
CONTACT PERSON:
COACH A. HUGHES
(404) 569-3932

JULY 15
ROME HIGH SCHOOL
CONTACT PERSON:
S. FRITTS
(S) (706) 235-9653

or contact
Coach Mike Pope (C) )864) 247-8394 (H) 864 - 885 - 9255

For more information on the GAVarsity.com Hawg Tuff Camps, email us at HawgTuffCamps@sc.rr.com

**Coaches, if you would like for your school to host a Hawg Tuff Camp, contact us for details.



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