This time of year when you hear the word “Combine” you envision Collegiate level kids trying their luck at the 40 yard dash to improve their draft status. Seeing the cameras on all NFL head coaches sitting with their stop watches trying to find the next Peyton Manning, JJ Watt, or even Deion Sanders. That was not the case here at the Rivals Combine Camp held yesterday at Norte Dame Prep Academy in Scottsdale, Az. On this day, it was all about seeing how you compare to the other student-athletes from other different rivals schools. The day would prove to be a valuable experience for 3 freshman from Combs High School. These Freshman were Junior Loggins, Marcus Blaise, and Colten Shaw.
Junior Loggins started the freshman season at Quarterback and commanded the offense. He was also able to play some outside linebacker for the freshman team. Marcus Blaise was the all purpose back with the speed every team wishes they had. He returned kicks and punts, and played Defensive Back on the defense. Every time the ball was in his hands there was the chance of a touchdown. Colten Shaw played offensive line and was new to the game of football. His sport of choice had always been baseball. So when the opportunity to participate in a Combs football camp as an 8th grader presented itself, he took advantage of it.
As you walked into the stadium where the combine was being held you can’t help but notice the smell of a tire factory from the newly poured track, the temperatures rising to add to the pressure as well as all the parents wearing and supporting their athletes and schools. All the big schools were here; Basha, Chandler, Hamilton, Desert Mountain amongst others were all there in full force. This did not shake these 3 freshman’s determination to show up and participate. Upon arrival they were able to connect with a Senior at Combs High School named Danny. This brotherhood of student-athletes just grew a little stronger. Once check-in was complete these 3 were split up into groups to participate in the different drills.
At this event they had several stations, they were the 40 yard dash, 3 cone drill, the shuttle, the standing broad jump, Vertical jump, and power push up. 3 hours of station drills and rotating from one station to another to test their skills and it was over. From the sidelines you could see the action as 7 groups rotated through every drill. You could also see the struggle with footing on the artificial turf as the temperatures had risen. At 3:00 pm the whistle blew and all participants were to meet on the 50 yard line for a pep talk. The testing was over and these 3 freshman had been able to complete this combine camp.
Results were not made available afterwards due to electronic failure however in these freshman’s minds they were a camp success. The success of these 3 “brothers” is not determined by how fast they can run or how high they can out jump the others but on how they can improve on the marks they left today as they continue to work hard to get better together. Each one with the mindset of a State Championship.
Together we Bleed Red and Black!