By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
ESPN Radio 970 WFUN and Dr. William A. Seeds of Seeds Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are bringing Urban Meyer and Dean Hood home again this summer.
Ashtabula’s college-football coaching duo will be back for the second Urban Meyer/Dean Hood Football Camp at Spire on July 1.
“It’s really exciting to have Urban and Dean back in the area help the youth,” ESPN 970 WFUN program director David Miller said.
The camp, run by Meyer, a 1982 St. John graduate and the Ohio State football coach, and Hood, a 1982 Harbor graduate and the coach at Eastern Kentucky University, is open to any student entering Grades 1 through 8 in the fall of 2013. Cost will be $25 per student and will include a T-shirt and lunch at Spire Fuel. Space is limited and registration is required.
The first opportunity to register was at the Joe “Pigskin” Pete Memorial Scholarship Basketball Game at Jefferson High School on May 16. ESPN 970 will be announcing further registration opportunities as the summer progresses.
“They told us they wanted to come back last year before the camp even started,” Miller said. “Registrations filled up last year online in a grand total of three hours.
“We’re want to take double the number of kids we took last year. We’ll take up to as many kids as Spire can for that day.”
Campers will also receive instruction from a number of the area’s high school coaches.
“Right now, we have 20 or 21 coaches,” Miller had said in mid May. “We need between 32 and 40 for the amount of kids who will be coming in.”
The Buckeyes were unbeaten a season ago and Hood has experienced some success with the Colonels, which might drum up a bit of interest. However, that success is hardly necessary in drawing interest in an event featuring Meyer and Hood.
“It’s exciting any time Urban’s and Dean’s name are involved in something, especially in this area,” Miller said. “(Ohio State) was undefeated (last year) and could be playing for a national championship (this year), but I think everyone wants to be a part of this camp just for a chance to see them and welcome them home again.
“It’s insane, the amount of calls we’ve gotten from people interested and wanting to get their child in.
“There’s a lot of interest in this camp.”
The camp is not geared for just the young football enthusiasts. It will also feature a coaches’ clinic for the area’s high school mentors.
“In the coaches’ clinic, they’ll show play strategy and talk about the season and keeping the kids motivated,” Miller said. “They’ll stay as long as necessary to answer any questions the coaches may have.”
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.