JIM PETERS: Local football coaches bringing back REPS camp

2013-03-07T17:00:00Z 2013-03-08T01:13:10Z JIM PETERS: Local football coaches bringing back REPS campJim Peters Times Columnist nwitimes.com
March 07, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

In the age of mobile communication, word of mouth still carries some weight.

"When a college coach comes into Chesterton, they may be looking at one or two of our kids, but they always ask who else they should be looking at," Trojans football coach John Snyder said. "If a coach keeps hearing a kid's name over and over, those are kids they're going to go see, to find out if they're as good as everybody says."

Until a few years ago, The Region Elite Passing School (REPS) provided area football players a stage to get their talents seen and names known. This spring, it will once again, as Snyder, Portage's Wally McCormack, Hobart's Ryan Turley and Michigan City's Mike Karpinski have teamed to bring back REPS.

"A number of directors were going different directions in their careers and it just became difficult to keep going," Snyder said. "We always felt it was a good camp and good for the kids of Northwest Indiana, and we really felt there was the need for the camp again. It had a big impact on kids not getting the opportunity to be seen. I think it does a kid a disservice."

Snyder used West Side star Lonnie Johnson as a 'for example.' Some area coaches didn't even know who Johnson was when he was being offered by Ohio State last year. Now, Cougars coach Jason Johnson plans to get involved with the camp.

"At REPS, you usually see all the top talent in Northwest Indiana, whether it's from Gary, Valpo, Chesterton, wherever," Snyder said. "If we're not going to do it here, they're going to go somewhere else. The SOS Camp has grown incredibly big. We had a young quarterback and dad driving to Indianapolis. We admire them wanting to do that, but it didn't make sense for them to have to drive two-and-a-half hours there and back to do the same camp we're doing."

The coaches pitched the idea at the district all-star meeting in the spring and the response was positive. Other than staffing and spreading the word, everything is set. The camp, which now includes a segment for punters and kickers coordinated by Kyle Yelton (Chesterton/Illinois) and Bill Manolopoulos (Hobart/IU), concludes with a College Showcase Night on May 1.

"There aren't the opportunities for football to get out and do like a lot of sports," Snyder said. "We're limited to the summer, then we're paying major dollars to go to a campus and be one of several kids at the same spot. We've been always been the most affordable (camp) and there's nothing else going on when we're doing it."

While the camp may be a pebble into the ocean compared to what schools can do in the South, where high schools are allowed to hold spring football practice, it's a step in the right direction.

"You break it down by season, over four years, they're getting almost two seasons of practice in the spring that our kids never, ever get," Snyder said. "It's a trend that's happening at every level and in my opinion, we're falling much further behind."

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at jim.peters@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Septic Tank Services - Jack & Vernon's Septic Service of Lake Station, IN

Jack & Vernon's Septic Service is here for all your septic…

Featured Businesses