JOHN KOVACH | Colleges Mooney grad Terry sets football recruiting camp
YOUNGSTOWN -- High school sophomores, juniors and seniors who would like to play football in college but need some help getting there, may want to consider attending a recruiting camp on Dec. 1 at South High.
Called the 2001 Florida Football Showcase Camp, the four-hour session that begins at noon is designed to evaluate players and help to connect them to collegiate coaches in attendance who will be looking to recruit players to their schools.
The camp is conducted by The Florida Athlete Recruiting Service, which is base in Crystal Beach, Fla., and operated by Jim Terry, a Youngstown native and a 1995 graduate of Cardinal Mooney High where he was a placekicker and punter for the football team.
Pro placekicker: Terry, 25, who has been a placekicker in the Arena Football League the past two seasons, already has staged 10 of these camps with success over the past 4 1/2 years, holding about two a year.
And has opened a second office in Pittsburgh to capitalize on the opportunities in this region.
He said he was attracted to this venture "because of the amount of athletes that we believe are overlooked and underexposed to college coaches around the country."
A placekicker this past season for the Mobile Seagulls and the previous year for the Charleston Swampfoxes, Terry will be holding his first such camp in the Youngstown area.
"Twenty-seven colleges have indicated they will have coaches [here]. I think we will have 45 or 50 colleges represented by coaches at the camp," Terry said.
"I would say that we will have between 100-150 players [requesting to attend]. But we're going to cut it off at 150 participants."
Previous camps: Terry said that in the previous 10 camps he has conducted, including in Tampa and Clearwater, Fla., Savannah, Ga., and Biloxi, Miss., "We have had as few as 35 participants and as many as 200. We have had anywhere from 20 to 65 colleges represented."
Players must pre-register and pay $100 in advance to attend the camp, and should bring both grass cleats, tennis shoes, and workout attire for the session.
"Coaches will have a list of players in advance who will be attending the camp," said Terry, who will be doing player evaluations along with his staff of six-to-eight persons, including assistant Dan Culliver, a former Mooney football defensive back and 1995 graduate. Culliver is the son of Dave Culliver, a former YSU basketball player.
The evaluations will be for vertical leap, 40-yard dash, short shuttle and bench press (185 pounds for repetitions), and in agility during one-on-one and group football drills.
Investment: Terry believes the $100 spent to attend the camp is well worth it, considering the amount that could be spent trying to find a college.
For parents, he said, "It's a way to get a son a football scholarship with little cost."
Also, participants will receive a record of their evaluations, which also will be profiled on the internet on the website www.player-zone.com. Terry's company recently joined player-zone.com for this purpose.
In addition, players will have a chance to win scholarship money from the camp's profits.
"Based on our evaluation, we will be able to award certain athletes, based on their performance at the camp showcase, extra money. We do it for every camp. The more kids who come, the bigger scholarship," Terry said.
More information on the camp may be obtained by calling Terry at 1-888-210-1873, or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org., or by writing him at FARS, 110 Atwood St., Box 147, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.
Each camp applicant should include his name, phone number, football position and school attended.
Much-traveled: The son of Jim and Sue Terry, young Jim has been a determined, persevering and much-traveled football player.
After his parents left Youngstown and moved to Florida when he was 8 (he had attended West Elementary School), he returned to Youngstown for his senior year in high school "specifically to play football for Don Bucci, and to try to win a football scholarship at YSU to follow Jeff Wilkins [as the Penguins' placekicker]," Terry said.
During his Mooney stay, he lived with uncle (Gary Sovik) at Boardman Auto Sales for the first half of his senior year, and then with aunt and uncle (Dolly and Kevin Emborsky) for the second half.
But when Terry's YSU scholarship bid didn't materialize, he went on to attend Long Beach (Calif.) City College, Central State U. and Clark Atlanta U., doing placekicking at all three schools.
At Clark Atlanta, "I was the only white student out of 15,000 -- the first white player in 16 years," said Terry, who then embarked on his pro career in the AFL.
He is hoping to kick again next year in the AFL, and has upcoming tryout sessions with the Memphis Explorers and the Wyoming Calvary.