Archived Story

Ashby players compete at combine

Published 10:00am Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Seven Ashby football players recently competed in National Underclassmen Combine held at the Burnsville High School. The NUC is a privately run organization that hosts 85 combines around the United States per year. The NUC was founded by Dave Shuman in 2005 and is one of the few foundations that the NCAA recognizes as an official evaluator of rising talent. The importance of combines are to find emerging athletes with a will to compete and give them a chance to get initially identified.

Events that athletes participate in include the following: 40 yard dash, broad jump, vertical, shuttle run, bench press, position specific evaluation, trench warfare and 7 on 7 skills. Each clinic is broken into varsity level 9-11th grade, 7-8th grade, and 3-6th grade mini-camps. The elementary version is an exhibition camp that prepares athletes for the future but make no mistake in thinking these young men are not competing.

The Arrows gridders that saw weekend action included soph. Hunter Fick, sixth-graders Dakota Ecker, Cole Fronning, Scott Johnson, Christian Norby, fourth-grader Jaden Norby and third-grader Hunter Norby. The formats for the younger group are nearly identical to the older group with the exception of the bench press. The talent level at such an event is incredible. Some of the best football players in a five state area were present and the Ashby boys got a chance to rub elbows with athletes from such football power houses as Delano, Prior Lake, Cretin Durham Hall, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Sioux Falls. There were All-Conference, Section, State and Metro kids on every level present.

The talent didn’t phase the Arrows as the boys competed at a premium level. The younger level had a guest coach guide them through the camp who was the Dallas Cowboy all pro safety Brock Marion. At the completion of the youth clinic Marion was enamoured with the throwing and catching ability of the young arrows. Making reads on defense, intercepting footballs and throwing touchdowns seemed second nature.

Hunter Fick once again had a huge day in the weight room tying the NUC all time bench press record of 185 lbs. at 56 repetitions. The next closest this year by a high school student at the clinics has been 33. Fick took home the MVP award for Strongest Athlete.

The young men rounded their trip off with a private tour of the Gophers TCF Bank Stadium and the University of Minnesota campus. Visiting the hall of fame, Coach Kill’s private family suite, the largest locker room in all of sports, conference rooms and of course had as much time as they wanted on the game field to punt, kick, pass and catch touchdowns in the biggest college football venue our state has to offer. “I recently heard a term used called athleadership, it is the ability to use athletics to not just better your own position but use what a person has learned to help others,” Hunter Fick stated about the weekend. “I have had the opportunity to work with these little guys and get them ready for a month. We have grown together and the football family has been strengthened in doing so. We are all better for the time we have put in.”

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