Three-day camp included a full-contact scrimmage on Sunday
WHATCOM — Cancelations and postponements became the new normal this summer as high school athletes across the nation suddenly had to find new ways to fill their athletic schedules because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Most were forced to work out on their own in order to stay in shape. If they were looking to advance to the college level, they had their recruiting prospects severely limited by lack of action this summer and now continuing this fall with high school sports still mostly on hold.
Ford Sports Performance, a training facility based out of Bellevue, hosted the College ID Showcase this past weekend in Tacoma for football players in the 2021 and 2022 classes who are still uncommitted to a college.
The camp took place Friday through Sunday, with a full-contact scrimmage the final day that was live-streamed to college coaches.
Mount Baker junior linebacker Davin Beason was one of two athletes from Whatcom County to be invited to the camp, the other being Sehome senior receiver Tim Malo.
Beason said Ford Sports Performance reached out to invite him on Twitter and although he had to pay to participate in the camp, he said the chance to compete was too good to pass up.
“It was a great opportunity to get some film out since we didn’t have summer camp or spring training,” Beason said. “It was a good opportunity out there to play the sport we love and miss.”
He said the coaching staff Ford Sports Performance put together for the event gave him some of his best training ever.
“We learned a lot of technique and footwork stuff,” Beason said. “We learned a lot from the coaches to get better at our sports that we wouldn’t usually learn.”
In addition to the coaching staff, Beason said, the skill level of the athletes participating was a good experience for him to have.
“It was different. A lot of bigger bodies and a lot of faster players,” he said. “It was good to see that kind of competition compared to 1A schools. It was eye-opening.”
The camp separated more than 100 kids into two teams. The teams held helmets-only practices on Friday and limited contact practices Saturday. The scrimmage Sunday was full contact.
For Beason, it was the first time in a while that he was able to strap on pads and hit someone.
“It felt great,” Beason said. “That first hit you get brings back a lot of memories and makes you feel good. It’s a sport I miss.”
Any college recruitment has been a little slow because of the pandemic, so getting time on the field with full contact was invaluable.
Teams in the Northwest Conference are allowed to gather in small groups until the end of November during the allowable coaching period currently set by the WIAA.
“It’s great being able to see each other’s face and get back to a team situation,” Beason said of being able to practice with his Mount Baker teammates. “It’s a lot of fun seeing the coaches again and getting out there and doing what we love.”