ROYAL CITY — The Russell Wilson Quarterback Academy visited Royal High School for the third straight year, working with the Knights. The two-day camp offered skill exercises and training for youth, third- to eighth-graders, as well as high school players.
Jake Heaps, a Washington native, helped form the camp with Russell Wilson when the two were teammates for the Seahawks. While typically working in private workouts, Heaps said the dedication surrounding the program at Royal really mirrors the principles the academy stands for.
“This is really kind of a perfect match in terms of mentality and culture, coming out here and trying to build that from the ground up, all the way from the youth to the high school,” Heaps said. “It’s been a blast all three years.”
In their third year, Heaps said it’s been a pleasure watching kids who participated in the first year and the progress they’ve made since then as players.
With the youth camps, Heaps said the emphasis is on having fun, while bringing a technical level of coaching on top of what they’re already getting. For the high school players, it provides a “minicamp” environment to the players before they kick off the season.
“To bring one last effort in the offseason, to bring chemistry together for each other, and also, from a technical standpoint, to kind of marry the best technical things they can learn from a quarterback, receiver, lineman standpoint that meshes together with what they’re doing with their coaches,” Heaps said.
Heaps was helped lead the camps with Michael Bush, head coach at Kentwood High School, as well as his offensive coordinator, Matt Roth. Heaps had praise for the coaching staff at Royal.
“They have an amazing coaching staff, and we work really hard with them to make sure we’re on the same page, and make sure we’re teaching them things that mesh with what they’re doing,” Heaps said.
Royal head football coach, Wiley Allred, said the camp does a good job of helping to teach fundamentals to the kids who participate.
“It’s kind of a nice bridge between summer camp and the regular season,” Allred said.
For the regular season this year, Allred said he hopes the Knights can retain the level of success they’ve found in recent years.