One of the biggest camps in the Pacific Northwest is getting even bigger this year.
The Northwest Elite Camp, which a year ago had just under 350 participants, is expecting 650 campers this Friday night.
The camp, formerly ran under former Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser, now the offensive coordinator at Idaho, has changed hands, with another former Coug quarterback, Cole Morgan, running the camp.
Set for Friday evening, the 8th of June, from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Mercer Island High School.
With Adrenaline Fundraising the presenting sponsor, and Baden Sports providing the equipment, Morgan and his staff are prepared for quite possibly the largest gathering of high school football players in one venue that the Northwest has ever seen.
“I didn’t think we’d have this much interest this year, or expect to get to that number this year, because we had a late start on it,” said Morgan. “We had said we were going to hit 700 but we didn’t really think it. To get this many people is just great.”
The camp will attract athletes from seven states and two countries.
“We have players coming from Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, California, Washington, Oregon and Utah and some players coming down from Canada,” said Morgan.
Bigger, is the involvement of numerous college coaches, from the NAIA level all the way to the FCS level, permitted to coach and instruct at the camp.
“We’ve got a lot of coaches involved, and the biggest thing has been the support we’ve gotten from the coaches that have been coming,” said Morgan. “When Coach (Chris) Tormey was at Washington State and Jonathan Smith was at Montana, and now Coach Tormey is at Wyoming and Coach Smith is at Boise State, everyone has loved the camp.”
Opening the camp is Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian, and coaches from schools that include Willamette, Central, University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran, Pacific, Eastern Washington, Portland State, South Dakota School of Mines, Simon Fraser, Boise State, Washington State, Idaho, Washington, Colorado State, Wyoming, Montana and Arizona State, participants will have a chance to be coached up and instructed by college coaches from all levels and all over the West.
“And those are just the coaches that can be there this year,” said Morgan. “We’ve had other college coaches say they will be there next year to help coach, so the response from them has been amazing. They’ve said being in the Northwest is a priority and they want to make it a big deal”
Hosted by Mercer Island High School, after spending time at Eastlake HS and Skyline HS as well as the Starfire Sports Complex in years past, Morgan said the response from the MIHS staff and supporters has been key.
“The coaching staff at Mercer Island is wonderful and the community and the school are really nice and we’re going to be using all of their facilities, and they have a lot of great fields for us to use,” said Morgan.
Several local high school coaches will also be helping out and former Washington quarterback and local radio personality Hugh Millen will also be a part of the event.
Morgan said the camp won’t stray from where it was under Gesser, a longtime friend of his, and the chair of the board of directors for Northwest Elite Sports.
“Jason did a great job with it and we never got any complaints on how it’s run, so if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” said Gesser. “Coach Smith and I were just talking about how it was always ran so well. I knew we had a good platform and I knew we had a bunch of coaches that wanted to come, but it’s even surprised me how we’ve been able to make this so popular.”
Registration for the event begins at 4 p.m. with the camp beginning at 5 p.m. and concluding at 8:30 p.m. If campers have not paid for the camp, registration shuts at the first 650 paid campers.
For more registration information, go to www.nwelitesports.com