One of the nation’s best kicking, punting and long-snapping camps will be at Putnam Stadium on Thursday night — and it’s all free.
The Ray Guy Prokicker.com organization, in conjunction with The Independent, will offer a one night, two-hour camp at no cost to participants. It’s open to anyone in the newspaper’s circulation area who will be a seventh-grader through a senior this fall.
The camp’s developer is Rick Sang, a former Ashland Tomcat star punter, receiver and defensive back on the 1975 State At-Large championship team. Sang will have three members of his Prokicker.com staff leading the camp from 5 to 7 p.m.
Not only is the camp free of charge but participants will also walk away with an instructional book, DVD and the latest in kicking tees, also at no cost.
Sang is excited about Prokicker.com hosting a camp in his hometown and home stadium for the second year in a row. Last year, the camp went on even after being hit by derecheo winds. About two dozen attended.
Sang wasn’t able to make it to the camp but he will be there Thursday night.
“I’ve always wanted to have a camp at Putnam Stadium,” he said. “My instructors are excited about coming there since I’ve talked so much about Putnam Stadium.”
Sang’s camps are cutting edge and they have helped place more than 700 players on college rosters. Thirteen NFL punters also have a direct connection to his camps either through instructing, being a camper or both.
Prokicker.com has 43 camps throughout the country and has a two-day camp scheduled for Thursday and Friday in Huntington.
That’s what made the one-night stopover in Ashland a little easier to happen, Sang said.
There will also be individual instructors for punting and kicking. One of them, Matt Reagan, is a former All-American kicker at Memphis.
Campers come away from Prokicker.com camps with a better understanding of how to correct their own mistakes, Sang said.
“A lot of times kickers and punters have to be their own coaches in high school,” he said. “We give them the tools to understand better what they’re doing and how to fix problems that come up.”
Sang, who runs his business out of an Ashland office with wife Jana, has been leading Prokicker.com camps for more than 20 years.
He immediately sought out Ray Guy, considered the best punter in NFL history, for direction and endorsement. The two developed a longtime friendship.
Sang is adamant about pushing the former Oakland Raider punter toward induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There are currently no pure punters in Canton.
Prokicker.com camps have become among the best in the country at training punters, kickers and long-snappers.
Sang is hoping for a good turnout to the second camp in Ashland and he thanked Tomcat coach Tony Love for providing the venue.
“I hope punters, kickers and long-snappers in the area take advantage of the opportunity. This is some of the best instruction they’ll ever receive.”
No pre-registration is required. Campers need to come dressed to participate in drills.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2648.