If you look around social media you’ll notice that this time of year through June is prime camp season for high school athletes. That hasn’t been the case consistently for the last couple years.
Athletes, parents and camp organizers have missed having a full camp season. The chance for high schoolers to sharpen their skills and compete is very valuable. It has become a key part of the recruiting process. There are many businesses putting these camps on. Things have mostly returned to normal on that front.
It’s not often that you see these camps pop up in Nebraska. Six Star Football is hosting a showcase event on Sunday, April 24 at Doane University. The event is open to athletes in the 2023-2026 recruiting class. It will feature a variety of events focused on competition, evaluation and analysis of the players. Top performers may get a chance to take part in the FINALS Showcase on Memorial Day weekend in Kansas City.
🚨Six Star Football | TheCIRCUIT NE SHOWCASE🚨
🕛ALL POSITIONS 12-4
✍️check-in 11 AM
— Six Star Football | NEBRASKA (@6starfootballNE) April 21, 2022
This is officially the second full year that Six Star Football has been putting on the camps. It’s the third year they’ve been in business. Things were picking up for the group with camp registrations right when COVID-19 hit. That essentially wiped out an entire spring for them. That time was rough on the players who didn’t get to use the camps. It was also difficult for the business. There’s been a recovery now as publisher Israel Potoczny explained.
“We rolled out of that time feeling really disappointed and disappointed for the kids,” Potoczny said. “There was a tremendous bounce back when things opened up for kids who attend events. I think a lot of camps will have benefited from that. We had a really big turnout in December of 2020 and then last year, we had a really big spring.”
Something that these camps provide to kids as an intangible benefit is confidence. That’s something I spoke with Nebraska Elite 7-on-7 coach Araf Evans about. The camp circuit is viewed now as a necessity for kids to advance to play college football. In a lot of ways football camps have become like the AAU circuit in basketball. Camps and 7-on-7 are here to stay and if you aren’t doing them as a prospect you run the risk of being passed by.
“I think the confidence really comes primarily from getting back the opportunity to get back to what is perceived to be a necessary element of the recruiting process,” Potoczny said. “I don’t really have any numbers in front of me. But I would say the vast majority of kids that are going to get any kind of offer are attending some camp at some time at some point in their career.”
That was taken away from the kids in the football community. It hurt their psyche according to Potoczny. Now that kids are able to be back out at camps it is helping their development and confidence.
There were a lot of startup apps and new technology to help kids get exposure during the height of the pandemic. Many beneficial things came out of people getting creative to show college coaches what their players can do. But it’s hard to replicate the camp setting and the floodgates have opened back up.
“I think kids love the competition, love to be out in an environment where they feel like they’re doing something that’s important and necessary. They like the opportunity to go out and be with friends and see the kids that they’ve read about,” Potoczny said.
Players from Nebraska and the surrounding area will get the opportunity to compete this weekend. There will be a wide variety of players from various grades and school sizes ready to show what they can do.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.