Evan Bennett and Dominic Morgan stood tall among their grid peers this summer.
Bennett, an offensive and defensive lineman on the Ponderosa Jr. Bruins midget football team, competed at the Football University Top Gun Camp in Dublin, Ohio. The 12 year-old defensive end was one of 31 players out of 800 selected in the United States to play for the seventh grade team.
In addition, Bennett, who is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, and teammates are among the West All-Star team that is scheduled to play against a Canadian seventh-grade All-Star team on Dec. 30 prior to the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. They will also be involved with the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in January.
“What I got out of it is I have to be student before being an athlete; it’s not all about sports,” Bennett said. “I thought that was the most important to learn at the camp.”
Before going to the Top Gun camp in Ohio, Bennett competed at the Football University Camp in Portland, Ore. The training is provided by the current and former National Football League coaches and players.
According to Katina Bennett, Evan’s mother, there were 31 kids in her son’s age bracket competing at the camp. Evan admits the camp was tough, but that’s what he wanted.
“It’s hard work but it’s just like going to the gym and go out on the field and practice your techniques,” said Bennett, who has played youth football for the last five seasons. “You’ve got to develop good work ethics.”
Morgan, a senior at El Dorado who is a two-way starter at center and defensive lineman went to the regional camp in the Bay Area as well as the Top Gun Camp in Dublin.
“He did a great job,” Cougar coach Joe Volek said. “He was one of the strongest at camp even though most lineman weighed more and were taller.”
Volek feels Morgan’s four years of dedicated work in the Cougars’ morning strength training program has “really paid off.”
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.