It's an event to honor his memory, but the Nate Ekhoff Kicking Camp also aims to help local kickers, punters and long snappers.
The camp honors former Ponderosa kicker Nate Ekhoff, who was diagnosed with leukemia just after his senior season in 2011. He died from complications of the disease less than a year after that.
Last summer, Nate's family started the Nate Ekhoff Kicking Camp. It featured 13 current and former college/NFL kickers, punters and long snappers as volunteer coaches. Thirty Colorado high school players took part. Ultimately, the camp provided $4,000 in college scholarships to four Colorado athletes who went on to play at the Division II level.
"Our family is very excited to help them out a little," Marshall Ekhoff, Nate's dad, wrote in an email.
This year's event is Saturday at Sports Authority Stadium in Parker from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration is $125 and includes lunch and a t-shirt.
Coaches include former Northglenn and Colorado State punter/kicker Jimmie Kaylor; former Mullen and CSU long-snapper John Treacy; former Arvada West and CSU punter/kicker (and current A-West baseball coach) Matt McDougal; former Oregon State and NFL punter/kicker Sam Paulescu; former Arapahoe and CSU kicker Jason Smith; and former Nebraska punter/kicker Dan Wingard.
The camp is organized by National Camp Series.
In addition, there will be a concurrent tailgate party from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the parking lot at Sports Authority Stadium. Admission is free. The tailgate will feature games, music, grilled food and there will also be a silent auction and drawings.
Donations will be accepted, as well, on behalf of the Nate Ekhoff Kicking Scholarship Fund.
Local short stuff
- John Hickey will be the new football coach at Flager. He has more than 25 years of coaching experience, most of it in DPS. He was Denver South's interim coach in 2006, and has also headed Stratton. His stops as an assistant include Denver North, Denver East, Denver South and Alameda. His son, Johnny Hickey — who played at Broomfield — will serve as defensive coordinator.
- North Park hired Chad Carlstrom as its football coach.
- Cherry Creek hockey announced it has hired Brent Tollar as an assistant coach. Tollar was Steamboat Springs' head coach last season as the Sailors went 10-7-1.
- Denver East graduate Chyna Ries will head to the University of Texas instead of USC. "Initially I verbally committed to USC but was unable to get in," Ries told co.milesplit.com. "Texas was one of my favorites as well but I had some additional work I needed to do to get in there. This was a long process and I want to reinforce to others to take your academics serious day one." Ries won the long jump, was second in the 200 meters and third in the 100 at the Class 5A state track and field meet this past spring.
- Fossil Ridge boys lacrosse's Jake Frane committed to Notre Dame. He will be a sophomore this coming season.
- Fairview girls basketball's Annika Lai committed to Montana State. She'll be a senior.
- Big news in the administrative realm: Russ McKinstry, the very successful boys basketball coach, has taken over as the athletic director at Monarch. Said McKinstry, to BoCoPreps.com: "There are high standards and expectations, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
- The Colorado Athletic Directors Association has a new twitter account: @CoAD_Assn.
- Doherty boys basketball coach James Lane resigned in late June. He was there for three seasons, and went 16-8 last spring as the Spartans made 5A's second round.
- Former Air Academy baseball coach Bernie Moncallo is moving to Vista Ridge.
- Silver Creek alum Valarie Allman was named the Pac-12's track and field freshman of the year after her initial year at Stanford.
- Dakota Ridge teammates Gillian Vance and Sydney Merchant, Regis Jesuit's Jaclyn Murray, Jefferson Academy's Jennifer Kupcho and Silver Creek's Erin Sargent (who plays for Skyline) all qualified for the U.S. Girls Junior Golf Championship, set to be held July 21-26 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Denver East's Sarah Hunt is an alternate.
- Kyle Freeland, the Thomas Jefferson product who went No. 8 overall to the Rockies in this summer's MLB Draft, made his pro debut on Wednesday night. He pitched just two innings, but didn't allow a run and struck out two against three hits. He also topped out at 96 mph. "When I got done with that second (inning), I just felt like I was getting in my groove," Freeland told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, "but they said, 'We're done after two. You threw 17 pitches, your two innings are up, we'll just prepare for the next start.'"
- In mid-June, Mead's baseball and softball fields were vandalized by "unidentified youths" who sliced up the Mavs' windscreen with a knife. The damage was estimated to be roughly $5,000.
- Genoa-Hugo and Karval will co-op once again in 2014-15 in volleyball, football, boys and girls basketball, as well as baseball.
- The Broadmoor hotel is buying the Norris-Penrose Event Center, which is home to the state cross country meet for the next two years.
National short stuff
- One school district in South Carolina has voted to prohibit parents from coaching their own kids at the varsity and junior varsity levels. According to The Post and Courier, a newspaper which covers the district, that extends to volunteer coaches, as well. There is a waiver, however, which would allow a parent to coach their kid if they are "determined to be vital to the existence of the program."
- Ohio is revamping its classification system. Some are hailing the change as a solution to competitive balance, though it only affects football, volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. Essentially, enrollment numbers are being adjusted based upon if a student's parents reside in the attendance zone or not, and if the student has been in the same district since seventh grade. Here are more details from theSuburbanite.com.
- There's an interesting transfer case brewing in Pennsylvania. It revolves around a Philadelphia-area football player.