CAMPING OUT — Pictured, from left: Parker Rice, J.P. Oatman, Brandon Ball, Bobby Fisher, Josh Ball and Pat Hannon. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — Since the day Coach Jeff Quinn took the job as the head football coach at the University at Buffalo, he let it be known that he wanted to establish and maintain a relationship with area high school football players and coaches.
Quinn has planned five football camps, open to all area high football players, for this summer.
On June 8, Quinn and other members of his staff held an offensive and defensive line camp. Six players from Springville-Griffith Institute were in attendance, at this event.
“I think it was a great experience, for the players that went, to see a [Division 1] facility,” said S-GI Coach John Sopko. “They were under the instruction of the UB staff all day, so it gave them the opportunity to be coached by college coaches and also gave them a chance to not just be coached, but evaluated.”
Brandon Ball, J.P. Oatman and Bobby Fisher are S-GI’s three varsity returners, who attended the camp. Fisher is making the transition from outside linebacker to putting his hand in the dirt, as a defensive end.
Springville sported one of Western New York’s highest-ranked defensive fronts, a year ago. The Griffins accumulated nine sacks, during a game against Dunkirk. Tyler Studd led Section VI in sacks, with 13.
Reigning first team division all star Brandon Ball will return as two-way starter, for Springville.
Sopko said that he expects big things from Ball, at the defensive end, and that he was impressed by that player’s efforts, during the camp.
“It gave Brandon an opportunity with the local D1 school in our area, to be better known by them,” Sopko said. “I think he did extremely well, throughout the entire day. It was a very active day, from beginning to end. Brandon was able to perform at a very high level, all day.”
Camp attendees traveled to Buffalo from Canada, Pennsylvania and other parts of New York state.
Of the six players that attended the camp from Springville, three were freshmen.
Parker Rice, Pat Hannon and Josh Ball were junior varsity starters, a year ago. Participates went through a number of speed, strength and fundamental drills.