|East Texas News - Sports Section
Copyright 2007 - Polk County Publishing Company
Updated - June 25, 2007
Polk County Enterprise - Van Thomas
HERE AND THERE, plus gossip and rumors: …..COMPETITION is everything.
Train like a champion and play like a champion. The Livingston 7-on-7 football team was in Lufkin’s Abe Martin Stadium Monday night. Livingston finished the evening going against the mighty Lufkin Panthers of Coach John Outlaw. The Panthers are in District 15-AAAAA and posted a 11-1 season record last football season. Other schools in the league are Conroe College Park, Conroe High, Magnolia, Conroe Oak Ridge and The Woodlands. The Panthers Monday night were mighty impressive. The Panthers are going to be very good at most all positions and the team has great depth. A few parents of the Lufkin players were in charge of team as several members of the Lufkin staff helped with the game (timers, scorer and game officials) Coach Outlaw---one of the best in Texas---was seated with several visiting coaches on the track. Livingston quarterbacks Dustin Harris and Josh Henderson, both juniors to be, are making progress. Both will see lots of action come August. The Lion receivers played well. Dustin Harris caught a few pretty catches from q-back Henderson. Kevin Nettles is going to make the Lions an excellent receiver. Many, many thanks to the Lion athletes that made the trip to Lufkin. Lions will close out the 7-on-7 season on Monday, June 25 at Diboll starting at 5:30 p.m.
Fishing around in the big pond
ON SATURDAY, June 23 in Palestine will be Adrian Peterson Day. Peterson, a Palestine High School graduate and soon-to-be NFL player, will be honored with a parade starting at 10 a.m. at the Anderson County Courthouse and ending in the Old Town Palestine. Following the parade, the city will make a presentation to Peterson at Wildcat Stadium. Peterson was an All-American running back at the University of Oklahoma. He was drafted No. 7 overall by the Minnesota Vikings in April during the NFL draft. ……….TERRY LeBlanc, a former Livingston High School assistant, is the new head football coach at UIL Class 3A Carrollton Ranchview High School. LeBlanc, 46, has a career record of 20-31-1 in seven years as a head coach, with previous stops at 1A San Isidro, 3A Anahuac, 2A Danbury and 1A Riesel.. He served as the defensive backs coach at Carrollton Newman Smith last year and was a finalist for its recent head coaching vacancy. LeBlanc is entering his 25th year as a football coach. He began his career in 1983 as a part-time coach at Oregon State under then-head coach Joe Avezzano, who went on to become the Cowboys’ special teams coach. LeBlanc is a native of Nederland. He and his wife, Lydia, are the parents of three sons, Jan, 23 (a senior at UT-Arlington); Chris, 18 (recently graduated from Lake Dallas), and Jason, 14 (will be a freshman at Lake Dallas in the fall). ……
Nelson attends Nike Camp
DALLAS---- Think you have what it takes to punt, kick a field goal, kick an extra point and kick off for a major NCAA Division I university football team?
Blue chip punters and kickers across the country were invited to a Nike Camp Friday and Saturday, June 22-23, by kicking instructor Chris Sailer of California.
The two-day camp was held at Jesuit College Prep, 12345 Inwood Road, in Dallas.
Drew Nelson, 6-foot-1,185-pound senior to be, of Livingston High School was among the 20-plus kickers and punters selected for the camp by Sailer, a former UCLA All-American kicker.
This was Nelson’s third camp hosted by Nike and Sailer this year. .
Nelson attended the Nike Camp last January in Las Vegas and was invited back for the late May camp in Las Vegas.
“I have learned so much from the camps,’’ Nelson said. “They filmed my punting and kicking. They work with me to help correct the little things I’m doing wrong.
“I study the film over and over to be sure I’m punting and kicking the way they want it done. It has really helped many ways.
“My Dad (Randy Nelson) makes most of the camps and he has really been a big help to me,’’ Nelson said. “Mr. Sailer tells us to be careful about taking coaching from people who no so little about punting and kicking.
“My Dad looks and looks at all the film made at camps,’’ he said. “He wanted for me to be sure I’m punting and kicking the way Mr. Sailer is coaching me.
“I pick up some fine points in watching the other punters,’’ he said. “A number of the punters at the camps have become good friends. We all have l one goal and that is to play for a major university.’’
Mr. Nelson is a pilot for Continental Airlines. He travels around the world. He was unable to make the Nike Camp in Dallas Friday and Saturday. However. Mrs. Janet Nelson made the trip to Big D with her son, Drew.
Nelson attended a one day visiting camp at Rice University (Houston) on Monday, June 18. “I did not know Rice Stadium was that large,’’ he said with a grin. “I would love to punt there some day,’’ he noted. “I think there were around 15 (seniors to be) punters visiting Rice. All were impressive.’’
Nelson is a honor student at Livingston High School. Come August 27 when school begins, Nelson will enter the 12th grade ranked No. 12 in his class academics.
Nelson’s father is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.
Nelson said college coaches are looking for punters that can punt far and a good hang time. He had punting range of 40 plus yards at Rice University and a hang time of 4.6 seconds.
Nelson trains each day at his home or at the training field at Livingston High School. “My best hang time this summer has been 5.4 seconds. This will give my teammates time to get down field before the receiver can get away.’’
Texas Boys State
Nelson and two of his Lion football teammates, Isaac Crawford and Andrew Boyce, attended the Texas American Legion Boys State at The University of Texas in early June.
During 7-on-7 football games at Boys State, Nelson was selected Most Valuable player as a kicker.
“We all had lots of fun at Boys State and met a lot of students,’’ he said. “It was our first trip to Boys State.’’
Nelson, 17, was invited to a attend a Kicking and Punting Camp in Austin in April. He had a chance to meet and visit with Justin Tucker of Austin Westlake High School.
“I learned so much just watching him punt,’’ said Nelson.
Tucker, 6-foot-1, 172-pound senior to be, is planning to sign with The University of Texas next Feb.
Tucker is rated the No. 1 punter in the nation and No. 1 in his senior class to be.
Nelson will be entering the 2007 Lone Star Kicking Challenge on Friday and Saturday, July 6-7, in San Marcos on the campus of Texas State University .
This will be Nelson’s third straight trip to the Kicking Challenge. Punters and Kickers from across the state will enter the two day events. Football scouts from 35 to 50 universities will be there watching and taking notes.
Kickoff competition will be held on Friday morning, July 6 starting at 8:30 a.m. and field goal competition will start at 12:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon Finals in both events will be held immediately after completion of the preliminary round.
The punting and snapping competition will both start at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, July 9.
Yes, Nelson is planning to attend a one-day camp at Baylor University on Friday, July 20.
The Nelson family attend Central Baptist Church in Livingston. Mr. Nelson’s father is a retired Baptist minister at Huntsville, Ark.
Baylor University is in need of punter/kicker since All-American ---two-time Ray Guy Award winner Daniel Sepulveda was drafted in April during the NFL in New York City.
Sepulveda was drafted in the fourth round with the 112th pick overall by the Pittsburg Steelers.
He has signed with the Steelers.
Sepulveda became Baylor’s highest draftee since Gary Baxter was tabbed in the second round of the 2001 draft.
The only two-time Ray Guy award winner in college football history, Sepulveda led the nation in punting as a senior (2006) with his 46.5 yards average.
Sepulveda was the only Division 1-A player to earn unanimous All-American honors on the field and first-team Academic All-America honors in the classroom.