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Southern Idaho Showcase Camp Returns For Third Year
The camp was created to help Idaho juniors and seniors be seen by college coaches to increase their chances of being recruited.
Published: 4/10/2019 11:24:04 AM

The third annual Southern Idaho Showcase football camp presented by Donnelley Sports returns to Gooding on July 24 and will once again feature some of the top junior and senior talent in the state.

Of the 123 seniors who attended in 2017, a total of 41 went on to sign with a college to play at the next level. For the 121 seniors who participated in 2018, that number is up to 48 signees. 

Each of these participants is able to take part in the Southern Idaho Showcase free of charge thanks to the generosity of Donnelley Sports and Victory Fundraising, who have covered the costs associated with the camp for the last two years. 

Some of the colleges and universities who have attended in the past include Eastern Oregon, Montana Western, Montana Tech, Carroll College, Montana Northern, Rocky Mountain College, Willamette and Olivet. Minot State is one of the new schools that has signed up to attend, with more expected to be announced in the coming months. 

“I had this idea in the summer of 2016,” said Gooding head coach Cameron Andersen, the event organizer. “I had some players who were great fits for the NAIA level, but didn't have loads of financial resources to get recruited. So much of being recruited is being seen in person; having the coaches meet you, shake your hand and look you in the eye, watch you in drills and gauge your athleticism and abilities. [Also] to coach you a little bit in a drill and see how you react. In order for kids to do this, they have to travel to these universities for their individual camps.”

For many kids and their families, the financial burden of traveling to those individual camps is not feasible.

“Each one of these trips is incredibly expensive with camp fees, accommodations, travel, food, supplies, etc. and I had players that couldn't afford that. I talked to other coaches in the state and they said similar things. I wanted a free camp, where all they had to do was get here, and they could see many institutions at once. I started talking to colleges, and they shared that they had a need as well, that their budgets were small and [they] found it hard to travel all over to see kids. We took a risk, planned it, and it exploded from the get go,” added Andersen.

The camp allows for college coaches to see kids at multiple different spots on the field, with one position at a time being worked out.

Current Carroll College starting left guard and Gooding graduate Andrew Carter is one of the success stories from the 2017 camp, catching the eyes of coaches from all over the northwest prior to his senior campaign. 

“I was kind of worried going into my senior season because I knew colleges were looking at me, but I didn’t have a for sure offer. After the camp I got offers and coach business cards and after that they were contacting me left and right trying to get ahold of me. It was super relieving to be able to go that camp and then afterward have people trying to talk and stuff because I was worried that I wasn’t going to get a real offer before my senior season, so it was definitely helpful,” said Carter. 

For current juniors and seniors contemplating participating, Carter is an example of how the camp can change the whole dynamic of the recruiting process.

“It’s super helpful because we [1A/2A/3A schools] don’t get as much recognition as the 4A’s and 5A’s, so it’s nice to be able to go out there and compete with kids and show coaches from NAIA and other college levels that we can compete with them,” added Carter. “When you can show the coaches what you’ve got, you’ve got a real chance.”

Andersen credits his staff and the Gooding community for making stories like Carter’s possible each year during the event. 

“As far as my staff, it wouldn't happen without them. We don't get paid a dime to do this. They are all volunteers. Another massive resource was community member Regan Willmore. He helped intricately in building the technology framework of the camp and registration. It takes a massive amount of time and effort, but every time you jump on Twitter and see one of the student-athletes sign with an institution that was at the camp, you just smile and know it was all worth it.”

Participants can sign up and view more information on the 2019 Southern Idaho Showcase camp HERE

If there are any businesses, corporations or individuals interested in joining as a sponsor to help cover some of the costs to keep this camp free forever, please contact Andersen directly at 208-421-4268. Some of the rising costs include equipment needs, wear and tear and potentially numbered camp shirts in the future to help with recognition and organization. 



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