Team focuses on passing and catching

Team focuses on passing and catching
April 12
02:00 2018

With the way college football and the NFL have leaned more and more toward passing, developing those skills on the youth level is even more important nowadays.  Piedmont Select, a seven-on-seven football team, strives to enhance passing and catching skills of local high school players as a means to ease the transition to the next level.

Piedmont Select was started three years ago by head coach Eric Puryear.  His idea was to give local football players additional practice outside of the school setting.  Along with the football component, Piedmont Select also introduces the young men to different college campuses to expose them to different environments.

“We try to bring more exposure down this way so that we can get our kids more attention in the sport they play,” said Ameer Watkins, Piedmont Select offensive coordinator/quarterback coach.  “We have gotten kids into college and have continued to grow each year.

“We try to give them the college experience when we go on these trips because that’s what it’s all about really,” he continued.  “The byproduct is playing in these tournaments but we are really trying to gain exposure to get them into school.”

According to the young men on the team, they have really learned a lot by being on the team.  They say by working with other elite athletes during the off-season, it gives them an edge once the season starts with their school teams.

“I’ve been with the team for two years and it has really helped my speed, footwork and agility,” said Phillip Leggete, former Carver High School wide receiver.  “This is really a brotherhood and I want to keep working harder to be the best I can be.”

Quayon Gilbert, defensive back for Thomasville High, added, “I just started working with the team this year and I like playing against the tough competition that will make me better during the off-season.”

The young men said they enjoy seeing the different college campuses that they never had any interest in initially.  They say playing with Piedmont Select has really given them more confidence once they match up with other local players.

Next year Piedmont Select plans to add a Future Stars team for kids coming out of middle school to get them prepped for the high school level.

Along with working on offensive and defensive skills, they also put their young men through a combine workout every three weeks where they work on long jump, high jump, 40 yard dash, shuttle run and other drills to get the guys acclimated to what to expect on the next level.

“The biggest thing here is the camaraderie because most of these kids are from local high schools and these guys actually communicate with each other after they go to college,” Watkins said. 

“I just love seeing them grow and seeing something that we have said translate to the field on Friday night,” he continued.  “It’s about building a kid up and setting them up for the future by letting them know what to expect once they leave here.”

Piedmont Select has players from all around Forsyth County and beyond.  They travel all around the east coast playing the best players.  For more information on the team please call Head Coach Eric Puryear at (336) 309-6661.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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