JONESBORO (6/18/11) – Arkansas State head football coach Hugh Freeze and his coaching staff held their first-ever Alpha Wolf Fantasy Camp this weekend, wrapping up the two-day event for Red Wolves fans on Saturday at ASU Stadium with a 7-on-7 Red vs. White game that featured campers participating as owners, coaches and players for the two teams.
The camp, which provided those attending with an inside and in-depth look at the A-State football program, began Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. with the arrival of the coaches and owners. Players arrived later that afternoon, joining the coaches and owners for a player combine and evaluation after a reception and several meetings.
There were plenty of light-hearted moments of fellowship, but the event also gave campers a serious look at the program. Compliance meetings, recruiting tests and offensive and defensive game-planning meetings were held, and all involved got to experience different areas of practice and game-day procedures that the coaches and players go through.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the way the camp went," said Freeze. "The first year you do it people just don't really understand what it is, but I think we'll double it by next year after the word of mouth spreads from the guys that were here and people see the videos that we're making. It truly is a totally inside look at our program and all-access to our staff, and the best billboard that we have are these guys that were here. Their support is very valuable to us, and I think the time we had together just strengthened those bonds with those supporters of our Red Wolf football program. So, it is very beneficial to us and I think it went off wonderfully."
Following Friday's workout, which included height, weight and vertical measurements, as well as agility tests, 20-yard times and offensive and defensive individual drills, the owners met and drafted the players for Saturday's game. The teams were announced at a dinner and reception held at the RidgePointe Country Club later Friday night.
Saturday started with a team breakfast, and then went straight into game-planning meetings. Following the meetings, the teams met on the field for photos and a practice to better prepare them for the game. Later that afternoon, the two squads met on the field again for the game that saw the White Team edge the Red Team in overtime.
Campers reunited Saturday evening for a dinner, awards ceremony and highlight video covering the two-day experience. Coach Freeze, who gave practice and pre-game speeches, issued gifts for the campers and ended the event by thanking all those who participated and talking about some of the goals of the ASU football program.
"It was a terrific opportunity for ASU alumni and supporters to interact with this coaching staff and get an inside look at what they go through on a day-to-day basis and what it takes to be a successful collegiate football program at this level," said Jeff Hankins, one of the camp owners and an ASU alumnus. "Everything we learned, from recruiting to game prep and even working with student-athletes, just gave a different perspective.
"It was a great opportunity to bring supporters together to get this kind of up-close look at this football program, and it was a great experience," continued Hankins. "This coaching staff is remarkable. Coach Freeze has done a tremendous job pulling together coaches who not only know football, but are great people. The last two days we saw how much character they have and how committed they are to being successful with this program."