Galloway camp off to a ‘running’ start at Jesuit

WHEELING – Intense, grueling and productive.

All three are accurate ways to describe the first day of the inaugural Joey Galloway Next Level Football Camp held Monday morning at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Some 30 football players – the majority of whom are high-school aged athletes – went through a two-hour workout that Galloway tailored based on his experiences throughout his collegiate and professional careers.

“I appreciate what these guys did (Monday) because they were hurting,” Galloway said. “They just kept going and that’s what you have to get out of these guys. Learning to keep going is big.”

Galloway was happy with the number of kids, but he’s still bothered by the fact that some area football coaches didn’t even take the time to respond to him about the camp.

“I am disappointed that some of the coaches didn’t respond and some didn’t want their guys to be here,” Galloway said. “The guys who did show up … showed up to work and gave it everything they had.”

Leading up to the camp, which is today and Thursday as well, Galloway continually insisted that he wanted players who had serious aspirations of playing at the collegiate level and made sure he encouraged the campers to come in fairly good shape.

“I hope the guys had some fun and learned something in the process,” Galloway said. “These guys want to be coached and they’re trying their best to get better.”

The players went through a series of five stations dealing with speed and agility. Galloway was involved from the outset and spent time with each group and served as a coach and motivator.

After getting to know some of the guys and watching them work, Galloway expected most to return again for Tuesday’s session.

“I know some of them may have football at their own schools, which is unfortunate, but I liked their effort,” Galloway said. “That means they are interested.”

While Galloway has no aspirations to get into coaching because he enjoys his gig as an ESPN college football analyst too much, he could foresee himself getting into speed training, which would make sense from a man who was the fastest man in the National Football League for many years.

“In my off seasons from ESPN, there’s a lot of time and a lot of things I know that people need to play football and be fast,” Galloway said. “When I say I am learning, I really am because I am thinking of doing more speed training and camps in the future.”

While he didn’t get into specifics, Galloway said today’s workout will “separate the men from the boys.”

“(Monday) was a speed day, but we’re going to do a lot more cutting and football movements,” Galloway said. “We’ll do some quick exercise and that’s the one that will be tough.”

Galloway believes Wednesday’s day off from the camp will be cherished by the players.

“It’s good that we did what we did (on Monday) and what we’re doing on Tuesday on that day because they’re going to need a day off after (today),” Galloway said.

Thursday’s session will be a combination of Monday and today’s sessions.

Steve Pederson – the Athletic Director at the University of Pittsburgh – was the keynote speaker prior to the start of the workout. Today, the campers will hear from Jeff Sabatino, the Martins Ferry basketball coach.

“Roughly 30 years ago when he was in Bellaire and I was a young kid, I was at a camp and I heard him tell a story about talent,” Galloway recalled. “That story has stuck with me my entire career since hearing it. I know he’s passionate about coaching and teaching, so I asked him to come share that story with these kids. I want guys to deliver a message that these guys can use.”