Inaugural Galloway football camp set to open Monday

Joey Galloway certainly knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level of sports.

After all, the Bellaire High product had a brilliant career at Ohio State University and then spent 16 years in the National Football League, catching 701 passes for 10,950 yards and 77 touchdowns.

Obviously, Galloway was blessed with great speed and talent.

But, he’ll be the first to tell you that there was more than a lot of hardwork involved, too.

Area athletes will be able to learn some of the drills he did to get to the levels he reached this week at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Galloway will be back in native Ohio Valley this week, conducting the inaugural Joey Galloway Next Level Football Camp on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with all of the proceeds from the event going to charity for cancer research.

“The goal is for these kids to come to this camp and get a feel for what it’s like in college and learn some drills that will benefit them both in high school and further along in their careers,” Galloway said.

The camp is geared toward upperclassmen, who have a desire to play at the next level.

“We’re going to run this camp like the kids would see at the college level,” Galloway said. “It’s not position specific, but I want the top kids in the Ohio Valley because we’re going to do some things, from a workout standpoint, that are not going to be suited for everyone.”

To help make sure he gets some of the premier players, Galloway reached out to area football coaches seeking names of those players who might be interested.

“I talked to the coaches about kids who could possibly fit in at the next level and kind of made it an invitation type thing,” Galloway said. “I actually got a list of names from coaches and then called kids myself.”

Much of the camp might be conducted without the use of a football as it focus more on conditioning and speed drills.

“I didn’t want anything down on paper that involves a football,” Galloway said. “We’re not here to teach kids how to catch, carry the ball and things like that. We may bring a ball out for fun, but this is about teaching how to prepare your body for the season.”

Many of the drills the players will be going through are what Galloway learned at Ohio State. They’re drills that were utilized by Buckeye greats such as Eddie George, Terry Glenn, Robert Smith, Orlando Pace, Dan Wilkinson, Korey Stringer when they would come back to Columbus in the offseasons to condition at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

“The reason why we were so explosive, fast and powerful are because of these drills,” Galloway said. “These drills worked for me and a lot of other guys. When we were churning out guys at Ohio State in the 90s, this is the stuff we did and why we always came back (to workout).”

Though the drills will be done by high school athletes and not professional or major college players, Galloway wants to see the same level of intensity.

“I will understand that they don’t have the same speed, quickness and power, but it’s a starting point,” Galloway said. “

As Galloway spoke to area coaches, he stressed that the players who attend had better be in good shape or it could be a long few days.

“I envision some kids might get their feelings hurt, but I think kids need an understanding of how high level football works,” Galloway said. “When you go to college, you’re expected to go to work, do a job and be accountable for the amount of work you put in to get the best out of you. And that’s the same we’re going to do.”

The entire camp staff, which is an impressive list of Ohio Valley football names, is working on a volunteer basis.

According to Galloway, some of the members of the staff will be Curt and Eric McGhee, Jose Davis, Justin Green, Angel Estrada, Quincy Wilson, Steve Andres, John Magistro and others.

During Monday’s session, Steve Pederson from the University of Pittsburgh will speak to the campers. There will be other speakers and Galloway has invited guys from various recruiting services as well to watch the players workout.

“I would love for as many kids as possible to get a chance to go through this and be exposed to what we’re doing,” Galloway said.

As the planning of the event has gone on, Galloway expressed his appreciation for the assistance provided by Gene Ammirante, who was his basketball coach at Bellaire High School, and Wheeling Central head coach Mike Young, who helped orchestrate the use of Jesuit’s new complex.

Each camper will receive a t-shirt and plenty of fruit and beverages will be provided as well.

As it stands right now, Galloway is envisioning the camp becoming an annual thing, but he’s still taking a wait-and-see approach.

“I would love to do it every year,” Galloway said. “I will see how it goes, the participation, how the kids handle it and then go from there.”

The camp is also open to coaching staffs for a fee of $50.

“There might be some things they can pick up on and use with their teams,” Galloway said.

The cost of the camp, which will begin daily at 9 a.m. and run until at least 11, is $70 and registration is still being accepted and will be taken at Jesuit on Monday. For more information, email gallowayfamilyfdn@gmail.com.