By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The Central Texas Christian School Lions football program will hold a quarterback and wide receiver camp on Saturday, February 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The camp will be at Lions Field, located at 4141 W. FM 93 in Temple. The cost for the clinic is $85, cash or check. No credit cards will be accepted.
Registration for the Grade 9-12 clinic will start at 9 a.m. and the clinic will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Registration for the Grade 6-8 clinic will start at 12 p.m. and the clinic will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cleats are required and water will be provided.
CTCS head coach Jeremy Calahan will conduct the camp. Also joining Calahan for the camp is new CTCS quarterback coach and current Philadelphia Soul head coach Clint Dolezel.
Dolezel, a member of the Arena Football Hall of Fame, was one of the most prolific quarterbacks in AFL history. He was listed as the eighth greatest Arena Football player in the AFL’s 25 Greatest Players list in 2012.
A Robinson graduate in 1988, Dolezel went to school at Cisco College and East Texas Baptist, where he lettered in football and golf.
Playing for Milwaukee, Texas, Houston, Grand Rapids, Las Vegas and Dallas in a career spanning 12 seasons, Dolezel completed 3,749 of 5,698 passes (65.8 percent completion rate) for 44,564 yards, 931 touchdowns, 155 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 117.75. He is in the top five all-time in completions, attempts, yards, touchdowns and interceptions.
Dolezel signed with the Chicago Bears in 2000 and was on the practice squad before returning to the AFL’s Grand Rapids Rampage, where he won an Arena Bowl Championship in 2001.
After his playing career, Dolezel went on to coach the Dallas Desperados in 2011 and the Philadelphia Soul from 2013 to present. In his four years of AFL coaching, he amassed a career record of 50-29. He had playoff appearances in all four seasons, one conference title and one Arena Bowl berth in 2013.
One of the primary differences in the outdoor game and the indoor game is the constrained environment. The outdoor game is 100 yards long, with 10-yard end zones and is 53 1/3 yards wide. Arena football is 50 yards long, with 8-yard end zones and 28 1/3 yards wide. It translates to quicker decision making and tighter windows for passing. This is an aspect of the game that Dolezel adjusted to early in his playing career, teaches it to his Soul team and brings it to the middle school and high school level.”
“The proper footwork, with feet staggered correctly, is a key to passing,” Dolezel said. “What we are concentrating on is developing good habits at a young age.”
The development of the spread offense over the years gives a quarterback different options, but it also stresses taking snaps in the shotgun or the pistol formation. Many offenses in arena football have shifted from taking shotgun snaps to operating offenses under center, much in the way of the NFL styles of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
“The decision-making is quicker in arena football and makes the adjustment to the outdoor game,” Dolezel said. “NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner is the best proof of the adjustment and several other quarterbacks have been successful at it.”
Coming back to Central Texas to coach at CTCS is a natural fit for Dolezel. Dolezel, Calahan and CTCS assistant coach Steve Moseley have many family members in the area and it gave Dolezel another opportunity to coach with Calahan.
“Jeremy and I coached together at Parish Episcopal in Dallas,” Dolezel said. It was a great experience and I am excited to get the chance to do so again.”
Dolezel will help with the CTCS clinics before rejoining the Soul on March 1. He will return .in time for the CTCS fall football season.
“Having a guy like Clint on our coaching staff at CTCS is truly an honor,” Calahan said. “He played professional football for years and was the best in the business. He brings such a wealth of knowledge and experience about the game of football, but what I believe he is the best at is developing relationships with our athletes. Through these relationships, he guides and mentors these young men as they navigate through their high school career and beyond. The CTCS athletic program is about building young people who will impact the world for Christ and Clint Dolezel plays a huge role in helping us do just that. Clint is the type of coach who sees that big picture and has a played a tremendous role in helping me build and improve the our football program.”