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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Two Rebel athletes attend FCA Football Combine

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fulfilling the dream of playing college football takes more than just performing on Friday nights in the fall. For most athletes, you also have to attend camps and combines to get noticed by the college recruiters.

Ethan Hoppe and Sterling Stowers, who will be seniors next school year, were invited to the 2012 FCA High School Football Combine at North Little Rock High School on May 19 and given a chance to show their skills in various drills.

With over 100 high school football players invited to the morning session, each athlete was timed or measured in the 40-yard dash, short shuttle, three cone, vertical jump, broad jump, medicine ball, and bench press.

B. J. Maack, owner of Arkansas Sports Performance Center and the combine organizer, explained the benefit to athletes like Hoppe and Stowers. "To show how a small school kid can compete just as well as a big school kid, because this is all even playing field. Same drills for everybody. Put out your best time. This is what is a benefit for them to be able to show that they can put up just as good of numbers as anyone else."

He also mentioned the benefit to the college recruiters, which in turn is a benefit to the athletes. "That's also a big help to your smaller DII schools who may not have the massive recruiting budget. College coaches get a chance to see their numbers and go, 'hey maybe we need to go check out this kid at Highland, Arkansas' who might never have gotten a look otherwise."

Both Stowers and Hoppe said the combine was a good experience.

"I wouldn't give (myself) a perfect 10, but I would put it up there better than other performance I've ever had. It wasn't perfect, but I felt like I belonged," explained Stowers.

"I didn't run as fast as I wanted to, but on all of the other things I think I did pretty well," said Hoppe.

The AstroPlay surface of the Charging Wildcats' football field provided some noticeable slips and falls for many of the participants, especially in the shuttle and three cone drills where the athlete is asked to plant their foot and change directions.

"It was really hot and it was hard to get some traction out here," said Stowers.

"They said this is supposed to be a slower track for some reason," added Hoppe.

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