Football field’s namesake brings academy to campus

Local football fans who did not see enough of the Mannings during the regular season will get a chance at the 13th annual Manning Passing Academy, which will be held at Nicholls for the fourth consecutive year, beginning today and ending Sunday, July 13. The camp, which is run by Louisiana’s “first family of football:” Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli Manning, aims to teach many offensive techniques, not just quarterbacking.

In addition to simply passing, campers will receive instruction on receiving, route running, cuts and reading defenses.

Professional coaches and players will be speaking at the camp about NFL life-the rewards, challenges and sacrifices necessary to get to that level in football.

The camp will mimic its NFL big brothers in other ways too. Participants will be assigned rooms randomly, adding to the growing experience of the campers.

In addition to the knowledge they will gain about football, they will also learn about college life from college athletes who will speak to the campers and answer any questions they have.

Although it is called camp, the boys will be working from 6:30 a.m. until “lights out” at 10:45 p.m.

There is both morning and afternoon practice. After dinner, campers will return for more passing practices and then they will have various forums, which parents are not allowed to attend.

The academy benefits its host school, Nicholls, as well as the campers.

Last year, the academy helped spearhead the complete renovation of the playing surface in John L. Guidry Stadium.

Archie Manning was responsible for having the turf donated by General Sports Venue.

In a ceremony before last year’s camp, the field in John L. Guidry Stadium was officially named “Manning Field.”

The academy is being sponsored by national companies, such as Gatorade, Astro Turf and McDonald’s, as well as by local sponsors like Iberia Bank.

As part of the academy, there will be a demonstration on Manning Field at 11 a.m. Saturday with both Super Bowl-winning brothers participating as well as college quarterbacks and other players. Tickets are on sale for $5, and all proceeds will go to Nicholls athletics.