HELENA – Russell McCarvel has worked with some fine quarterbacks throughout his years on the sideline. The former Kalispell Flathead coach and current Helena Capital assistant is known for grooming current Cleveland Brown Brock Osweiler, but has also improved the game of multiple up-and-coming quarterbacks.
This week, McCarvel, along with some of the top quarterbacks in Capital history – names like Tyler Emmert, Bill Cockhill, Matt Reyant, Jared Hunt and others – are passing on their knowledge to younger players at the Bruin Quarterback camp.
“It’s really fun, helping the kids is awesome,” said former Kalispell Glacier and current Whitworth University quarterback Leif Ericksen. “I wish I would have taken more of these opportunities as a kid to get better. Starting young is something that’s really helpful. Kids learn what the high school expects, what you need to do to get there, and this is fine-tuning for the older kids, which is really good to see them and they develop and get even better here.”
Ericksen, a former second-team all-state quarterback in Montana’s Class AA, says he can see himself in some of the younger campers, who are still learning everything from footwork to throwing motion.
“As a young kid I was small, under-developed, and then I grew and got a lot better in high school, taking advantage of these (camps) in the summers. I see myself in some of these kids and see the potential that they have. That’s cool to see,” he said.
The camp, which runs through Wednesday, allows athletes like Matt McGinley, who will start under center for the Bruins this season, to work with some of the great tutors of the game. McGinley says it’s easy to trust the advice and suggestions given by the coaches because of their resumes.
“I definitely trust what they’re telling me, because they’ve done this before. They have played the position in the past and won a lot of games,” he said.
For Ericksen, who enters this fall as the No. 2 quarterback on Whitworth’s depth charts, it’s about passing on more than skill, but the mental aspect of the game, as well.
“Never give up. You’re not always going to be the biggest and strongest when you’re young,” Ericksen said. “You’re going to grow and get better, so having the mindset of sticking through things, persisting through the hard times, there will be good times that come through that.”
Helena Capital will host it’s Bruin Football camp for first, second, third and fourth graders beginning Monday, July 24 at Northwest Park. Those interested can find details on the Helena Capital website or by calling coach Kyle Mihelish at (406) 459-2802.