Head coach Jim Kremer said Hiram Velez won the competition out of about 450 receivers who competed at the five-day camp, held in Cochran.
Trey Gulledge placed fourth in the receiver competition. Kyle Adams finished third in the quarterback competition, which drew about 100 athletes.
Velez said he was proud to earn first-place honor. “There were better players than me, but I felt I worked harder than they did and was rewarded for that.”
He said the award will help inspire him to play his best in the fall. “It’s not pressure. It sets the level of play for me to reach.”
Kremer said he was proud of the effort by the Tigers at the camp. “All the kids that went competed hard.”
He said their performances are aimed ultimately at helping in the Tigers fall campaign. “We haven’t won a game yet, but that’s ultimately what we hope this camp helps us do.”
Kremer said the Middle Georgia camp is run by Mike Hodges, a former coach at West Rome High School in its glory days of winning successive state championships.
He said Middle Georgia hosted the camp for quarterbacks/receivers last week and the offensive line is wrapping up today. Adairsville sent about 15 players to each.
Kremer said the participation is made possible through Adairsville Tiger booster club.
He added it provides intensive work in the areas needed by high school players. “It’s a working camp with a lot of competition from players at schools such as Buford [High, a perennial state high school football power].”
Kremer said it’s the third year Adairsville has participated, and he’s seen improvement each year on the part of the participating Tigers.
He said one of the things he likes is the amount of football work the players get: “The kids are away from home and stay in a college dorm. They practice about three times a day, an hour and a half at each station.
“The temperature got up to 102 degrees, and our kids were put through some adverse conditions.”
He noted play was in T-shirts, shorts and sleeves with full-time trainers keeping a watchful eye on the youngsters.
Kremer said 28 coaches also participate, and the athletes move from station to station during practice and are exposed to a lot of offensive situations. “They run a lot of individual routes and have combination routes, and they give them a lot of reads.”
That’s also true for the quarterbacks, he added.
“They even film them and show them their play,” he said.
Kremer said the big thing, though, is playing against peers.
“Our kids compete against some of the top athletes around,” he said. “I think it helps motivate them to push themselves.”
The Adairsville coach said his players also see a lot of their teammates. “We are trying to sort of level the playing field with some of the teams in our region and help us get kind of an edge. I think it helps with chemistry and, of course, it helps develop our skills. I think when you’re around a lot of great players it helps elevate your play.”
He added Drew Elrod, quarterbacks coach for Adairsville and a former player, also attended and views it “as a great learning opportunity.”
Kremer said he believes it gives the team a good beginning for the fall campaign: “We got a lot done. We have a way to go, but we have a good start.”