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Camp helps athletes hone kicking skills

It's all about instructional teaching.

That's what Paul Leroy says about what goes on at Ray Guy Academy throughout the United States.

The same was true when one of those camps was held at the practice football field at Thomson High School.

"Ray tries to hold at least two of these camps every year in Thomson," said Leroy, a local resident who was Ray Guy's former prep football coach when he played at Thomson High School. "We didn't draw as many boys this time as we normally do. I guess the economy has a lot to do with that."

Ten punters and kickers from throughout Georgia and South Carolina turned out for the one-day camp that was taught by Guy's son, Ryan, a P.E. instructor at Harlem Middle School. He was assisted by a host of staff members, including Chris Hodges, an assistant football coach at Thomson High School. Coach Hodges is the special teams coach. Rick Sang, who co-authored a book with Ray Guy about punting and kicking, also attended last week's camp.

Ray Guy, regarded by millions of fans as the greatest punter of all-time in the National Football League following a 14-year career with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders, was unable to attend the camp. He now works for Southern Mississippi University -- his alma mater.

Jordan Davis, a rising sophomore at Thomson High School, was the only local player to attend the camp.

"I learned a lot," said Davis, who hopes to become the starting punter for the Bulldogs in the fall.

The 15-year-old Davis received tips from both Ryan Guy, as well as Leroy, who also serves as an instructor with Ray Guy Academy.

"It's all about repetition," said Leroy, as he gave Davis helpful pointers.

"You want to start off doing things the right way. Don't get into the habit of doing things the wrong way, because habits are so hard to break."

Davis worked out with Patrick Noe, a 17-year-old rising senior at Dorman High School in Roebuck, S.C.

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Web posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010

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