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Wright returning to St. Charles for QB-receiver camp
 

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Wright returning to St. Charles for QB-receiver camp
 

Randy Wright has learned some things are not easily forgiven.

The 1979 St. Charles High School graduate enjoyed a celebrated prep career as a quarterback including a 1978 all-state selection as a Saints senior. He led Wisconsin to its first college bowl victory, in the 1982 Independence Bowl over Kansas State.

Wright was chosen in the sixth round of the National Football League draft and started three seasons -- for the Green Bay Packers, forever nemesis of the local favorite Chicago Bears.

"I say this a lot when I talk down there, anytime you get introduced to a crowd in Illinois you're happy when you don't get booed. I expect a friendly jabbing," said Wright, who splits his time between residences in Madison, Wis., and Phoenix, Ariz.

The locals will have two days to pour on lighthearted ridicule. A partner in Wisconsin-based Trickey-Wright QB-Receiver Camps, which conduct camps in 25 different states, Wright will direct a two-day developmental camp July 19-20 and, adding fuel to any rivalry fire, it will be held at St. Charles North.

"Even though the camp is at North rather than East it's still about all the athletes that are there," said Wright, 53. "We know they're big rivals, but we're really excited about working with (St. Charles North coach Rob) Pomazak and what he's able to do in that area."

Wright joined quarterbacks expert and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer Jeff Trickey as a partner four years ago. The Trickey-Wright Camps, active for more than two decades, had a summer run at Wheaton Warrenville South for more than a decade.

Last summer, Pomazak's first as St. Charles North head varsity coach after being hired out of Elk Grove, Wright visited Pomazak during his initial football camp with the North Stars.

"He'd held it at Wheaton Warrenville South for a number of years, but with him being a St. Charles native, he really would love to bring it back to St. Charles and I'm always looking for ways to enhance our program and bring quality instruction to St. Charles," said Pomazak, who also is hosting the eight-team Fox Valley 7-on-7 competition July 17. In June the North Stars entered Wheaton South's highly competitive 32-team 7-on-7 seeded 16th, and finished fifth overall.

Wright, who played under coach Leo Vitali at St. Charles and followed his six-year NFL career with a dozen years broadcasting Big Ten games for ESPN, said the Trickey-Wright Camps are based on development and fundamentals, not on showcasing skills.

The July 19-20 camps at St. Charles North are for students enrolling in grades 4-8; and for incoming high school freshmen through seniors. For information and registration information, visit the camp website, trickeywrightqbr.com, or call registrar Kelli Wright, Randy's wife, at (608) 219-1891.

A staff of current and former college and professional players and Division II and Division III coaches, divided into groups teaching skills specifically for quarterbacks and receivers, spends the first couple hours working with their position players. In the second half of the camp the athletes drill together.

Pomazak, who said North Stars quarterbacks Nathan Didier, Kyle Novotney and Justin Iwanski will participate, noted that skill assessment, video assessment and chalk talks in addition to on-field instruction gives the Trickey-Wright QB-Receivers Camps an additional benefit of being "almost like (a) classroom atmosphere."

Parents quoted on the Trickey-Wright website praised the company's focus on character, discipline and a friendly staff that imparts how lessons learned on the football field translate off the field.

"There's got to be more to it than just X's and O's," said Pomazak, who can also field camp questions at his school email address, robert.pomazak@d303.org.

"The minute you meet Randy he presents himself as a person of character and a person who wants to spread his positive message ... In this day and age where there's so many negative role models from an athletic standpoint, I think it's great to bring a local, positive role model back into the community."

Wright's out-of-state residences and collegiate and professional affiliations aside, he's not been a stranger to the area. The two-time Upstate Eight all-conference quarterback visits family here several times a year, he said.

Bringing the Trickey-Wright QB-Receiver Camps to St. Charles North, he'd like to expand that family.

"We're hoping for a long, sustainable future," Wright said.

Battle of the Big Butts: Mike Powers, offensive line coach of West Aurora's varsity football team, looks to spread the word about the 16th annual Battle of the Big Butts lineman challenge, 3 p.m. July 17 at West Aurora.

Offensive and defensive skill players have many opportunities to show their stuff during summertime 7-on-7 camps. Linemen do not. Powers remedied this while serving as Buck Drach's line coach at St. Charles High School; when Drach took over at West Aurora Powers brought the competition with him. Powers maintains it now during Blackhawks coach Nate Eimer's tenure at West Aurora, where Battle of the Big Butts is one of Illinois' top summer offerings for linemen.

Representing their school teams, varsity and freshman-sophomore linemen compete in seven events including bench press, 40-yard dash, medicine ball throw and a tractor tire relay with points going toward the school competition. The concluding -- and nonscoring -- watermelon eating contest is a Big Butts favorite.

Batavia won the 2013 team championship out of 14 squads. Individual winners included West Aurora's Hunter Siler and Lucas Kilmer and Aurora Christian's Jonah Walker, who pressed 185 pounds 32 times.

Get details and team registration from Powers at mtpowers1955@att.net, or by cellphone at (630) 234-2848.

Griffin commits: On June 29 West Aurora 6-foot-5 incoming senior forward Roland Griffin verbally committed to a full athletic scholarship to play basketball for Illinois State and coach Dan Muller. Playing in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Redbirds went 18-16 last season and reached the College Basketball Invitational semifinals.

Griffin said he also had offers from Northern Illinois and George Washington and interest from many programs including DePaul, Murray State, Missouri State, St. Louis, Wisconsin and Toledo.

He liked the Illinois State campus in Normal, and all things Redbird basketball.

"The basketball arena, the coach was nice to me and the basketball tradition, fan base and stuff like that," Griffin said.

A two-year varsity player and a starter last season as a junior, in 2013-14 Griffin averaged 15 points with 8 rebounds and made about 60 percent of his 2-point shot attempts, 55 percent overall.

The small forward, whose club team is Wisconsin Playground Elite out of Milwaukee, was selected to the DuPage Valley Conference All-Conference team last season.

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