LeVar Woods Football Academy Schedule
June 23rd - West Des Moines Valley HS
One day camp for grades 4-12 from 8 am to 4:30 pm
June 24th - 7 on 7 and Big Man Challenge in Okoboji. Followed by the annual kickoff event that evening.
June 25-26 - LeVar Woods Football Academy Skills Camp in Okoboji.
The job title for LeVar Woods has changed in the last year, but the passion to help young people who have a desire to learn the game of football and teach life lessons remains the same.
The former Hawkeye and NFL player turned Iowa linebacker coach has held a football camp in his home area in northwest Iowa the past two years. Heading into its third year, the LeVar Woods Football Academy is turning towards expanding its reach in the state of Iowa.
For the first time, Woods will add a new location to the event with a one day camp on June 23rd in Des Moines. The one day camp will be a condensed version of the two day camp he has held the past two years in Okoboji, IA.
"A couple people in the Des Moines area asked if we could do one in the area, so we talked to Coach Swenson at Valley High School and he has been very helpful in making it happen."
Woods says the camp will serve grades 4-12 and provide the same level of instruction with many of the same list of star studded former Hawkeyes in attendance at Valley High School.
"We have a really good staff," Woods said. "Everyone that is coming to help at our camp wants to help kids and make a difference for kids. They also have a passion about teaching the game of football to kids and have been successful. Many of the guys have overcome a lot to be successful and those are the type of people I want our kids to be around."
This year's staff includes several of Iowa staff members, including Brian Ferentz, Darrell Wilson, David Raih and Reese Morgan. It also includes many former Iowa players like Brad Banks, Brett Morse, Ricky Stanzi, Matt Kroul, Tony Moeaki, Bruce Nelson, A.J. Edds, Jeff Tarpinian, Matt Bowen, and Nate Kaeding.
Following the one day camp in Des Moines, the camp moves to its home base at Okoboji for a one day 7 on 7 shootout and a newly added Big Man Challenge. While the 7 on 7 shootouts are a staple around the country, the Big Man Challenges are the hottest growing events in the nation.
"I was recruiting this spring down in Texas and was in the office of one of the high school coaches and noticed this trophy in his office. It was a cut up 45 pound plate and I started asking about it and they told me about the Big Man Challenge, which is a growing competition to go with the 7 on 7 events," Woods said.
Later that evening, Woods will be hosting a kickoff event for all the campers, which will include a presentation on becoming a student of the game. The focus of the talk will be about writing a journal about what you learn at the event, setting goals that you can achieve, film study and using it for improvement, and leadership.
Then the two day camp gets underway with two daily sessions of intense instruction from his high quality staff of coaches.
With the change in his employment status this spring, there were some questions about the camp and if it would continue. Woods said that his move to linebackers coach didn't change anything with regard to the camp. The past two years they have held the camp and followed NCAA rules and regulations with regard to what is allowed and not allowed because University of Iowa coaches were instructors at the event.
"It has to be structured like a University of Iowa camp in terms of compliance with the NCAA. You are not allowed to call kids and give them a free camp. You have to follow the NCAA guidelines with a camp like this, which can make things a little tricky in terms of organizing and also in impacts what you can and cannot do with some of the activities."
While Woods has always had to work though the NCAA rules and regulations, which can be challenging, he says it's all worth it because of the kids they can help in the process.
"The main goal is to help kids in the area and help kids in the state of Iowa and teach them about football. If we have to jump through a few hoops to make that happen, then so be it because it's worth it."