Galion Middle School football player Dominic Pittman enjoyed a rare experience this summer. The seventh-grader was nominated to attend the Football University Top Gun Showcase for kickers, punters and long snappers held July 17-18 at Dublin Jerome High School.
Pittman, 13, attended a Football University kicking camp July 10-12 at Dublin Scioto High School and on the following Monday after the camp, received notice that he had been nominated to participate in the Top Gun camp. He was one of only 750 athletes nationwide to be nominated to attend the Top Gun camp. He was also the youngest to player at the camp.
“My age group was freshmen and sophomores and then we had to go up against juniors and seniors,” Dominic said. “I did pretty good. It was kind of difficult, because it was only my second year kicking, but I played soccer almost my whole life, since I was three.”
Pittman’s parents, Eric and Adair, agreed that their son had a phenomenol experience at Top Gun.
“Watching him get out there and kick averaging 30 yards on a field goal kick and 50-52 yards on a punt,” said Eric. “He’ll do 40, 45, 50 yards (punts) all day long. And it was nice because it was just perfecting the talent, it was perfecting the skill. That’s what this camp was all about. It was a true eye-opener for Dominic. He received instruction from ex-NFL players and coaches.”
“I thought it was a great mental experience for Dominic,” said Adair. “It’s very intense. They’re in your face, they’re trying to distract you, yelling ‘shank,’ and he has to put that out of his mind. I think he did a heck of a job.”
In addition to being a placekicker and punter for the GMS football team, Dominic also plays wide receiver and linebacker. However, punting is his main interest and the position he would like to pursue at the college level.
“I like punting,” he said. “There’s more to learn. It’s a lot more of an adrenaline rush punting than it is kicking.”
The Pittmans said the Top Gun instructors also cautioned the camp participants about the dangers of misusing social media. The instructors warned participants to be careful what they post on social media since so many college recruiters monitor athletes’ accounts.
Dominic raised funds to attend camp by selling candles, jellies and jams from Crossroads Candles of Bucyrus.
Reach Carter at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048, or on Twitter @ACGalionSports.