On Saturday, April 13, ATHLEAD will hold its inaugural 2019 Middle School Combine & Skills Showcase, hosted by Rutgers Football. The top 6th, 7th and 8th-grade football players will participate in combine testing, skills, drills and competitions. The event is part of the 150th anniversary of college football at Rutgers’ HighPoint.com Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. After the event, Rutgers Football will hold its annual Scarlet-White Spring Game.
ATHLEAD was created by former Rutgers Football student-athletes, who believe that leadership and life lessons taught through athletics are the truest benefit in sports. All ATHLEAD events are built around Leadership Development sessions, where learning how lessons on the field can be transferred to various aspects of life including business, family and personal. All ATHLEAD events will be held on college campuses.
The Combine & Skills Showcase will be coached by many of New Jersey's top public and private high school coaches, who will lead individual drills. As the event draws closer, the coaches are being announced.
MEET THE COACHES
Rich Hansen, head coach of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City for more than 30 years and the school’s Athletic Director, will be there to provide his extensive football knowledge.
Augie Hoffmann, head coach of St. Joseph Regional Prep in Montvale, played football at Boston College and was signed by the New Orleans Saints.
Bryan Gallagher, head coach of Boonton High School, who turned the team into a playoff perennial, is a strong believer in ATHLEAD.
ATHLEAD is also proud that there are three additional coaches joining the event: St. John Vianney (Holmdel) head coach Joe Martucci was previously an assistant coach at Kean University for six years. He also coached Matawan High School from 1984-2011, with a 197-81-1 overall record along with five NJSIAA sectional championships. Preston Brown, head coach of Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, was a four year letter-winner at Tulane University and was a team captain in his junior and senior seasons. He participated in the 2007 New York Jets’ training camp before signing with the UFL’s NY Sentinels and Philadelphia Soul. Rae Oliver, head coach of East Orange High school, who was on several top coaching staffs as an assistant throughout Northern New Jersey, will be providing his football wisdom, as well.
In addition, former NFL tight end and Rutgers Alum, Marco Battaglia will be at the event. Battaglia is currently the Assistant Athletic Director for Development at Rutgers.
The Combine & Skills Showcase is scheduled from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. Following the event is Rutgers’ Spring Game at 3:30.
The Combine & Skills Showcase and Rutgers’ Spring Game will kick off a yearlong celebration of the 150th Anniversary of college Football, with Rutgers being its birthplace site. Rutgers and its New Jersey neighbor, Princeton, played the first game of intercollegiate football on November 6, 1869, with Rutgers winning 6-4.
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