Scottsdale, AZ– Football Hotbed announced it’s West Coast Regional Combine back in January and invited everyone on the West Coast to come and enjoy the opportunity to compete for a chance to be called a Hotbed All-American. The date was set for April 25th at Upland High School. The event promised to be historic and by all accounts from planning and the work done by West Coast Regional Director, Thomas Fleming, it will live up to its billing.
For some people in one of the nation’s budding football areas of growth, it simply wasn’t enough. Parents, players and businessmen in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area reached out to Football Hotbed and lobbied for their own combine with the rationale being that Arizona kids deserved a combine in their back yard based on the immense talent living in the area.
Football Hotbed is fully aware. Class of 2019 stand out Lacarea Pleasant-Johnson, a WR and defensive back for Team Valor playing in the American Youth Football (AYF) league, hails from (Laveen) Arizona and came out to play in the first ever Hotbed All-American game in Jacksonville. All Pleasant-Johnson did was go out and run one of the fastest 40 yard dash times –4.81– and grabbed an interception and caught a pass during the game. His Gold Team went on to win 19-17 by a last minute field goal.
But Lacarea isn’t the only reason Hotbed was very open to the idea of going to Arizona. It’s because in research done, the greater Phoenix area exemplifies exactly what Hotbed stand for, literally. Football Hotbed took it’s name from the literal meaning of the word Hotbed which is: an environment promoting the growth of something.
That’s exactly what greater Phoenix, Arizona is…a Hotbed for growing football talent. And it’s starting at the youth level.
Take a look at this map.
Mariacopa County is home to Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale Arizona that has produced one of the country’s largest populations of division one athletes in the past five years. The dark red area on the map where Phoenix is represents a high amount of athletes that went division one based on the overall population of the county.
This can be attributed to many factors. One of them is the amazing weather in Arizona causing ace trainers to abound, like quarterback guru Mike Giovando, who works with the likes of Collin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow and others. Many of the nations’ best NFL talents are calling Arizona home because of the weather and year round training opportunities. It’s the conditions for a budding Hotbed.
Additionally, coach Giovando has also agreed to work the Hotbed Select Combine in Arizona on April 26th beginning at 1:30 PM. The location is famed Chaparral High School, home of the Firebirds and winners of six state championships (three back to back 09-11).
But the growth isn’t limited to the college and professional or even high school ranks.
Youth league teams are also enjoying a greater presence in greater Phoenix and have more competition than ever. The area is home to Dee Grayer, the Football Commissioner for the nation’s largest youth football league, AYF.
These and so many other factors make the area a Hotbed of youth football and when the community approached Football Hotbed about coming to Phoenix, our answer was yes.
The combine is called a ‘select’ combine because it was not apart of our initial planning. However, players and parents put together resources allowing their athletes and opportunity to come out and compete and earn All-American honors. Hotbed is a small company without a major national sponsor so travel and logistic expenses limit our ability to offer kids the right to compete in person to earn All-American honors. Our attraction, however, is our media platform, the nation’s largest for youth football.
The Hotbed Select Arizona combine will be the state’s largest platform for competition this 2015 off-season as 2019 class members will compete for the best Hotbed Index Score presented by Next Play. It’s a chance to use their performance as a measuring stick to see how they stack up with other youth in ‘Hotbed World’ all across the country. But it’s not just about competing, Hotbed offers exposure by article features, videos and our quarterly magazine to begin in the spring of 2015 that is unmatched by any camp or combine organization.
The Arizona select combine is open to all players in grades 4th – 8th and will feature a full combine regiment and one-on-one drills and a 7 on 7 and lineman challenge component. It will truly be an amazing display of the Southwest’s best talent.
To register, log on to Football Hotbed’s Combine page and sign up. The cost is only $40 and each registrant will receive a combine dri-fit shirt. The combine will begin at 1:30 PM with registration and drills will begin at 2PM. Everyone is invited to come out and show why they are the best in their area in this Hotbed of the United States’ west coast.