Baltz attends Manning Passing AcademyPublished 9:53am Saturday, July 21, 2012
Gary Baltz III an incoming eight grader at Bath Elementary School is learning that hard work pays off. Gary has been working jobs in his neighborhood: taking care of pets, watering plants, detailing boats, doing yard work, and babysitting so that he could save up enough money to attend the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
The Manning Passing Academy (MPA) is in it 17th year. The Manning Family (Archie, Peyton, Eli and Cooper) owns and operates this annual football camp. The main purpose is to teach the fundamentals and techniques of quarterbacking to junior high and high school students.
Baltz (video: 2012 MPA – CAMPER GARY BALTZ III – 8TH GRADE) had the opportunity to learn from the best on July 12-15th at Nicholls State University. The MPA invited approximately 40 counselors who include the top current college quarterbacks and NFL and college coaches. Baltz received instruction and worked along side QB’s Zach Mettenberger of LSU, Mike Glennon of N.C. State, Bryan Bennett of Oregon and Alex Carder of Western Michigan University. He even received individual instruction from both Peyton and Eli Manning.
“Bryan Bennett from Oregon stressed the importance of footwork and told me that it is key for being an under center QB,” Baltz said. “Zach Mettenberger told me that at LSU they typically do a lot fades, which we spent a lot of time working on. Eli was all about perfecting the three step drop.
“When you are around Peyton Manning you are immediately focused and want to do your best. First of all, you can’t actually believe Peyton Manning is talking to you! Then when he smacks you on the butt, it either means ‘great job’ or ‘get out of the way and let me show you how it’s done.’ Then he does it perfectly! He is definitely a great example of a true leader on the field.”
On the final evening the campers attended the AIR IT OUT competition. The top college quarterbacks compete by hitting moving targets to see who has the best, most accurate arm. This years winner was Charley Loeb from Syracuse University.