Local football players compete at WV Specialist Combine


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – High school football specialists from all across the mountain state gathered at Robert C. Byrd high school on Saturday to compete at the WV Specialist Combine.

The camp was held by National Kicking Rankings, Coalfield & Co. and former WVU and Fairmont State player Matt McCullough.

RCB’s Cam Clark competing in the kickoff competition

The combine is designed to let specialists compete against each other and learn from players and coaches at the next level like Morgantown High grads, Former WVU long snapper Kyle Poland and current Marshall punter John McConnell.

McCullough said the idea of this camp is compete and to bring an event that only focuses on specialists to the mountain state.

“It’s about competing. A lot of times when kids go to football camps, pretty much every position is coached except for kicking and punting. So really the idea of this camp is a specialist only camp that focuses on that. Because it is such a unique skill set that not a lot of coaches know how to do it as well as not a lot of players know how to do it,” McCullough said.

Three local football players were in on the action including Robert C. Byrd kicker Cam Clark, Buckhannon-Upshur kicker Cameron Zuliani, and Bridgeport kicker Taylor Thomas.

Buckhannon-Upshur kicker Cameron Zuliani at the WV Specialist Combine

The three local athletes thought the camp was a good thing for specialists around the state.

“It’s really nice and especially since people from out of the state are also here. I’ve never seen any of these guys in my life but I’ve met some new, I don’t know if I would call them friends yet,” Zuliani joked. “But they’re all pretty nice and they’re all really good so it’s good to get people from around the state and see what’s out there.”

“We’re just working on to see who is the best in the state, which we’re all doing pretty good today, we’re kicking off, punting, field goals,” Thomas said.

Bridgeport kicker Taylor Thomas competing at the combine

“It’s really cool to be out here with just a bunch of specialists because a lot of times they have stuff but not anywhere around here so it’s nice to have something around here,” Clark said.

Each player to compete in the combine received a highlight tape, a profile on NKR and were able to see where they rank on national and state kicking, punting and long snapping polls.

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