A group of young football players and athletes considering playing the sport, had an opportunity to learn all the aspects of playing the quarterback position from not one, but three former NFL quarterbacks this week at Greenwich Country Day School.
Former New York Giants great Phil Simms, a quarterback in the NFL from 1979-1993 and his sons Chris and Matt, also former NFL quarterbacks, visited Greenwich Country Day School from Monday to Wednesday to conduct their Simms Complete Quarterback Camp, which was held in conjunction with Greenwich Country Day’s Tiger Football Academy at the school’s Upper School Campus.
From 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m. each day, the young athletes ranging from rising fifth-graders to rising ninth-graders, received valuable instruction on playing the quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back positions. The camp, which drew a good number of kids, also focused on offensive linemen skills.
Matt Simms, who spent two seasons with the New York Jets and was also part of the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills organizations, is the founder of Simms Complete Quarterback Camp – a private and group quarterback training combine, which focuses on player development and building the complete athlete.
“The concept of it isn’t for it to just be football camps,” Matt Simms said in between conducting drills at Greenwich Country Day on Wednesday afternoon. “We’re coaches and mentors for quarterbacks in the tri-state area. We are trying to take what we do to a grander scale. The main concept of how this all began is giving back to the kids and allowing them to enjoy the game as much as we did when we were growing up.”
Greenwich Country Day School varsity head coach Kevin Avery helped run the camp and was joined by his assistant coaches and some players on the school’s varsity team. Chris Simms has a connection to Greenwich and Greenwich Country Day. He is a Greenwich resident and his son is a middle school student at GCDS.
“I love the town of Greenwich,” said Chris Simms, who played in the NFL for five seasons, competing for Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Denver. “I grew up not too far from here in North Jersey. To me, I love the community aspect of it. There are some kids here from Greenwich Country Day, but I also see kids from my kid’s rec leagues. The biggest thing we’re doing here is helping out Greenwich Country Day, but also trying to do something positive for the kids. We want to grow the game of football and let them learn, hopefully.”
Avery was pleased to have the Simms family on hand to lend their expertise to the youngsters at the camp, which will also take place next week – Monday-Wednesday – at Greenwich Country Day’s Upper School campus.
“I was thinking about putting a great product on the field and a great product for the youth communities of Fairfield County, Westchester County and the tri-state and who better than to hook up with the Simms family?” Avery said. “Especially with Matt having his business with Simms complete QB, which is based out of New Jersey.”
Avery was encouraged by the turnout and the enthusiasm he saw from the young athletes at the football camp.
“It’s been awesome, I’m hoping we can get more numbers next week,” Avery said. “We had a real good turnout. Every single day, the kids in the camp got better. The thing we are focusing on in this camp is skill development and these kids are working. They are getting unbelievable quarterback instruction from the Simms family and unbelievable receiver and tight end instruction.”
“We brought in two great former and current college players Kevin and Kyle Woodring (Greenwich High School graduates and college football players) as offensive line specialists on top of our staff,” Avery continued. “It’s a great opportunity for any rising fifth to ninth grader to get better at any position they play.”
Phil Simms, a member of two Super Bowl championship teams with the New York Giants and a Super Bowl MVP recipient, always enjoys watching youngsters learn about and enjoy, the sport.
“It’s really nice, I enjoy it,” said Phil Simms, who passed for 33,462 yards and 199 touchdowns during his esteemed career. “We came up here last year and ran a good camp and this year it’s also turned out well. We’re having a good time too.
“Football is a great sport and it’s the best sport there is, because I feel, it is the hardest,” Phil Simms continued. “These kids really want to be good players and they are working hard. There are a lot of future high school players here for sure.”
Said Matt Simms: “It’s going great, we’re doing it again next week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The kids are enjoying it, the parents are enjoying it and hopefully, it’s something we can start to continue to build on.”
He noted that football is a sport that can teach student-athletes plenty.
“I’m very fortunate that my father, my brother and myself played at the highest level,” Matt Simms said. “We learned a lot of lessons the hard ways and we learned a lot of good lessons too from great coaches. We want to continue to pass those things along to other people so they can enjoy the game like we did.”
Greenwich Country Day School rising junior Jesse Ripka, the starting quarterback on the Tigers’ varsity team, has received coaching at the Simms Complete QB camp.
“I trained with them down in Jersey, they are great people and the knowledge they shared with the kids is something special,” Ripka said. “Everyone that came here to this camp this week learned a lot of great technique mechanics and it’s been fun. My progress from training at Simms Complete QB in New Jersey has been great.”
Chris Simms, an NFL analyst for NBC Sports and the co-host of Pro Football Talk Live, noted the importance he sees in youngsters who play organized sports such as football.
“I don’t think my son grew more as a young man or a young child, than his first year in football,” he said. “They learn how to take instruction, learn to get yelled at a little bit and the camaraderie of the team – that was the biggest growth – I saw in my son. He learned how to work with others. Football instills some really good life lessons. That’s the biggest thing I love about football.”
Categories: Greenwich Country Day School