Gilmer’s East Texas Passing Academy continues to fine tune many top area players


Back in 2006, then Gilmer head football coach Jeff Traylor started the East Texas Passing Academy.

Traylor left Buckeye land in 2015.

Yet, the camp continues to grow.

Under the direction of current Gilmer head man Matt Turner, the 3-day event is now in its 13th year.

As it continues to attract many of the very best 7th thru 12th graders in the Piney Woods.

Approximately 80 East Texas skill players are taking part this week, learning from the Gilmer coaching staff, along with a number of other top area coaches.

“For us it really doesn’t get better than that. So we’re very blessed and we’re grateful for the opportunity to do it. And we love doing it,” said Turner.

It is a fantastic opportunity for some of top notch athletes in East Texas to help each other fine-tune their skills.

“It’s like iron sharpening iron,” said Turner. “You around good players. And players know that. I mean they know when they’re around other players that are challenging them. And they’re good players that are just gonna get better.”

“It helps you push. It’s like competition, see who is the best, seeing, just pushing each other to be better,” said Pine Tree senior receiver and Texas Tech commit J.J. Sparkman.

Often times, and this year is no different, camp alums, and players that have gone on to play at the college and pro level come back to help with the camp, and give talks to players as they prepare for their respective fall campaigns.

Jacksonville native and former NFL quarterback Josh McCown has his two sons at the camp this week.

McCown credits Turner, who was his QB coach while he was in high school for much of his success at the college and pro level.

The East Texas Passing Academy wraps up Wednesday at Jeff Traylor Stadium in Gilmer.

Watch the videos to see our coverage.

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