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Cathedral football players attend camp

Atlanta — National Football Academy’s R4 Offensive System pledges to change players and coaches’ perspectives on football forever, and Cathedral Green Wave head coach Ron Rushing hopes it changes his players’ entire thought-process in Atlanta this weekend.

Nine Cathedral players are participating in their last day of the R4 Passing Clinic today, which began Friday. At the camp, players learned how to use the common language of R4, develop timing, understand reads and recognitions and study how to take advantage of space.

“It gets down to basically getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hand quicker, reading the defense and knowing what to look for,” Rushing said. “It puts everybody on the same page.”

The system was developed by quarterback coach and offensive coordinator Dub Maddox of the 13-time 6A State Oklahoma champion Jenks High School and quarterback guru Darin Slack. Both are on hand for the weekend event, instructing high school players how to properly read defenses using the R4 system. The design of the camp is to reduce if-then conversations among coaches and players and replace them with a common language that defines what “open” really is, using terms like “hard deck” and “hallway” to describe space.

“I read about it, and it’s so big I wanted to go to it,” Rushing said. “It’s top of the line stuff.”

Because of baseball, Rushing was able to bring just one of the few quarterbacks battling for the starting job with him. The rest attending are wide receivers or running backs.

Lone quarterback Connor Mire, who watched DVDs of the R4 system before heading to the camp, planned on taking advantage of the opportunity.

“I want to get more comfortable when dropping back in the pocket,” Mire said. “I just want to know the defense better. I just have too many worries out there, and I want to make it easy on myself.”

When presented with the opportunity, Mire was all for it, as he is eager to learn more pre-snap reads.

Mire’s teammate, Will Sandel, made the journey as a wide receiver in hopes of honing his skills on the perimeter, along with gaining maturity as a player.

“I’m hoping to gain leadership skills from it,” Sandel said. “It’s going to be my senior year, and I need to be a good leader.”

Rushing said he’s introduced the system to his team before going, but following the camp, he hopes to integrate the system fully with their offensive concepts. That way, the entire team uses the same terminology on and off of the field before heading to the camp.