It’s not every day you get to catch passes from an NFL quarterback.
That was the case for a lucky group from Westhampton Beach High School’s football squad earlier this month when they got the call that Giants signal-caller Daniel Jones was in town and was looking for route runners.
And, you may know the person to make the call — it was two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning.
The now-retired Manning, who still summers on the East End, would occasionally hit up the school for training sessions during his Giants’ off-seasons.
“It started about eight years ago,” said Bryan Schaumloffel, Westhampton’s varsity head coach. “One summer, he was looking for someone to throw to; we got a couple of our guys, a couple of former players, and we caught for him.”
That blossomed into an awesome tradition for the program. Now, it may continue with Jones.
On Saturday, July 8, Manning reached out to Westhampton’s coaches to inquire if the team could work out with Jones, who was visiting Manning. He was looking to stay sharp ahead of the Giants’ training camp starting on July 26.
“That’s a no-brainer for us,” said Schaumloffel, who is entering his sixth year as the team’s head coach. “We said, ‘absolutely.’ We got on the horn, rallied the troops, and had a great day.”
Manning and Jones stopped by the high school the next morning, July 9, around 9 a.m., for about a one-hour practice.
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Schaumloffel said both Jones and Manning were true professionals, and that his athletes were honored to help out.
“They were ecstatic to have the opportunity to catch with a professional quarterback,” said Schaumloffel. “Hearing that Daniels Jones and Eli Manning were coming down, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them.”
When asked if Jones would have the same open invite as Manning did, the response was quick from Schaumloffel: “If he’s ever in the area again — in the Hamptons or wherever — we’re always available.”
Scroll down for photos from the practice, courtesy of Schaumloffel.