By Rob Kiser
Brandon Saine’s accomplishments as an athlete at Piqua High School are unmatched.
What the 2007 Piqua High School graduate has done off the field are just as impressive.
For the third straight year, Saine will be holding the Brandon Saine Football Skills Camp at Alexander Stadium/Purk Field on April 29.
“It serves two purposes,” Saine said. “First, it gives young kids a chance to hang out and learn from NFL and college players and get their autograph, which is a really cool experience and the second thing is every kid is contributing to the Brandon Saine Scholarship fund which helps out Piqua High School students.”
He is still the all-time leader at Piqua in carer rushing yards (4,359 yards), single season rushing yards (2,287 yards), single season scoring (38 TDs, 228 points) and career scoring (59 TDs, 354 points).
Saine is the only Piqua football player to receive the Mr. Football award for the top player in Ohio and set what was a D-II state rushing record for the championship game in leading Piqua to a 26-7 victory over Pickerington Central.
If that wasn’t enough, Saine won six state championships in track — winning the 100 and 400-meter dashes as a sophomore and junior and winning two state indoor 60-meter dash titles. He also set a new state record for the 100 at the Edwin Moses Relays his junior year.
He was also named Mr. Track as a junior and a High School Heisman finalist.
He went on to play at Ohio State, where he had 1,408 career rushing yards, 616 career receiving yards and scored 17 touchdowns.
Saine signed as an undrafted fee agent with the Green Bay Packers and played two years before retiring and started the camp shortly after.
This year’s camp, for grades 1-6, will run from 9:30 a.m.-noon on April 29, with the registration deadline to be guaranteed a t-shirt this Saturday.
Cost is $25 for the first camper and $15 for each additional camper.
For more information on the camp, you can find it on Facebook at Brandon Saine Football Skills Camp and for more information on the scholarship fund, you can go to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a week Saine, who now lives with his wife Kylie and their children near Philadelphia — enjoys returning to Piqua, where he had so much success as an athlete.
“We come in for the week,” Saine said. “We do and see some nostalgic things. It is always fun to take some of my college teammates into the stadium and show them the field where I have so many great memories and share it with them.”
Again this year, there is an impressive list of instructors.
Former Toledo Central Catholic, Ohio State and NFL receiver Dane Sanzenbacher has been an instructor at all three camps, while former Ohio State and NFL offensive lineman Bryant Browning is back for his second year.
Other instructors include tight end Jake Ballard, who played for Ohio State and won a Super Bowl title while playing for the New York Giants; defensive back Chimdi Chekwa, who played for Ohio State and played five years in the NFL, former Ohio State running back Marcus Williams, former Ohio State safety Nate Oliver and former Lehman Catholic and University of Dayton standout running back Dan Jacob.
“We are always trying to make the camp bigger and better,” Saine said. “We have reached out to the community and gotten even more sponsors which benefit our scholarship fund.”
And the response has gotten bigger every year.
“I have always enjoyed giving back to the community,” Saine said. “The camp has now gone beyond Piqua to the entire Miami County area. Believe it or not we have a few kids coming from Kentucky to the camp this year.”
The one thing Saine hasn’t mastered is controlling the weather.
Both previous camps were held on days that were cold and rainy.
I don’t mind the cooler weather, but I don’t like the rain,” Saine said with a laugh. “One of the reasons I don’t like the rain is I have been trying to get my sons involved and get them out there running around and they don’t want to do it if it rains. But, we have looked at the extended forecast 15 days out and the weather looks pretty good right now.”
And no matter the weather, there is no dampening the impact Saine continues to make on the Piqua community.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.