WESTFIELD, Ind. (Nov. 14, 2016) – More than 100 elite student-athletes will fill the Grand Park Events Center after the EFT Football Academy and Indy Select, Indianapolis’ premier 7-on-7 football club, chose the new state-of-the-art indoor facility home for their offseason training camps.
EFT Football Academy provides skills and specific position coaching for middle and high school athletes during the offseason. The Grand Park Events Center offers a realistic, large-field game experience and training environment for these players in a safe facility.
“There’s really no club football or skills camps for kids during the offseason, so we’re happy to be bringing this program to the Grand Park Events Center,” said Chad Spann, director of EFT Football Academy and Indy Select. “It’s the only facility in the area that has everything we need – it’s indoor for the cold winter weather, there’s plenty of space, and it’s very convenient for our students and their families.”
The EFT Football Academy started in Chicago three years ago. NFL veteran Spann, who played for the Indianapolis Colts as a rookie, decided to move back to Indianapolis and expand the academy in summer 2016.
A typical day at the EFT Football Academy includes a warm-up, followed by individual position work and ending with competitions between groups and exhibition 7-on-7 games.
“We want these young athletes to learn and grow during the winter and spring months, and come fall, they’ll be ready to play with their new skills and confidence,” Spann said.
Indy Select, a competitive travel 7-on-7 football club, has a roster of 22 of the top football players in the greater Indianapolis area, including athletes from Westfield, Carmel and Zionsville. The club is also sponsored by Adidas, a partner to the 400-acre Grand Park Sports Campus.
“7-on-7 consists of all passes,” Spann said. “It’s basic football but with no running of the ball. Athletes play on a 40-yard field and can score touchdowns but also score defensive points for things like interceptions.
“It’s a nationally recognized sport, and we travel throughout the Midwest to tournaments with the national championship finale in July in Florida.”
This elite group of athletes already has received 38 NCAA Division I scholarship offers. Indy Select player Markese Stepp has verbally committed to Notre Dame and plans to join the Fighting Irish as a running back in 2018.
“We have a lot of very talented players here from the Indianapolis area,” Spann said. “We focus on getting good kids who work hard not only on the field but also in the classroom.”
The club’s cumulative GPA is currently 3.2/4.0, Spann said, with four members of last year’s team graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
“We’re excited to welcome Indy Select Football to the Grand Park Events Center for its offseason training camps,” said Westfield Mayor Andy Cook. “We’re already a well-known destination for baseball and soccer. This further demonstrates that Grand Park has the ability to host a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events.”
“The Grand Park Events Center is proud to welcome some of the best student-athletes in Central Indiana,” said Juergen Sommer, executive director of field sports at LST Marketing. “These elite players will be working out together and crafting their football skills, and we’re confident there’s no better place to do that than at Grand Park Events Center.”
Spann said there will be open tryouts for a high school EFT Football Academy 7-on-7 team and a Junior Select team made up of seventh and eighth graders on December 4, 2016 inside the Grand Park Events Center.
Grand Park Sports Campus
Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana, is a destination like no other. The thoughtfully designed 400-acre Grand Park Sports Campus features 26 baseball and softball diamonds, 31 multipurpose fields for soccer, football, and lacrosse. The Grand Park Events Center is now open, featuring three full-sized indoor soccer fields, a restaurant and administrative offices. The Jonathan Byrd’s Fieldhouse indoor basketball/volleyball facility opened in January 2016. Grand Park also features an abundance of green space and more than 10 miles of pedestrian/bicycle trails, including the largest trailhead on the Monon Corridor.
More than 1.5 million sports visitors are expected to participate in or attend tournaments and events at the Grand Park Sports Campus on an annual basis, making the surrounding area a prime location for economic development. The master plan outlines approximately 1,400 acres of land available for residential and commercial development, including hospitality (hotel, restaurant and retail), mixed-use, life science and corporate office uses.