GREENFIELD — Junior Aumavae has spent his lifetime hitting people. Now he wants to help them.
Channeling his resources gained from an extensive football career, Aumavae, a former New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys nose tackle, is focusing on serving today’s youth. After moving to Greenfield with his wife, Jenna, two years ago, Aumavae needed to find another way to remain close to the game. He started his own company, Elite Athletic Trend, which is also known as E.A.T.
Aumavae, 30, who also serves as the secretary for the NFL Players’ Association, will conduct his first Football Skills Camp for junior high and high school students on May 20 and 21 at Greenfield-Central. Four other former or current pro players will be in attendance at his “community event and camp,” according to Aumavae.
Current Indianapolis Colts long snapper Matt Overton will be in attendance, as well as one coach, Chet Fuhrman, who served as a strength and conditioning coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 years. He helped them win a Super Bowl in 2005 and was named NFL Strength Coach of the Year by his peers.
His camp, in addition to providing football technique and life skills for kids in the area, will benefit all of Hancock County. Aumavae is hoping a local up-and-coming restaurant will join the event, as well families and businesses of athletes participating. The entire community is welcome, he said.
Aumavae, who has 10 brothers and sisters, remembers needing guidance as a kid. He simply wants to give back like those did before him.
“When I was a kid, I needed to be mentored,” the 6-foot-3 Aumavae explained. “Not only in athletics but on the life skills side. I was a troubled kid, but at the same time I was a really good athlete. There was a really good mentor in my life (Hans Deiner) when I was a sophomore in high school. He took me to the side and said that we needed to develop me through athletic programs. Hans gave me direction and was from our rival high school originally. I had to straighten up and, naturally, he helped me become a leader.
“I was fighting every day in school. I was protecting my family. It was a struggle as far as financial support. My mom was working two fast food restaurant jobs. My father was a discharged veteran and served in the Korean War.”
Former pro players Brandon Hayes, Corey Lewis and Wyndell Seldon also will be helping at the camp. Each former player, Aumavae included, will be given time to speak and deliver a message to the kids between drills. Hayes was a guard for the Carolina Panthers, while Lewis played offensive tackle for the New York Giants. Seldon was a running back for the Washington Redskins.
The cost of the two-day camp is $50 and early-registration forms must be completed by May 13. The cost will be $65 the same day of the camp, which begins at 9 a.m. Those interested in more information can visit eliteathletictrend.com. Registration forms can also be found on the site. Eventually, Aumavae said, he would like to make the event completely free.
“Ultimately, this is all going to benefit the kids,” Aumavae. “Hopefully as we continue to grow we can hire more people and coaches. The funding we raise will go to three scholarships for college.
“I want to be able to bring this to the community every year.”
Aumavae has four kids of his own. Ethan is 16, Lydia is 11, Melena is 10 and Dezman is five. None of them treat him like a former NFL football player, he joked.
“Oh man, they are just like ‘he is dad,” Aumavae said. “It is not like the other kids who see me. (My kids) are smarter than me still and still think they are cooler than me.”
Aumavae first attended Western Washington University after a terrific high school career and later finished college at Minnesota State University. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Dallas in 2010 and played with former quarterback Tony Romo.
Aumavae also played for well-known coach Rex Ryan with the Jets in 2013. Ryan has consistently put together one of the top defenses in the NFL the last several seasons. Aumavae said the fiery leader even remembered his birthday one year, which he will never forget.
Between NFL jobs, Aumavae found work in the Indoor Football League and the Arena Football League. The last team he played for was the Las Vegas Outlaws (AFL) in 2015 before officially retiring.
Now, he knows exactly what to do with his time.
“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Aumavae said. “I wanted to find a way to service people. Why can’t I use what I have been blessed with? It was always on my mind.
“If I didn’t have the mentors I did, it ultimately wouldn’t put me in this position to help more people.”
Football Skills Camp
Host: Former NFL nose tackle Junior Aumavae
When: May 20-21 at 9 a.m.
Where: Greenfield-Central football practice fields
Cost: $50 early registration due May 13, $65 same day of camp
Pros: Matt Overton, Brandon Hayes, Corey Lewis, Chet Fuhrman and Wynel Seldon