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Moss, Culpepper rolling into Woodbury for 'elite' training camp

Some serious star power is headed Woodbury’s way.

The Woodbury Gridiron Club will be partnering with two-time Super Bowl champion and University of Minnesota All-American Tyrone Carter for a star-studded training camp set for May 3-4 at Royals Stadium.

The event will feature former Vikings stars Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper, along with former Minnesota offensive lineman David Dixon. They – and a list of other NFL and collegiate standouts – will serve as coaches at the camp, which aims to train student-athletes in specific positions.

Matt Wangsness, a 1996 Woodbury graduate and former teammate of Carter’s at the University of Minnesota, helped organize the event.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity for my alma mater to get some top talent to teach the kids,” he said.

Other former NFLers and “a lot of former Gophers” are poised to take part in the camp, though additional names have not yet been confirmed.

While names like Moss’ and Culpepper’s admittedly are “a really big draw,” Wangsness said the camp is no place for kids to get starstruck.

They will be there to learn, he emphasized.

“It’s an opportunity for these kids not just to go through a drill once or twice. This gives them an opportunity to focus on a specific skill set,” Wangsness said.

Carter, who overcame a smaller stature in his rise to the NFL ranks, also uses the camp to emphasize the mental aspects of the game and the real-life lessons football can teach players.

“If you put in your hard work … there’s no way possible you can’t make it,” Carter said.

The two-day camp, which costs $300, is open to players 13 and up. Wangsness said Carter launched the camp after spending years training prep athletes and college athletes.

The Woodbury camp will be the inaugural event for TC Elite Training School. In time, Carter would like to make the camps twice-monthly around Minnesota.

He said friend and fellow former NFLer Ron Dayne is launching a similar camp system in his home state of Wisconsin. If all goes according to plan, Carter and Dayne hope to cull the best players from their camps for a Minnesota vs. Wisconsin game to close out the season.

Carter said he launched TC Elite Training this year after contemplating such an entrepreneurial move for years with Moss, who Carter called his best friend.

“I want to pass on my knowledge,” Carter said.

Woodbury football coach Andy Hill said he sees the camp as a rare opportunity for all who take part – not just WHS student-athletes.

“While this camp will be for any campers who register, I believe that the WHS players that attend will see the correlation between what the former NFL players tell them and the weekly character-building lessons that we’ve been covering each week of the off-season,” he said.

The camp is launching at Woodbury thanks to Hill’s connection with Wangsness; both played football together and graduated WHS in 1996.

“Recently Tyrone and Matt had started to look for locations at which they could host the camp, and Matt thought of his former high school and friend at WHS,” Hill said.

Carter said he realized he had the knack for coaching and training years ago, but watched it come to fruition through his cousin Michael Carter, who went on to become a standout for the University of Minnesota.

Turned off by the politics of coaching, Carter said he trained his focus on turning his talent for training into a business.

He said Minnesota is ripe grounds for training, since the climate here doesn’t offer young athletes the same opportunities as his home state of Florida.

Carter said the goal will be to develop elite-level Minnesota talent that will play at his alma mater.

“The U is my heart,” he said, adding that he currently trains players there.

Sign-ups for the camp are available at

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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