JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jaguars kicker Mike Hollis has coached some girls kickers in the past, but he’s never put on a kicking camp exclusively for girls and women. Saturday and Sunday, he’ll do just that with a camp that will raise money for the Demp Project to fight sex trafficking in the Jacksonville area.
Hollis kicked for the Jaguars from 1995-2001, then finished his career with one season in Buffalo. He made over 80 percent of his field goals with the Jaguars before back injuries ended his career. After playing, Hollis turned to coaching. He has coached at his own ProForm Kicking Academy and has held kicking camps for groups of kickers trying to improve their chances of making a high school team, earning a college scholarship or even improving chances of making an NFL team.
This weekend’s camp is a two-day event, Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Hollis expects most of the attendees will be middle school or high school girls who want to kick for their high school teams.
“We just want to raise the awareness of the abilities that the females can have playing on a football team with men and boys,” Hollis said. “I found that with the female students that I’ve had through ProForm Kicking that they listened very well. They listened a lot better than the boys do. And, and I’m excited for that alone.”
Hollis coached Erika Clark, the Bolles kicker who became the first girl to earn all-state honors in football in Florida history in 2016. He also coaches current Bishop Snyder kicker Ellie Wilhelm.
The event will serve as a fundraiser for the Demp Project, a Jacksonville-based church-based non-profit that fights sex trafficking. They go into strip clubs and adult entertainment establishments to help rescue girls and women who have been forced into the sex trade.
“A lot of the women that get into these things have been really damaged, they got they were coerced into these, most of these women and kids were forced into this, they’re not something that they chose,” Terry McGriff, owner of the Women’s Tackle Football League and a supporter of the Demp Project. “These ladies go into the strip clubs, they go into these places where these things are happening, and literally pull these people out and they rescue these people. And then they get them housing and training, and more importantly, to get into counseling to get through these types of things. So we’re wanting to help them be able to do what they need to do to continue their mission.”
For those wishing to support the project but don’t want to attend the camp, a GoFundMe through Hollis’ Laces Out Foundation has been set up.