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Kids Club, Nfl Experience Help Make Camp Fan-Friendly

Jim Zorn’s coming back. And practices will be open to the public.

Indeed, Cheney is no Kirkland.

The Seahawks return to Cheney and Eastern Washington University for training camp for the first time since 1985 when practice opens on Wednesday. The last decade of camps have been in Kirkland, where spectators weren’t permitted because of a local ordinance.

Cheney camp will be more viewer-friendly.

Zorn, in conjunction with KAYU-TV FOX, will conduct 30-minute Seahawks Kids Club clinics after each practice. Zorn, Seattle’s quarterback from 1976-84 and one of the most popular players in franchise history, was an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota last season.

To get an official Kids Camp T-shirt, kids must pick up a camp pass at the STA Plaza (701 W. Riverside) or at Peking North (4120 N. Division). The pass can be redeemed at the Fox Kids booth during practice sessions.

After practices, those with Kids Camp T-shirts can acquire players’ autographs and participate in Zorn’s clinics.

No kids will be turned down, Seahawks officials said. Children 17 and under are eligible.

An NFL Experience area will be set up on EWU’s tennis courts. The featured events are a football toss, field-goal kick, look like a pro station (where visitors can have their pictures taken) and the drive, in which participants race to a goal line despite the tension of a bungee cord).

Prizes will be awarded, including trading cards and posters.

“What we’re trying to do is make it a total experience. Some other teams have done this, the Cowboys and Eagles, but we couldn’t do it over here,” said Gary Wright, Seahawks vice president for administration and communications. “We felt these were some things that we can make for a fan-friendly atmosphere.”

Hot stuff

One of the benefits of training in Cheney is the conditioning pluses resulting from the summer heat.

Average maximum temperatures in July are 85 degrees, according to the national weather service. July precipitation is about .67 of an inch. Average max temperatures in August are 82.5 degrees. Kirkland’s average maximums are 8-10 degrees cooler.

Last year in Cheney, it was 90 degrees or higher 11 times in July and 9 times in August.

Friesz speaks

Quarterback John Friesz will do nightly five-minute special reports for KHQ-TV, which has been selected as the official Seahawks station.

The segment, called “Friesz Frame,” will air at 11:30 each night while the team is in camp.

KHQ also will air a one-hour special from Cheney on Saturday at 3 p.m.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo Graphic and map: Seahawks training camp

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