GREEN BAY, Wis (WFRV) – Playing in the NFL sometimes seems like a far-off dream. It’s a feat that’s achieved by many but so few at the same time. For Airon Servais, Derek Schweiger, and Kendal Karcz, it’s a dream they’re hoping they still have a shot at as they prep for the Pro days.
“Just an opportunity. I don’t expect to be drafted. I just need an opportunity,” offensive lineman and Ashwaubenon alum Airon Servais said. “To be able to get my foot in the door and get onto a practice squad or a field somewhere and be able to show what I got.”
The former Syracuse player is joined at Synergy Sports Performance by Plymouth, Iowa State alum and fellow offensive lineman Derek Schweiger and Pulaski, St. Norbert alum and defensive back Kendal Karcz as they all train for what is hopefully a future including football.
“It’s something that challenges me in a way that nothing really else does,” Schweiger said. “It makes me try to become the best at what I do. There are a lot of things out there that I could do or could pursue but football, it’s what I love to do and its what sets me towards being the best I can be every day.”
Karcz echoed his training buddies statements. He also said the joy he gets out of playing the game is what keeps him going.
“I get to do something I love, every day and not many people get this opportunity,” Karcz said. “I’m just out here trying to make the most of it and have some fun with the guys that I’m with.”
Managing expectations when it comes to the NFL draft and a future in football can be hard for any young athlete. These young men have put in the work and just want someone to give them a chance to prove they can help impact a team positively.
“You know, I just really want an opportunity to play somewhere. To show, get in, show what I can do, show what I’m about and work,” Schweiger said.
These local guys have someone who’s paved the way as far as undrafted free agents who made it to the big stage and stayed there. Bay Port alum, former Wisconsin Badger and current Raider Alec Ingold says training with a chip on his shoulder is what kept him motivated.
“Internalize that opportunity, right? I mean, I was undrafted as well and it taught me a lot about having a chip on my shoulder,” Ingold said on a visit home to Green Bay. “It taught me a lot about not reaching for external validation. These guys, if they’re having fun, they’re getting better, and they’re being the best football they can be, that’s what they can control and as soon as they get an opportunity, get a foot in the door, make sure no one closes it on you.”
The 2022 NFL draft will kick off on April 28 and run until April 30.