-Youth Football Camp delivers instruction, smiles to future players

  • LCHS football player Aaron Hopkins teaches a camper the proper way to drive an opponent backwards during a drill.
    LCHS football player Aaron Hopkins teaches a camper the proper way to drive an opponent backwards during a drill.

The participants of the LCHS Youth Football Camp were all smiles when they took to the LCHS football field and the Tribe House to take part in an evening of football fun and instruction from the LCHS football coaching staff, local park & rec coaches and members of the LCHS football team on Thursday, July 18.
“Fun is important no matter how old we are,” said LCHS head football coach Caleb Sorrells. “I encouraged our rec coaches before the camp that the primary goal of our rec football program is that every kid ends the season saying, ‘That was so much fun’ and ‘I can’t wait for next year.’ So, for us to be able to incorporate some of that attitude into our camp was just a natural expression of the values we are trying to live by.”
The camp attendees ranging in age from rising first graders to rising sixth graders began the camp with some warm ups exercises and stretches before taking part in a circuit of various football drill stations. Both LCHS coaching staff and LCHS football players worked with the campers to instruct them on proper techniques for throwing, tackling, blocking and catching along with putting them through speed and agility conditioning drills.
And, although the camp was filled with smiles and laughter, Sorrells also made sure to instill the lesson of embracing the work needed to become a competitive athlete within the high-energy two-hour camp.
“I’ve told our team since the beginning that we are going to have fun,” Sorrells said. “We put too much time into it to just grind and be miserable all the time. Part of that is learning to embrace the hard and difficult and even learn to enjoy it. We talk all the time about having ‘grit,’ learning to be ‘comfortable being uncomfortable.’ When it comes to the next generation of Indians, fun is even more critical because I want them to know that humankind has yet to come up with a better way to have fun than football.”
Not even rainy weather could erase the smiles from the faces of the campers.
Shortly after the camp began so too did the rain. But, the camp didn’t miss a beat as the camp was moved to the indoor facilities at the Tribe House.
“We got thrown a curveball with the weather forcing us inside, but I thought it went great,” Sorrells said. “Having incredible facilities like the Tribe House definitely makes things a lot better and easier.”
As Sorrells, his staff and LCHS players tried to inspire future generations of Indians, LCHS Youth Football camper and rising sixth grader Destiny Woodley hoped to encourage other female athletes to give football a shot.
“I felt like I could inspire more girls to play,” said Woodley when asked why she decided to attend the camp.
According to LCHS principal Billy Kirk, Woodley is among several rising sixth graders who have worked throughout the summer to prepare for the 2019 LCMS football season.
“She’s been part of a group of kids that have been getting together about three times a week to improve their speed and agility,” said Kirk. “She’ll be on the team for the middle school this year and has been quite the inspiration and hard worker.”
For many of the campers, having the opportunity to learn some basics while interacting with the high school coaches and players made for two hours of pure excitement. For many parents, the camp offered them a chance to get a two-hour break from the hectic life of being parents. The combination was something that Sorrells hopes will continue during his tenure as the LCHS head football coach.
“We heard some positive comments from lots of the kids as they left, so as long as they had a great time than it was worth the effort,” Sorrells said. “I’d love for this to become a regular thing that parents know they can count on every year for their kids to have a great time and learn some football while they can enjoy dinner, do some back-to-school shopping or even just take a nap. Our team is so appreciative of the support from our community and we want to find ways to give and serve rather than just taking all the time.”