NEW MADISON – More than 30 boys in the second through eighth grades attended Tri-Village’s youth football camp this week.
The three-day camp was led by Robert Burk, who was hired as Tri-Village’s varsity football coach in April after previously serving as the Mount Healthy High School defensive coordinator.
“I think they had a lot of fun,” Burk said of Tri-Village’s youth camp. “We did a lot of things. We practiced kicking, which I know you don’t usually do a lot on the pee-wee level, and obviously blocking and tackling and catching the ball, handing the ball off, things like that. I thought they had some fun and got some fundamentals at the same time.”
Throughout the three days of camp the Tri-Village coaches tried to teach the campers about as many positions as possible. They taught a lot of fundamentals including concepts that can help make the sport safer.
“We went over tackling, heads up tackling, and trying to make sure that we’re teaching the right technique, keep everybody safe,” Burk said. “The tackling drills that we run on varsity really you can run without pads and you can do with everybody, and we did it on bags here with the little guys. Just tackling from your leverage side, keeping your head out of the tackle.”
Along with the drills, the camp also included games including air ball.
“The No. 1 thing is that they have fun and they enjoyed their time because I told them at the beginning we have to have as many people as we can,” Burk said. “Numbers are always going to be an issue here for us so we want to make sure we have as many people involved as we possibly can so we try to keep it fun even with the varsity guys. Now we work really, really hard here, and we put in a lot of time in the summer and lifting and everything like that.”
Members of the high school team helped throughout the week and acted as coaches for the youth campers.
“They did a fantastic job,” Burk said. “I can’t be more proud of them. They really are high-character kids in the little bit of time that I’ve got to know them. Not only do I think that we’re going to be pretty good football players but they reflect very well on this community. I couldn’t be more proud of the way they helped coach up the little kids this week.”
Burk was encouraged by the progress he saw throughout the three days of camp.
“We had kids getting better and understanding the drills better and following directions better,” he said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.