ARCANUM – Fifty-eight boys in the second through eighth grades attended Arcanum’s youth football camp this week.
Jason Schondelmyer, who was the Trojans’ head coach from 1999 to 2005, returned to lead Arcanum’s varsity football team this year after stops at Versailles, Twin Valley South, Archbishop Alter, the University of Dayton and Tri-Village. He led this year’s youth camp with Arcanum high school and junior high coaches plus some high school football players.
“I think just becoming familiar with the new coaches, familiar with the new philosophies, just the fact of learning how to be coachable,” Schondelmyer said of his goals for the three-day camp. “Keeping your ears open, listening – it’s like a classroom out here. I’m constantly telling them there’s a lot of teaching going on out here on the field. And just for them to become better at learning and fundamentally improving their skills.
“We had a lot of coaches out here so it was nice that we could really give one coach to about every five or six campers so that made it real nice.”
The campers broke into groups in which they focused on position-specific drills. They also had individual competitions and a touch football tournament.
“From day one to day three I saw kids get so much better, especially in the young guy quarterbacks and receivers catching the ball,” Schondelmyer said. “Their mechanics improved. Our offensive line guys got a lot better. And I just felt like our energy and enthusiasm out here got better as well.”
Energy and enthusiasm were a big focus throughout the week.
“Our big thing is effort,” Schondelmyer said. “That’s our main focus here. Kids have got to be coachable and then they’ve got to have great effort, and I think the girls did a great job. They responded well, and we had fun, too. There was a lot of fun out here.”
Schondelmyer was especially pleased with how the high school players did in helping lead the camp.
“They did fantastic,” he said, “all the varsity kids when they come out here. I think it’s important for the young kids to see older kids because that’s who they’re going to see on Friday nights out there. So it’s good for them to get to know those kids. And it gives them a point in their life where they have to be the leader and they have to publicly instruct so that develops leadership skills with those kids as well.”
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.