GREENVILLE – A total of 36 boys in the second through sixth grades attended the Greenville varsity football team’s youth camp this week.
There was a wide range of experience between the boys, Greenville head coach Aaron Shaffer said, but they all showed a lot of improvement in the three-day camp.
“There’s some kids that have never been involved with football and there are some of them that have been in football since they were tiny,” Shaffer said. “You can see from Monday to Wednesday they’re more comfortable with the drills, they’re more comfortable with one another, and they’re having a good time and getting better.”
The focus of the camp was fundamentals with each of the boys learning about all the positions including quarterback, running back, receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebacker and defensive back.
“We don’t position group it,” Shaffer said. “Everybody gets to be everything. We know that there are probably some guys in that group that are never going to get to carry the ball, but there’s no sense in not letting them learn what those guys have to do just like there are a bunch of guys in that group that are probably never going to be O-line guys, but they learn what the O-line and D-line guys have to do.”
By teaching the boys all of the positions, the Greenville coaching staff thinks they’ll develop a better understanding of the game, which in turn will make them stronger, better-rounded players.
The boys also learned the fundamentals of tackling, using techniques developed by the Seattle Seahawks. In learning the proper techniques of tackling, the Green Wave coaches hope to make the game safer.
“We started the week with a lot of tackling stuff,” Shaffer said. “We’re trying to teach a form of tackling that keeps their head out of the game a little bit. That’s kind of the things that you’ve got to do today to keep these kids safe.”
Along with the on-field information, Shaffer also wanted the campers to learn to be better teammates.
“We try to build our kids to be positive with one another, have a positive mindset,” he said. “It takes a whole team of guys carrying one another to get where you’re going versus you have one or two guys can drag a team down quick.”
Shaffer was glad to see the campers have fun and learn about football, and he also was glad for good weather this year.
“I think this was the first time since we ran it that we didn’t have to spend a day inside,” 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.