NEW MADISON – As Tri-Village works to establish its high school football program, the Patriots began teaching some of their younger athletes about the sport during their youth football camp.
Tri-Village had 24 boys in the third through sixth grades attend the three-day youth camp. With Tri-Village getting ready for its first season of high school football, coach Jason Schondelmeyer said the Patriots, especially the young campers, are starting to gain knowledge about the sport and getting more comfortable.
“It went good,” Schondelmeyer said of the camp. “It was good to see kids out here. There’s a lot of kids for the first year not sure what to expect so you have those nervous issues, butterflies that kids will have. But I’ll tell you what, I just saw a transition from the start of practice on Monday to the end and the kids were just a lot more loose, more energetic.”
During the camp, the Patriots stressed fundamentals with emphasis on proper tackling technique on defense and ball security on offense. They also practiced all the other basics such as catching and throwing.
“We have a bazillion drills,” Schondelmeyer said. “When you’ve been doing it long enough, here’s what you do … you try to switch drills up, but you still want them to get the point of it. Whether it’s ball security then you want them to make sure they have four-point contact on the ball. And there’s different ways of teaching that same concept to keep it fresh so it’s not monotonous for the kids.”
In addition to Schondelmeyer and his coaching staff, the youth campers also received instruction from Tri-Village’s high school and junior high football players. The high school players are still learning themselves, Schondelmeyer said, but they did a good job of being leaders during the camp.
“Some of the stuff is new for them as well, but they got in there, they worked with the kids, they demonstrated stuff,” Schondelmeyer said. “And to me, that’s what it’s about because like I tell them, after a while the kids get tired of hearing from the same guy, and they want to hear from their peers. So our guys did a nice job jumping in there teaching the kids, and that’s who they’re going to watch and that’s who they’re going to want to be like.”
As the kids practiced on the field, construction continued nearby on the fieldhouse that will include locker rooms, restrooms, a concession stand and weight room for the Patriot football team. People are excited about the advent of Tri-Village football, Schondelmeyer said, and a lot of progress is being made to get ready for the upcoming season.
“There’s a lot of positive energy, a lot of people are fired up for it,” 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. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.