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Long camp develops players to Tide football
MR Footbll Camp Pic3
Defensive Coordinator Deshon Brock works with one of the older kids during the football camp. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Two years ago, Long County High School, Head Coach Kyle Wilson and his coaches held the first Junior Blue Tide Football Camp. They had 10 participants that year.
“I wanted to introduce football to the kids. A lot of them and their parents had never been a part of football because no football had been played in this area,” Wilson said.
This year the camp had 32 participants, between the ages of 8 and 13, participate.
The camp took place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the practice facilities of the high school football team.
“We wanted it to be fun for everyone, and hopefully most of these kids will be Blue Tide players in the future,” the coach said.
Each day, the kids received one-on-one instruction from a high school coach, covering several different drills.
“We tried to teach them some of the basic fundamentals; proper stance, a good start, how to play low. But the biggest thing we tried to teach them was to hustle and give 100 percent,” Wilson said.
The coach also said they taught the proper and safe way to tackle using the dummy pads. Safety was a key focus all week, with plenty of water and breaks to stay hydrated. There wasn’t any contact, other than with the dummy pads, and everyone wore shorts and T-shirts during the camp.
The coaches had help from some of high school football players each day, and received donations from several restaurants in furnishing lunches for the group. Ludowici Dairy Queen and Subway furnished food, along with Hardees in Jesup.
One woman, who was out watching her grandson, sixth-grader Evan Strickland, said, “This is fantastic. It gives these kids something to do, and gets them pumped up for the school’s football program.”
Fourth grader Chandler Coplin enjoyed all of the camp, but said, “My favorite part was doing the ceremony dance for a touchdown.”
Wilson said he would continue to offer the annual camp as long as he is at LCHS.
“Football can turn a kid’s life around. It can give them something to take pride in,” the coach said. “With a little pride they can do better with their grades and in other areas. Football can help turn bad kids into good kids.”
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