Hornets set to kick off youth football camp

The anticipation for football season continues to amp up, with the Huntsville Hornets just one month away from their preseason scrimmage against Lufkin.

Two weeks from now, high school players will report for fall camp. However, the football festivities are set to kick off before that, with a community-centric event set to benefit both the coaching staff and the young athletes they will have under their wing.

The Huntsville Hornet Football Camp is scheduled to begin Monday and run through Thursday, with campers competing from 8 a.m. to noon each day. The camp will take place at Huntsville High School, with varsity, freshman and junior high coaches providing instruction.

“It's an introduction to football for the incoming sixth graders,” Huntsville head football coach and athletics director Rodney Southern said. “Then for our seventh, eighth and ninth graders it's four days of intense teaching, coaching, install … and getting them ready for our football seasons.

“We treat it more like a spring training, and teach them just like we would when they are coming into a spring training or a fall season.”

The camp is open to incoming 6-9 graders, and costs $50. Scholarships are also available, with HISD employees receiving a half-price discount.

For both the players and the coaches, the four-day event provides them with a chance to get acclimated for the start of the football season. Middle schoolers will have to wait until the first day of class to hit the field, but incoming freshmen get to work the week after the camp.

“For us, especially with having my varsity, freshman and junior high staff, we can go ahead and get most of these young kids in a position where they know the basics,” Southern added. “It gives us a chance to help teach our junior high coaches and players at the same time. I promoted two from our junior high to the high school this year, so you have to transition coaches too.

“It's a way to get them going, and at the same time, our kids are getting all that they need to be ready when they walk in the first day of middle school. … Our freshmen, we start that camp, then the following week we get to start practice with them.”

In addition to serving as preparation for the upcoming season, the camp allows the varsity staff a chance to gauge the talent they will soon be coaching at the high school level.

“Most of them physically change between eighth and ninth grade, so there's multiple things you're dealing with,” Southern said. “You have to see who has grown from a tight end to an O-lineman, or has he grown from a linebacker to a D-lineman. And it also gives our varsity staff a chance to work very close with those guys for four days before they come back the next week and start football practice.”

For more information on the camp, contact David Brewer at (936) 435-6154 or djbrewer@huntsville-isd.org.