Youth camps benefit coaches, players on eve of football season

SubmittedCampers pose for a photo after the New Waverly Bulldog football camp wrapped up earlier this week.

Huntsville and New Waverly wrapped up their youth football camps this week — and while the campers undoubtedly benefited from the experience, they weren’t the only ones.

The preseason camps, on the eve of fall practice, provide teams with the chance to get acquainted with players they’ll soon be coaching at the high school level. It also serves as an opportunity for coaching staffs to get on the same page with the season looming.

“It gives us a chance to help teach our junior high coaches and players at the same time,” Huntsville head coach Rodney Southern said. “I promoted two (coaches) from our junior high to the high school this year, so you have to transition coaches. 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.”

The camps also give coaches an opportunity to showcase their program to a future generation of student-athletes.

“It’s paramount,” New Waverly head coach Dean Schaub added. “We have to do it. At the end of the camp last year, we put the kids in a real varsity jersey ... they got to put on a helmet, and they loved that. We take a picture and make one for each kid to take home to their families — anything to get them excited about maybe being a Bulldog one day.”

New Waverly will hit the practice field on Monday, with Huntsville following suit the next week.

“We’re just ready to get it going,” Southern said.