Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Sports

June 13, 2014

Cleburne youth football camp wrapped up Thursday

CLEBURNE — The Cleburne Yellow Jacket 2014 summer football camp came to a close on Thursday with three different sessions wrapping up a successful three days of football fun and education.

The three-day camp was divided into three different age sessions, with incoming first, second and third graders taking the morning session, then incoming fourth, fifth and sixth graders going from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the incoming seventh and eighth graders wrapped things up each day.

Cleburne Coach Jason Payne, the Jackets’ defensive coordinator, said the camp was a success.

“The turnout was good,” he said. “I think we had maybe 10 more kids than we had last year. We always want to keep getting more and more kids out each year. We had a good group. The third session ended up being a really good group as we ended up with a lot of kids coming out that will be going into junior high next year, so that’s exciting.”

The Cleburne football coaching staff, which included several middle school coaches, put the young campers through drills that simply taught the fundamentals of football to drills that were more scheme-focused for what the high-school level Jackets do.

“The first two sessions, we basically focused on the fundamentals of the game and the basics of each position, whether it be offense or defense,” Payne said. “We had running back stations, linebacker stations, quarterback stations, receiver. We did fundamental stuff and the bare basics. The first group was real fundamental. The second group we started introducing a little bit more scheme and what their reads are. And the third session, we were running our offense and defense. We taught them what we’ll be teaching them coming into the junior highs and some of the same terminology they’ll hear next year.”

While introducing the fundamentals of football to the younger groups was a focus, Payne said having fun with the kids was priority No. 1.

“Each day with the first two sessions we ended with an obstacle course, which was real fun for the kids,” he said. “And on day 3, the kids came in yawning and were tired, but we wanted them to have fun, play some Hawaiian football and get out there and have fun, which is what it’s about.”

Throughout the week, campers went through various drills and skill challenges, such as punt, pass and kick as well as running 20- and 40-yard dashes. On Thursday, the final day of the camp, each participant received certificates and the top three finishers in each of those events were awarded with certificates for those accomplishments.

“Each grade level, there’s kids out there competing and having a good time, and that’s what it’s about,” Payne said. “Having some of our junior high coaches here, they got to have a prelude of what they’re going to see in their incoming seventh graders. They get to see those kids who are lineman-type kids and skill-kids. And they kind of get to know them before they come to them in junior high. It’s good. And then they get to see us. They get to see us whether it be on Friday night or in a football camp or in the hallways. It’s good for them to see us in the summer and build that relationship early.”

The Cleburne Yellow Jacket baseball camp is scheduled to begin on Monday and last through Thursday. It will be taught by the Jacket baseball coaching staff, including Ross Taylor, Ryan Stepp, Dustin Fish and Wayland White.

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