As more than 110 youth football players from across Northwest Missouri scramble around the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex, Matt Williamson remembers his childhood.
The third-year head football coach reflects on his time of going to camps throughout the summer with his friends and sees the area’s kids enjoying the same feelings.
“It’s a blast being around the kids,” Williamson said. “I remember in the old days when I was in camp and it was a huge joy.”
The turnout for the three-day fundamentals camp for third- through eighth-graders nearly doubled from a year ago after Western’s season ended with a bowl game win last fall.
Players learned the basics of multiple positions, from playing running back to punting and lining up as a defensive lineman.
“Out here, it was fun learning new things and more things about football,” said Colton Luedke, 11.
The entire Griffon football coaching staff and numerous players worked with the players hands on and encouraged the teams during scrimmages and obstacle course races.
“It’s fun. It’s good experience to come hang out with friends and learn about football,” 13-year-old Hayden Horn said.
Any trip to a youth camp at a college program wouldn’t be complete without checking out the complex they spend time in on a daily basis.
“My favorite part is when we get to go in the team room and watch games like the Super Bowl. It’s really fun,” Graham Addington, 9, said.
While the camp is padless and won’t involve contact, players will continue to learn the basics of the game this week as they prepare for youth and intramural competition.
The learning gets underway with watching film at 8:30 a.m. before breaking into groups based on grade, rotating amongst coaches through the three-hour session. Campers will learn the basics of other positions throughout the week, including quarterback and defensive back. It is the only youth camp put on by the program this summer.
The camp will continue through Wednesday at the GISC.