Football camp gives middle schoolers jump start on season
Seventh and eighth graders learned about the game of football and some basic plays of the Eudora High School football program in the hot summer sun of late July.
EHS Football Coach Aaron Barnett and assistant coaches from the high school and middle school conducted a four-day camp last Monday through Thursday. Barnett said the camp gave the middle school students a chance to have fun and learn about a game gradually becoming a tradition in the town.
"We teach them fundamentals, stances and basic plays that we use from seventh through 12th grade," Barnett said. "It all starts with the stance and it takes a long time with these young guys."
Several of the drills included variations of passing and receiving the football. However, the campers were not able to work on some defensive drills because this camp did not use pads. Barnett said he does not scout potential stars while watching the middle school athletes but he hopes they will establish a work ethic at their level that will carry on in high school.
"We want the kids to have fun and be part of a successful program," Barnett said. "I enjoy coaching the younger kids but as far as judging on talent, you can't do that. There are a lot of things a kid can do to get better or worse between the seventh and 12th grade."
Some athletes were returning to the camp for the second year while others were learning how to play football for their first time.
Eighth grader Guy Montgomery played center and defensive end for the Eudora Middle School team last season. Montgomery said the camp inspired him to look forward to the upcoming football season at EMS.
"Last year, we learned the steps, the basic plays and how to line up," Montgomery said. "I enjoyed myself at the camp and I liked getting a little taste of football before the season starts."
Fellow eighth grader Miles Cleveland attended the camp last summer and played cornerback for EMS last fall. Cleveland said he liked learning more things about the sport.
"Football is fun," Cleveland said. "We learned how to take a handoff and how to get in a huddle."
Seventh grader Vance Allred is a rookie in the sport with truckloads of enthusiasm. Allred, who will play on the offensive line for EMS, thinks this year's camp has been very helpful in providing the foundation for his debut football season, especially learning about the proper stance.
"The camp was cool," Allred said. "Next year a lot of the stuff will be easier for me because of the camp."