The hottest day of 2014 so far didn’t stop the area’s youth from learning the fundamentals of football during the first day of the Sedalia Youth Football League camp on Tuesday at Smith-Cotton High School.
By the time the camp started at 6 p.m., the temperature was 94 degrees with a heat index more than 100 degrees, but kids from kindergarten through seventh grade still made it out and had fun.
“It was a blast,” seventh grader Drake Peterson said.
Second grader Luke Cashman quickly agreed.
“It was fun,” Cashman said. “We did a lot of things. I learned to throw and catch.”
Tuesday’s one-hour session was broken up into three age groups and more than a dozen offensive drill stations.
“They are doing a couple of running back drills, some wide receiver drills and some blocking drills,” Smith-Cotton High School football coach Ryan Boyer said. “Tomorrow we’ll do defense and Thursday we’ll do a skills challenge for them.”
Each station had either a coach or S-C players teaching the kids.
“They are getting the same coaching that our older kids do and it gives our kids the opportunity to see the other side of the coin,” Boyer said. “We always coach them and now they are out into that situation.”
It wasn’t mandatory for the S-C players to help coach the kids, but several were out there eager to help.
“A lot of our kids came through the youth program and they can remember camps similar to this being put on and what it meant to them and how much fun they had,” Boyer said.
Peterson said he wants to play quarterback, but learned many skills during the first day.
“Learned how to throw the football, learned how to run routes, learned how to hit the bag,” he said.
As for Cashman, he said linebacker may be more of his style.
When the season gets started for the Sedalia Youth Football League, everyone Cashman’s age and younger will play flag football and everyone older will play tackle.
Both Cashman and Peterson said they are ready for some contact and plan to play football in high school. Boyer said he wants the kids to have fun and learn because he knows they are the future of Tigers football.
“They are the foundation of our program and these are the future Smith-Cotton Tigers,” he said. “We want to get them out here, make them familiar with our program and make them familiar with us.”