A MUST ATTEND EVENT FOR NEXT YEAR
A very special event took place on the morning of Saturday,â€¨April 28, just a few hours before the scheduled 1:00 PM kickoff of the Spartanâ€¨Spring Football game.Â The Spartan Youthâ€¨Football Camp, which began at 10:00 AM, entertained nearly 900 futureâ€¨Spartans.Â A donâ€™t miss event for allâ€¨future Spartans, mark your calendar for next year.Â Any and all children that attended wereâ€¨treated to some of the best coaching and just plain fun Iâ€™ve seen in years.
As the childrenâ€¨entered unto the Spartan practice facilities they were first divided into ageâ€¨groups and then given a group number, which would serve as their â€œteamâ€ for theâ€¨next two hours.Â Â They were then directedâ€¨to their personal coaches and team leaders stationed all about the athleticâ€¨fields.Â They began at that station andâ€¨after about six minutes or so the horn would blow and their team leaders wouldâ€¨lead them to the next station.
Best coaching you may ask, how so?Â The Spartan football players, in full uniformâ€¨minus pads, coached all of the stations.â€¨And let me tell you this, the players were definitely into this event.â€¨To tell you the truth, I could not tell just who was having the most fun, theâ€¨boys and girls participating, or the football players doing the coaching.Â It was also amusing as I watched the fathersâ€¨add their own two cents in the coaching up of these young athletes.Â Kids, parents, and players were creatingâ€¨great Spartan memories and having a great Spartan time.
The kids were running, jumping, crawling, tackling,â€¨throwing, catching, and blocking. Everything they see their Saturday footballâ€¨heroes do and the players were right there with them demonstrating, urging themâ€¨on, and encouraging them to do the best they could at each station.Â Not once did I see a player that did not haveâ€¨the time to talk to, give an autograph to, or take a picture with a child or anâ€¨adult.
To see a 6â€™7â€ 340 # Henry Conway hold a blocking bag andâ€¨watch a might mite four foot nothing, 70# and change, knock him to the ground,â€¨or a future 4 star receiver put the move on and fake outÂ Johnny Adams, was hilarious and the kidsâ€¨loved it.Â Every minute of it, and so didâ€¨the men of Sparta who were giving of themselves so unselfishly.
My favorite child athlete easily was the little girl withâ€¨Anthony Rashad White.Â She did everyâ€¨drill full out and completed everything at every station.Â She ran, tackled, fell, got up, and triedâ€¨again, never once did the smile leave her face.â€¨It was just a pure joy to watch that little one participate and have theâ€¨time of her young life.
At the conclusion of the camp all campers were called to theâ€¨center of the field where Coach Dantonio personally addressed the entireâ€¨gathering of kids, players, and adults.â€¨His message was clear, do the best you can and be the best person youâ€¨can be.Â Spartans Will Gholston and Fouâ€¨Fonoti were called to the middle of the circle and Fou led an inspirationalâ€¨cheer for the campers. It would be unfair of me to not mention the Spartanâ€¨Coaching Staff as well.Â Â They were allâ€¨present and walking among the campers, Coach Dantonio and Sparty too!Â Just like the Spartan football players theyâ€¨had time for everyone who wished to meet them.â€¨At the conclusion every registered camp participant, and those that didâ€¨not register and there were a bunch that just observed, received a ticket thatâ€¨would get them a free hot dog, pop and ice cream.
If you are a parent, grandparent, uncle, or aunt I urge youâ€¨to mark on your calendar right now the Youth Camp, and make sure you take thatâ€¨special little someone in your life to this very special event next year.Â Â Go even if time will not permit you toâ€¨attend the spring game, be sure to make the time to get that special littleâ€¨someone, that future Spartan, there to experience Spartan Football up front andâ€¨personal.Â It is a wonderful opportunityâ€¨for you and the kids to meet the players and the coaches and make Spartanâ€¨memories that will last for forever.