BELDING — There’s lots of interest in football among youth in the Belding Area Schools.
Varsity football coach Joe Schwander said there were 62 attendees at the youth football camp the Redskins’ coach is hosting this week.
The camp is teaching a number of things, Schwander said.
“It’s about having fun playing the game of football,” Schwander said. “All these young boys, it’s funny. The only thing they want to do is hit a (blocking) bag really hard. These guys like flying around and hitting bags, so our goal is to teach them proper technique so it’s safe and help them to be boys and teach them the game of football in the process.”
Specifically Schwander and the high school players who are helping him are teaching every position on the field, he said.
“Every kid goes through every position,” he said. “ If he’s a lineman kid, he’s going to learn quarterback. If he’s a quarterback he’s going to learn lineman, because you never know what position these kids are going to be down the road. So we’re going to teach them every position, offensively and defensively. We rotate them through different position stations, then we also go through special teams, kickers, long snappers, punters, kickoff. Then the last day is the competition day, our game day. We find out who the fastest kid in the camp is, who can throw it the farthest. Then we have our 7-on-7 games as well.”
Teaching the campers football is something Schwander has a lot of fun doing as a coach, he noted.
“I love it,” he said. “I have kids these guys’ age now and it’s a blast seeing them have fun. Just seeing young boys running around, flying around, hit-ting a bag and getting up just smiling and laughing, it’s a fun deal for us. And I know our (high school) players love it. It’s fun watching our players get excited about our young football players in our program. So it’s a fun three days.”
One of the seventh-grade campers was Ethan Schmid. He’s 12 years old. What Schmid likes about football was easy to describe for him.
“Hitting people,” he said.
Schmid said he’s learned a couple of things at the camp.
“I learned how to hit and how to have a better attitude about football, that kind of stuff,” he said.
The camp ends today.