Kids get headstart on the gridiron

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Summer break kicked off with camps including the Youth Football Skills Camp, in its first year.
The camp, for kids entering grades kindergarten through sixth, was led by Clarkston Varsity Football Assistant Coaches Ryan Kaul and Phil Price.
“We wanted to get kids excited and enjoy the game,” Kaul said, adding they noticed numbers going down in the younger levels for football.
The kids learned every position for the offensive lines, defensive lines and special teams including linebacker, quarterback, receiver and kicker.
“We want them to get a chance to experience everything,” Kaul said. “We just want them to have fun and enjoy the game of football.”
The camp was held for four days, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The kids spent time at ten different stations. Then, they played 7-on-7 flag football.
Kaul added it was like backyard flag football and it kept them excited about playing the sport. It also gave them a chance to use what they just learned.

Grant Berden makes a catch at one of the stations during Youth Football Camp. Photo by Wendi Reardon Price

As campers experienced each station, they learned tips from current varsity players and alumni.
“They keep the enthusiasm up,” Kaul added. “The kids enjoy seeing players they have watched before, and the kids who are still in the program, who they will come out on a Friday night and watch them play out here.”
Plus, many of the coaches helping the kids have played since they were the same age as the campers and played in the Clarkston Chiefs program, middle school and junior high before being on varsity.
“They have talked about how they played with the Chiefs and came through the program and how they used to look up to the former players they could remember,” Kaul said.
Price and Kaul were excited about how many kids were interested as up to 70 attended the camp.
“We thought it was really great to have a first year camp with those type of numbers,” Kaul said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but we also didn’t want to cap it and turn anyone down. This is great for the football community – Chiefs moving onto middle school football and hopefully up into high school.”
Boys entering grades sixth through ninth can sign up for Clarkston Wolves Football Camp, held July 29 to August 1, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Both camps are held through Clarkston Community Education. For more camps offered this summer, please visit https://www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/community/community-education.
Registration is through Independence Township Parks, Recreation and Seniors which can be done online at www.indtwp.com, through phone 248-623-4326 ext. 1; or by visiting the office at 6483 Waldon Center Drive.