KINGSTON — Kingston High School Buccaneers head football coach Dan Novick and his staff have had July 16 circled on their calendars since spring. With the season rapidly approaching, the Bucs youth football camp (the first camp in the school’s history) took place from July 16-19 at the Kingston Middle School field, giving players between the third and eighth grades a chance to improve their skills.
Novick was pleasantly surprised with the number of players in attendance.
“We only had about five kids pre-registered before the first day. We had about 25 kids come up and register right before the first day of camp Monday,” he said. “We had a pretty decent turnout.”
This camp is geared around teaching young players the fundamentals of the game, Novick said.
“At this age, the coaching staff is teaching them the basic skills sets they will need,” he said. “That’s the best thing you can do for young players. We’re teaching them the proper technique for blocking, tackling, securing the football and leverage on defense.”
During each day of camp, players began with form tackling drills. Form tackling is essential, teaching players the proper way to take down their opponents.
“I told all of the players at camp, this is the same drill you will see at the start of every practice when you play at Kingston High School down the road,” Novick said.
Players have the potential to comprehend a wide array of concepts, he said.
“These kids at a young age are capable of understanding more skills than we think they’re capable of handling,” he said. “They have the ability to learn quickly.”
Novick said it’s vital for young players to feel they are a part of the Buccaneers football program before they even lace up their cleats as high school players.
“It’s important to align our programs and link our kids in the community together,” he said. “We’re telling these kids at camp that if they wear their jersey to home games, they will get in free. We also said we will let them into the locker room before the game starts. It will give them an inside peek of high school football before they get there. It will give young players something to look forward to.”
Novick and his enthusiastic staff are just happy to hit the gridiron again.
“When it comes down to it, a coach is a coach and being on the practice field never feels like work,” Novick said. “When the kids were going through warmups on the first day, I looked over at Scott McKay and said, ‘Isn’t this fun?’ We were having a blast and were excited to be out there. Coaching never feels like work. It gives us a chance to get out there, have fun and teach the kids what we know.”
This coming week, the fun continues as Kingston High School will conduct its inaugural high school football camp for players between ninth grade and 12th grade from 6-8:30 p.m. from July 23-27 at Kingston Middle School. The cost is $50 per player. Registration materials are available online at www.khsboosters.com. Those registering on site are asked to arrive 15-20 minutes prior to the start of camp.