92 campers learn drills, skills at Indian Football Camp

St. Stephens received a high turnout from its youth football camp this week.

A total of 92 young people from second through eighth grade were at the camp for its second day on Tuesday.

“This is great for our community,” said second-year Indians head football coach Wayne Hicks of the camp. “Our players are involved with the younger kids. It just creates a good environment for us, not only for the high school, but for the young kids, too, to be here with the older kids.”

The camp started on Monday and will continue through Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. daily.

The purpose of the camp is to give the football players in the St. Stephens community an opportunity to meet and become familiar with the coaching staff at the high school and the middle school.

The proper football fundamentals on offense, defense and special teams are being stressed.

Hicks, Arndt Middle head coach Lee Vanderlinden, St. Stephens Optimists football coaches and the coaching staffs at St. Stephens High and Arndt Middle were involved in the camp.

Players at St. Stephens also took time to get involved with the young athletes.

The camp is the first for Hicks since he and his fellow coaches were involved in the Heads Up Football initiative through the Catawba County Schools System and USA Football.

“It’s always good to review,” Hicks said of his Heads Up Football training. “It was a great review course for me. I picked up a lot of good drills for this age group of kids. The Heads Up program helped with this camp, particularly with this age of a kid.”

Campers will get a special close up look at the St. Stephens football team on Thursday when the Indians hold their first contact practice in full pads.

Hicks believes his young campers will be impacted by the experience.

“I hope it makes a good impression,” Hicks said. “We are going to have practice Thursday night after camp. Our campers will be here. They can’t get out on the field, but can be close. I hope it’s a good experience for them.”