Winter football clinics at KFHS

Published 6:21 pm Monday, December 28, 2009

Joe Jones has been King’s Fork’s head football coach for two seasons, but the idea of starting a winter football clinic for kids, elementary-, middle- and high-school aged, goes back before he started with the Bulldogs.

A few winters ago, his son attended a baseball clinic, a pitcher’s clinic, over the winter with Greenbrier Christian head coach Gary Lavelle.

“I’d sit there during the clinic and think, why don’t we do this for football?” said Jones.

Starting on Sunday, Jan. 10, Jones and other KF coaches will have three clinics each Sunday at King’s Fork High School.

Offensive and defensive linemen, ages 10-14, will have a clinic from 2-3 p.m. Quarterbacks, receivers and running backs, ages 10-14, will be 3-4 p.m. High school players, grades eight and up and at all positions, will be from 4-6 p.m. each Sunday until Feb. 21.

The lineman clinic could be the session Jones is most excited about. He hopes it will be something different than most football camps.

“We’re going to have lineman out there for an hour and do just that,” said Jones.

“With the young kids, whether they play Pop Warner or not, we think it will really help them. We’ll be teaching footwork and different types of blocks,” said Jones.

“We want to provide good, quality instruction for them,” said Jones, who said if a lot or kids turn out, he’ll be able to bring out as many coaches as they need.

“We’re designing this to have the time to get to all the little things linemen have to know,” said Jones, who coached for nearly 20 years at Windsor, Franklin and Smithfield before King’s Fork.

Having the clinics at King’s Fork High School was important since it gives Jones a spot with outdoor and indoor venues, in case the January or February weather becomes a problem.

“This is going to help kids wherever they’re going to play football next season,” said Jones, who also noted the new middle school football program among the Suffolk public schools. The clinics could help the middle school teams, which in turn would pay off for Nansemond River, Lakeland and the Bulldogs down the road.

The clinics are $50 per player for the seven weeks, or $90 per player for both sessions.

“This is something I’ve thought about for a few years and I’m excited about doing it,” said Jones.

“On Sundays, I mostly spent it on the couch watching football on TV, so with this, I can do something a little more useful, something more purposeful,” Jones said.