King’s Fork football camp to prepare Pop Warner-age players

Published 9:35 pm Friday, July 2, 2010

King’s Fork head coach Joe Jones started the Bulldog Youth Gridiron Skills Football Camp last summer and it went well as Jones and his Bulldog assistant coaches helped Pop Warner-age players get ready for the upcoming season.

Of course the main ideas are having fun during the camp and teaching the fundamentals of the game. The timing of the camp, July 26-29, is also a major plus.

Pop Warner practices will be starting the following week, so the camp, for kids ages 8-13, will be a good opportunity for young players to remember their skills and get in shape for the season.

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“They figure it will be a good lead-in to (Pop Warner practices),” Jones said. “It’s a chance to get some of the soreness out and get into a football mentality.”

If the first week or two of football practice is the worst time of the season as far as conditioning, and the condition that conditioning leaves a player in after each practice, Jones is offering a one-week head start.

“We’ve increased the time a little bit this year. We’re adding one more day because the kids seemed to have a good time last year,” Jones said.

Jones is a former All-American tight end from Virginia Tech and played professionally with the Indianapolis Colts. For the past 20-plus years, he’s been a high school coach throughout the area and he’s been a volunteer coach for Nansemond-Suffolk Pop Warner.

Pop Warner veterans are urged to come out, but so are athletes thinking of giving organized football a try this fall. The schedule each day at the camp allows a player of any skill level to learn a lot from Jones and the rest of the coaches.

The bulk of the camp is spent on position-specific skills. Technique and fundamentals needed for each spot on the field are built into working on strength, agility and conditioning.

“For some of the younger players, if they’re not sure what position will be best for them, they can work at a different one each day. The whole idea, especially for the younger ones, is to see what each position entails,” Jones said.

A Pop Warner rookie will gain experience with the drills, as well as the summer heat. The camp is in the morning, from

9 a.m. to noon, to avoid the worst temperatures of July, but the camp will do a great job getting players in shape.

“It’ll be like a Pop Warner practice, but it’ll actually be longer each day than a usual practice,” Jones said.

Jones is recruiting some of his varsity Bulldog players to be coaches during the week. The benefits there go both ways. The youngsters might listen a little better to players who happen to be coaching rather than the regular, ol’ coaches. At the same time, Jones said his current Bulldogs might take away some of what the KF coaching staff goes through.

The registration fee is $40 per camper. For more information, or for any questions, contact Jones at 650-2828.