Learning the ropes is key for Picayune youngsters

Published 2:58 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Saturday morning, Picayune Memorial High School hosted a football camp at Lee-Triplett Stadium for young athletes who were interested in learning about the sport of football.

“The purpose of the camp is to get more community involvement and get kids involved and learn about Picayune football,” Assistant Coach Adam Feeley said. “We had 30 kids show up, but it was our first year doing it and hopefully we get more over time.”

The camp was available for children in first grade all the way up to sixth grade, and lasted about four and half hours. Feeley said that the camp was essentially football 101 for the youngsters. There were offensive drills focused on how to give and receive handoffs, how to get into the proper stance and how to block with proper technique.The defensive drills focused on form tackling and learning how to wrap up, how to play defensive back with proper footwork and how to play on the defensive line.These drills were conducted not only by coaches, but also by around a dozen current varsity players who came out to show the kids what it’s like to participate in the drills.

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“We had about 12 players that assisted with drills and gave hand offs,” Feeley said. “They helped show the kids so they could grasp it and they enjoyed it as well. They had a good time and worked on end zone dances and stuff with the kids.”

Not only was the camp educational, but it also exposed the campers to football via a structured environment.

“We wanted to show kids what varsity kids have to go through and see if it’s something they would like to do,” Feeley said. “We wanted to show them the competitive side and have somebody else besides their parents coach them.”

Feeley also said the camp was important because it allowed varsity Head Coach Dodd Lee to instill the kind of tradition Picayune is used to in these up and coming athletes.

“Coach Lee has been here since the mid 90s and he instills what he wants out of his players,” Feeley said.

“We try to get the best out of them and teach them to be men, respectable men who do the right thing.”

At the end of the day, Feeley said that the community involvement in the program is the biggest thing. He said there were so many helping hands within the program that it made things really easy on the team and coaching staff.

“Our parents are very involved and they give back money wise and a lot of their time,” Feeley said. “Bobby Franklin does a great job and he helped with camp. They all give back to the community. We don’t ever have to ask for something, they get it done for us.”

Football may have a bad name right now because of the hot button topic of concussions within the sport, but Feeley said that he hopes events like this camp can bring the name of football back to where it used to be.