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Hazen youth football camp helps current players reach future ones
Smiles, sweat, tackles and, of course, football. The third annual Hazen Future Champs Football camp proved to be quite a bit of fun for both campers and counselors.
“The impetus is to re-establish a connection with our feeder programs,” said Hazen coach Drew Oliver. “It’s mutually beneficial because we get connected with the programs, their coaches and some of their players, but also our players get a chance to coach and get a feel for that.”
The camp ran Monday through Wednesday on Hazen’s field, and included everything from stretching to scrimmages. Hazen football players served as counselors and helped the roughly 25 campers through drills.
The connection between the youth and high school programs is huge for success at the high school level.
“All of the successful programs around here have a strong feeder program and that’s where it starts,” Oliver said. “To get kids in high school that have never played the game, they can work as hard as they want but we’re working at a disadvantage. So we want them to have taste and love for this game before they get here.”
Oliver wants to see that connection between current and future players continue into the fall.
“Hopefully they come out and look at their Friday night heroes and get to rub elbows with them,” he said. “When the kids get to tackle one of the players it’s so fun to see their face light up.”
Oliver and the Highlander coaching staff put emphasis on team being great examples for the community off the field as well. The camp was a great way to see the players put that to use.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Hazen senior Eric Jacobs. “It’s good to see the new talent moving up, and what’s next for Hazen.”
Hazen sophomore Quadir Griffin helps Dylan Taylor, 9, get in the correct three-point stance.Adam McFadden, Renton Reporter