Seymour Middle School football players are having an opportunity to improve their football skills at the Seymour Owls seventh-eighth grade football camp this week at Bulleit Stadium.

Josh Shattuck, head varsity coach at Seymour High School, said this is the first time he has conducted a middle school camp in the summer.

“We had a camp in the spring,” he said. “Our middle school has kind of evolved since I’ve been here. We had a middle school spring league, and our high school staff coached that. We had about 50 kids out, and we had two teams, a 12U and a 14U.

“This camp is more of a refresher because a lot of those kids played in the spring league, so we’re just trying to get these middle school kids out for a week, and just try to get them caught up really with the goal of enhancing their ability on the first couple days of practice.”

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One of the campers, Tom Deckard, an incoming eighth-grader, did not play football last fall but plans to play this year, and he wanted to refine his fundamentals this week.

“I wanted to try something new,” he said.

“I want to learn anything I can about football,” Deckard said.

Deckard said he hopes to play tackle for the Owls.

Caleb Elliott, an incoming seventh-grader, played in the fifth-sixth grade the past two years.

He was too big to be a back, but he said he wants to be a running back.

He was working with the backs during Monday’s camp.

“I came here to learn more football,” Elliott said.

“I learned to run through the hole hard. I’m hoping to get the ball a lot this fall.“

Zach Motosicky, seventh-grade defensive coordinator, said, “Defensive wise we’re going to go through gap responsibilities; we’re going to try and get the technique to the dip-and-rip, swim over a gap and moves like that. That’s what we’re going to try and accomplish.

“We’re going to work on the placement of their hand techniques, and then we’re going to go through gap responsibilities because of a new defense. At the end of the week we’re going to go into more advanced stuff like going through the defense. It’s probably going to be less individual and more teamwork as the week goes on.”

Working with each athlete is important to their development, according to Shattuck.

“From this age up through the varsity it’s all about individual skills, and football is a game of fundamentals and techniques, and you just put them all together to run plays,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter what offense or what defense you run. It’s just 11 guys performing the technique that they’re supposed to be coached. The way the coaches piece it together kind of defines what your scheme is.

“We tell our middle school kids and coaches, if they can come to us and they know how to block and tackle, we’re in pretty good shape. (They need to learn) some of our terminology, our formations, our defensive line calls.”

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