Drew Shelton says the main reason he attends the Brownstown Central football camp each summer is to learn how he can become a better football player.
“I just want to get better for the season,” the incoming eighth-grader said. “We want to go undefeated and have a better record than last year. You’ve just got to get to your assignment and know your assignment.”
Shelton, who began playing football in the 56ers program, played on the offensive and defensive lines for the middle school seventh grade team that lost one game last fall.
“I just like coming out here and hitting people, blocking people and having fun,” he said.
Shelton, who also plays golf and baseball, attended the middle school camp that was held in May. He and his BCMS football teammates and members of the high school team also attended the Hanover Camp earlier this summer.
Reed May, head coach at Brownstown Central, said 42 attended the middle school camp that was held at the middle school.
“There are some kids who are not here that said they are going to play,” he said.
The middle school’s first football game is Aug. 12.
“When practice starts August 2, they only have eight days of practice, so they need to have this camp. They are going to practice twice next week also,” he said. “Probably 90 percent of the kids that played in sixth grade are here (Tuesday).
“In 56ers, they don’t have a play book. Since we’re not playing other teams, all they do is hold up cards,” he said. “They learn our space plays, but instead of actually learning the plays, they can just look up at the card and run the play, kind of like a scout team. That helps the kids actually practice the plays without having to learn them because they only practice twice a week.”
He said in middle school, the players have a play book because they play against other teams.
May said the eighth-graders are implementing their plays.
“The eighth-graders only lost one game last year as seventh-graders, so we feel like it is a pretty good class,” he said. “The biggest thing is to get their positions, especially the seventh-graders. Now, they put in their offense, put in their defense and start running plays and hopefully be ready to go come August 12.”
Jon Robison, director of the 56ers program, said 37 fifth- and sixth-graders attended the camp that was held at Blevins Memorial Stadium.
“We teach them the basics of line blocking, how to get in a stance, how to break a huddle and get to the line and get in an offensive stance,” he said. “We teach all the kids the same things, how to carry the football, how to catch a football, how to throw a football, and we want to see who can throw a football.”
Robison said teaching the proper technique for tackling is important.
“We call it heads-up tackling. It’s how to tackle safely,” he said.
More kids are expected to sign up Aug. 14.
“It’s a good program to teach kids the fundamentals of the system we run at Brownstown, and it gives kids a chance to learn how to become good teammates,” Robison said.
Among those attending the 56er camp was Max Sommers, an incoming fifth-grader. He said this is the first year for him to attend the football camp.
“I love football,” he said. “I like the tough plays of football. I want to play running back.”
The Superstars competition for the middle-schoolers and punt, pass and kick competition for the 56ers will be held this afternoon at Blevins Memorial Stadium, and the high school will host Bedford North Lawrence, West Washington and Franklin for seven-on-seven competition at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Aug. 2 is the first day for high school practice.