Pine River camp getting football players ready for season

LEROY — Pine River football coach Terry Martin and his staff had an impressive number of athletes of all ages participating in the first day of a three-day camp on Monday.

There were around 90 that signed up. The first session starting in mid-afternoon featured eighth-grade and under, the Pop Warner and middle school level players.

“We’re doing a lot of our offensive basics,” Martin said. “We’re trying to get everybody introduced to the program, and offense, running the same thing, plus defensive fundamentals.”

The first day “was very good,” he added. “They were listening great. We had a lot of little guys here out of the Pop Warner program.”

After the youth camp, Martin and staff put on a two-hour session for the high school players.

“We’ll be running our offensive schemes and getting used to that,” Martin said. “We’ll be running our spread option again.”

It’s Martin’s second year with the program and he’s confident the players are picking everything up.

“We’re definitely far ahead of where we were last year, that’s for sure,” Martin said. “Summer participation is maybe the best I’ve seen it, probably double of what it was last summer. After this Wednesday, we’ll give them a break and they’ll report to school for season camp Aug. 10, the night before we start.”

The season opens Aug. 28. That’s only 16 days after practices officially start, which is why coaches like Martin focus heavily on summer work.

“This gives them tough reps and simple things like stance, technique and responsibilities,” he said. “There’s not much time. Once we get going, we’re going. Numbers have increased, last year we were light, only around 17 on the varsity. We should have a lot less two-way players.”