Pine River football players close summer with youth camp

LEROY — The football season is getting closer and last week was a chance for youngsters to learn the game at Pine River.

Lucas Hill, 13, an eighth grader, noted after the first day of last week’s youth camp, conducted by the Pine River coaches, that players worked on the option, which also is the offense for the high school team. There were plenty of new things to learn, as Hill recalled.

“This will be my fifth year of playing football,” he said, adding that “running the plays” was the most fun of being involved in the camp.

Also participating was Dennis Ward, 13, an eighth grader, who has played football for five seasons.

“I like the sport,” he said, adding that on running the option, it was “easy” to learn, especially in terms of where all the players needed to be at a particular time. Participating in drills was another favorite activity for Hill.

Varsity football coach Terry Martin said the entire camp attracted 90 players. The two levels were high school late in the afternoon and pre-high school during the midafternoon.

“I thought it went really good for both levels,” he said. “The increase numbers was a huge factor. Last year we were in the high 60s. (The increase) was encouraging. The overall participation of our high school kids was pretty extraordinary. Of the 30-some kids we had in camp in the evening, probably around 75 percent of them were there during the youth (camp) as well.”

Martin, in his second year as coach, said the high school players will report to the school on Sunday and kick off practices on Monday.

“We’ll be there all day Monday,” Martin said. “Then we’ll have a team dinner where all the parents come in to pick the kids up.”

The first practice starts 7 a.m on Monday. The Green & White scrimmage is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16.

“We’ve had a really good summer, actually,” Martin said.