Published Aug. 7, 2014
By Tony Adams
The incoming seventh through ninth grade Belton Tigers’ football players took to Tiger Field on Monday and Tuesday in a week-long training camp.
The camp is the unofficial indoctrination for seventh and eighth graders into the North Belton Middle School, Lake Belton Middle School and South Belton Middle School football. For the ninth graders, it’s the welcome-way into Belton Tigers’ freshman football.
“It’s great to have this many kids here this week,” said Belton head coach Bob Shipley. “They’re excited and having fun and the coaches are too. It’s so helpful to have this many players here the week before we start the season because they’re getting a jump start on the season. It’s not all fun and games by any means. This camp is a precursor to their school practices. We get them in the classroom and talk football “101” with them to help them understand terminology and the basics of schemes and strategy. We get them in the weightroom and get them oriented to safety and procedures in the strength program. Of course we’re putting in our offensive and defensive drills and plays with them as well so it’s a great all around camp.”
In the past, sixth grader had attended the August camp. The football program decided to pare the camp down to seventh through ninth graders.
“I felt like having the 6th grade at this camp would make it too big,” said Shipley. “They’re still a year away from being in the program, so we wanted to focus our attention on the incoming 7th, 8th and 9th graders since they’ll be starting their season soon.”
Through Tuesday, the camp has dealth with conditioning and calistenics. It has also helped quarterbacks with throwing techniques, survivability in the pocket and reads.
The camp has helped receivers run proper routes and the way that each position’s different routes coordinates the success of a play.
For the running backs, it concentrates on proper footwork, upright running, ball control and handling and cutting ability on the run.
The linemen learned the art of blocking and footwork, the defensve backs and safeties learned how to read coverages and routes, and everyone got their schooling in the classroom and the weight room.
Coach Bob Shipley’s program has gotten off to a great start, by indication of the early success of the game. The number of participants was up over 300 Monday and the number was anticipated to increase on Tuesday.
“I was a little worried about it since we didn’t have a ton pre-register, but overall I’m very pleased with our numbers,” said Shipley. “We have over 80 freshmen here so that’s a good start.”
In the early part of camp, Shipley couldn’t be more pleased.
“The first couple of days have been great,” said Shipley. “We had 25-30 more kids show up Tuesday. The kids are picking things up nicely. We just want to focus on getting better at the little things we’re teaching them to finish up camp. They’ve been eager and attentive so it’s a great way to end the summer and get us in the football season mindset.”