It is youth football skills time at Trinity Valley Community College.

“We had a little bit of a break in COVID right there at the beginning of June so we kind of threw together and had a good turnout,” TVCC coach Sherard Poteete said. “This year, we went through football season and knew we had to get a kids camp going, but we had to get through football season. I had a couple of parents call me and say, ‘When is kids camp?’ so I asked when they wanted it to be.”

The camp is scheduled June 7-11 from 8:30-to-11:30 a.m. for a cost of $85 for early registration. For those who register on June 7, the cost rises to $100 for late registration.

If you are paying by check, please make them out to TVCC and for more information, contact the TVCC camp headquarters at 903-675-6227.

“It is a fun time for us as coaches to spend time with our area kids and have a little fun for a week,” Poteete said. “We are trying to get the word out but we have had a lot of people preregister online already. Those things keep coming in and they keep filling out the forms.”

The camp is for all campers entering the first grade through the eighth grade. Poteete said this is so the high school kids can take part in any camp or workouts held by their school districts.

“We try to stay with the youth,” Poteete said. “Camps at the high school level have really become combines so they are a tryout for college. We try to stay with the youth kids so we can give them a week of skills and playing and having fun.”

He said with this being the 11th year of the camp, he remembers two Athens kids taking part in the camp early on. One of those kids has signed to play with TVCC, while the other is headed to Tyler Junior College.

“We have been doing this thing since 2010 was our first summer of getting after it,” Poteete said. “I can remember some of the younger kids back in the early days of starting this camp in Nathan Sims as a camper. We had guys that are now graduating from Athens and it is funny to see some of the guys grow up and go through that.

Connor Clay was another kid who went through this and we coached him up good in youth skills camp, and now he is playing at Tyler.”

He said they will have position specific groups on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Instruction will be geared toward teaching the proper fundamentals and techniques of football with the coaches from TVCC.

“We will have each individual skills taught by each position,” Poteete said. “When you are young, you need to play everything because it is hard to be position specific at the elementary and junior high level. You don’t want to be specialized early on. You never know what your skill set is so we try to teach every position every year. We will have the circuits and have some fun with a little Cardinal ball at the end. “

Coaches ask that you have your camper bring their own water bottle with their name on it due to the global pandemic.

Campers should be dressed comfortably with athletic shorts, T-shirt and cleats or tennis shoes for each day of the camp. It will be a non-contact camp so participants will not need pads or helmets.

If quarterbacks would like to bring their own football, they will be allowed to do so according to coach Poteete.

NOTE: Camp sponsors are East Texas Screen Printing, Athens Dentalworks, Ken’s Pizza, Super 8, Railway Cafe, Whataburger, McDonald’s, Document Solutions, Primerica and Verabank.

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