BELTON – Fundamentals are the bedrock of success no matter what level of athletic play. Area kids learned this truth quickly as they were put through strength and agility drills by members of the CenTex Barracudas indoor football team during the team's football camp on Friday at the Bell County Expo Center.
Chai Smith, a 13-year-old Belton Middle School student, admitted that some of the drills were "kind of hard," but said he was also able to take some things with him to work on during the summer before he starts working out for the Belton eighth-grade football team.
"I should probably be better at agility and catch better and have faster speed," Smith said. "I'll also know the sport of football better."
The camp attracted between 65 and 70 kids in the younger class, of which Smith was a part, and four attendees in the high school session.
Though the number for the older kids was smaller than hoped, Barracudas offensive coordinator Chris Abregio said the low turnover allowed him and his players to give better one-on-one attention during the drills.
"We wanted to teach the importance of learning your fundamentals, the proper technique for running," Abregio said. After the workout, the campers played a street game of football with Barracudas players. Smith said that was one of his favorite parts of the camp.
"That was a lot of fun," Smith said. "We had some of the Barracudas players play with us at quarterback. They coached us and showed us how to do stuff that catch better, run better and block."
At each of the agility stations – including sprints, plyometric boxes, tractor tire drills and foot-speed tools – the coaches kept times on paper and gave each participant a grade on their effort. Smith said that mostly everyone in his morning session received an A.'
They were given their grade sheets at the end of the day to take home and improve on over the summer before football practices begin in the fall.
"My favorite was the tire stacks," Smith said. "We had to do a figure-8 around them and then we got to play a cat-and-mouse game trying to catch each other."
Cameron Lance is spending the summer with his father here in the area and attended the high school portion of the camp.
Lance plays defensive end and offensive guard for Tolar High School near Granbury and said he didn't know the area had an indoor football team, but was impressed with how nice the Barracudas players were, but also said he learned a great deal of things to take with him to prepare for his upcoming season.
"I learned new drills to make myself better," Lance said.
Making the kids better, giving them a better foundation on which to stand is exactly what the Barracudas had hoped for.
"A lot of the camp was agility and foot-work," Abregio said. "It's the little fundamentals you still work on at the professional level. You can never get enough of it."
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.