Sports

Youth camp indicates enthusiasm for Lakewood football

LAKEWOOD — It’s slow, challenging work to rebuild a football program.

But if the numbers are any indication, enthusiasm is growing around Lakewood football at all age levels. The youth football camp put on by the varsity coaches and players July 20-23 turned out more than 80 players by coach Dan Teeter’s estimation.

“Twenty-plus high school kids volunteered their time, which builds good unity between the programs,” Teeter said. Coming off of the Cougars’ summer camp at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Lakewood players led youth through the terminology and plays they’ll use on the field this fall, hoping to give the kids a head start learning the program coaches hope they’ll play in the next several years.

“Ultimately, I think that’s what’s going to turn this into a top program year in and year out,” Teeter added.

The camp divided players by the same age lines used in the Lakewood youth football program. Juniors and seniors, the oldest of which will compete for spots on the varsity roster as freshmen, went through the fundamentals of the Lakewood offense on the program’s first two days. The second half of the camp was spent focusing on defense. Younger players in the peewee and midget divisions started out on defense, working on tackles and basic defenses. On the third day, they worked with some of the high school players on running routes, taking snaps and throwing blocks.

Turnout has grown both at the youth football level and the high school level. Sixty-one kids turned out for spring football and 33 high school players attended the summer camp at Central Washington, just one shy of the entire varsity roster Teeter’s first year at the head of the Lakewood program in 2007.

Practice for Lakewood youth football begins Aug. 3. For more information about the Lakewood youth football program and how to register, visit the website at http://www.eteamz.com/lyfa2000/. The Cougar football team begins their schedule on the road against Lakeside with their first home game Sept. 11 against Lynden Christian, Teeter’s alma mater.

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