The third year of the Stratford youth football camp was a bigger hit than the two before it.
Camp director Dennie McDaniel said the camp grew by 15 kids this summer. He said it was the best of both worlds for the campers. They got to learn the game and had plenty of fun.
“We do a lot of skill work but we make it fun for them,” said McDaniel, the offensive coordinator for the Knights during the football season. “It’s a cheap daycare for the parents so they love it. It’s a great opportunity all around.”
McDaniel said the camp had about 70 kids participate, up from 55 or so last summer. Part of the camp’s mission is to grow the game. Ideally, they’re hoping to eventually have 150 kids in the camp, which serves as a fundraiser for the school’s booster club.
“That’s important, he said. “It’s such a great sport. I grew up playing it. All these other coaches played it growing up. It’s benefitted us. I think it’s the greatest team sport you can play because not everybody touches the football.”
The camp wound down Friday with an awards day. McDaniel said they recognized not only those that had great skill but others that were well-behaved too.
In addition to McDaniel, Stratford coaches Aaron Preston, Joey Manchester, Jimmy Cate, Art Jashienski, Brandon Beckman, Scott Ruggles, Troy Johnson, Alan Biggers and Willie Nearhood helped out during the camp.
Also, former and current SHS players assisted.