Tuesday, July 1, 2014
North Augusta High School’s head football coach Brian Thomas had another first for his North Augusta tenure.
The annual Yellow Jacket Football Camp, held at the school’s practice field, took place last Monday through Thursday. He said the experience was great and the kids were energetic.
“They’re really getting after it; we’ve had a lot of great drills,” he said. “It’s exciting to get to work with these young kids. They want to go and have a lot of energy. It’s fun to be around.”
Many of the varsity football players took part in the camp, helping the coaching staff with running the event. Thomas said it was great for the players to give back to the program and to continue building the tradition.
One of those players was backup quarterback Josh Iaukea, who helped out despite having offseason surgery.
“It’s fun to get out here and to work with the little kids,” he said. “We just want to try to get them moving into the right direction and doing the right thing when they play for the rec.”
Iaukea said he came through the camp a handful of times, along with playing football recreationally before middle school.
“They’re going to be doing what we’re doing one day,” he said. “They’re our future at the high school. We want to try and get them going early.”
Thomas said a goal for the camp was to give the kids experience with a little bit of everything.
“At this age you have no idea how kids’ bodies are going to change,” he said. “You might have a big kid out here and say, ‘Oh, he’s going to be a lineman,’ but you never know that for sure. We just want to give them different opportunities to improve their skill sets. Whether it’s throwing a ball, catching a ball, or the basics with tackling, blocking and stances.”
Thomas also joked that every kid out there thought they were a quarterback.
“I remember being that age one time, a long time ago, and I was a quarterback, too,” he said. “I wanted to throw the ball.”
The staff being a part of the camp was another bonus, Thomas said.
“The kids are really taking to them,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy out here. It’s great for down the road; we’re doing it for the future.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottRodgers.