This camp, which is scheduled for July 25-27, is not the SSHS gridiron program’s first summer youth event, but this year’s clinic will likely be the biggest. Hare has worked with the Sierra Youth Football League and Sparks Pop Warner to promote the camp. He hopes to fill the camp with Spanish Springs-area kids that participate in the two leagues as well as youths with no football experience looking to try out the sport.
In fact, Hare said if there are local kids who want to run around and catch a few footballs, they’re all welcome.
“In SYFL, players must have 10 hours of practice/conditioning in before they can put their gear on,” Hare said. “We kind of came together with SYFL and they asked ‘why don’t you move the camp to the back end of July?’ So now the camp works toward those 10 hours. And now this year, I sat down with the Sparks Pop Warner President to get those kids involved too. We’re trying to get as many kids as we can to come out to our camp. We’re trying to build a bond between Spanish Springs High School football and youth football here in the valley.”
The camp, which is set to run from 5 to 8 p.m. on that Thursday and Friday and 8 to 11 a.m. for the Saturday session, is open to kids 7-to-14 years of age. Hare said the core instruction of the camp will be done in stations with drills focusing on passing, catching, tackling, blocking and other football skills.
“For a lot of the skills and drills, we want to get the kids understanding how to transfer their hips and move, how to run and change direction,” Hare said. “It doesn’t matter what position kids play. We’ll kind of give them an idea of the drills we run in high school.
“On our fliers, I put down kids 7 to 14, but last year we had a 6-year-old there too. Any kid really that wants to run around and can listen to get instruction, we’d love to have. We’ll break the kids into age groups and keep things age appropriate.”
The SSHS football staff will be on hand, and so will current Cougars players. Hare said he’ll put his players to work, running stations and working with the campers. He believes it’s a good way to get his players engaged in the camp and invested in helping teach and give back.
“It really is fun to listen to our high school kids coach,” Hare said. “You really get to see how much they’ve retained. Many of them start sounding just like us coaches, using the same vocabulary. It’s fun for the youths to get coached by the high schoolers and it’s fun for us high school coaches to see what the high schoolers can actually do.”
The cost of the three-day camp is $50. Hare admits his program does generate some revenue but he added that it quickly goes back to the kids. In fact, for each SYFL and Pop Warner athlete that attends the camp, Hare is giving $10 back to their affiliated league. Hare also pointed out that he takes out an insurance policy on the camp. Whatever funds are left over are used for an annual preseason football picnic at Pyramid Lake for his SSHS players.
“We don’t really make any money on the camp. We put it directly back into a fun activity for our players,” he said. “This is really more about community relations. I hope the SYFL, Pop Warner, Flag Football and even kids who haven’t played before just come out and have a good showing. Our program doesn’t care what level or organization you play for. We want you to meet our coaches and players and make a connection.”
Parents interested in signing their child up for the camp can email Hare at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 842-4504. Additionally, the Cougars’ coach said parents can sign up kids the first day of camp. They would just need to bring proof of insurance and $50 to the Spanish Springs High football field for check in.