WABASH COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Putting on a passionate clinic
Wabash College football team will hold Youth Day Football Clinic next month
Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:30 PM
Play with passion.
Photo provided by Wabash College
Wabash College football players will put on a Youth Day Football Clinic in September.
WHAT: Youth Day Football Clinic with Wabash College football team
WHEN: Sept. 19
WHERE: Byron P. Hollett Little Giant Stadium
TIME: 5 to 6:30 p.m.
WHO: Kids in Kindergarten though 6th grade
SKILL AREAS COVERED: Passing, kicking, catching, defensive back, tackling and scoring
That's what Adi Pynenberg wants to teach Montgomery County youth this fall.
In a little more than a month, the former Wabash College linebacker and current Little Giants' defensive line coach will help children during the schools' Youth Day Football Clinic.
But more than helping them, he wants them to share his love for the game.
"The best part is getting kids excited about the game and being around guys who love it," Pynenberg said. "It's awesome to help out the kids, who you really don't understand look up to you more than you really realize. To them, being a college football player is a big deal, (even if) you're a Division III college football player. They don't understand the difference. It's a good opportunity to teach some young kids the great game of football."
Wabash College's football team will hold its sixth-annual Youth Day Football Clinic next month. Started by former Little Giants' football coach Chris Creighton, the free clinic will run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Byron P. Hollett Little Giant Stadium.
Youth ranging from Kindergarten through sixth grade can participate and will work on six different skill areas - passing, kicking, catching, defensive back drills, tackling, and scoring.
Wabash defensive line coach Steve House is helping organize the youth football clinic this year.
Creighton came up with the idea when he coached at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan., and brought it with him to Wabash.
When they first started the clinic, the Little Giants coaches and players could do it all on one half of the football field.
Now they have to split the youth up into groups and use the entire field.
House, who enters his 23rd season at Wabash, has worked the clinic every year and said its main goal is to raise the youth's enthusiasm about the sport.
"The main thing is to convey to (kids) that football is fun," House said. "It's just a great team-building activity or community-building activity. Some of the drills are just silly, fun drills. Some of them are fundamental. A lot of (the kids) are already involved in the youth programs. Overall, (our clinic) is to get them hooked."
During the clinic, youth will move from station to station - learning about football's fundamentals and practicing different drills along the way.
New Wabash head football coach Erik Raeburn will give the welcome and will also stay on-hand to watch and help out.
House has watched the clinic grow each year - along with the kids' and players' excitement.
"I've seen them pick up big-time on enthusiasm and attitude," he said. "(The kids) could go on forever and would like to do it probably every week."
Senior right tackle Jeremy Morris has worked the youth camp each of the past three years. Morris has no trouble picking his favorite part - the final drill, called the gauntlet.
The youth line up at one end of the field while a tackling dummy near midfield.
Wabash players form a tunnel for the kids to run through and then they each get to tackle the dummy as hard as they can.
"At the defensive end, when we (form) a big tunnel and they make a tackle at the end, it gets everybody cheering on the kids and the kids rooting for each other," Morris said. "It's their time to shine."
After every year, Morris hopes he can impact at least one child - igniting the passion for football he has inside that youth.
"I love football to death and every day I hope we get more and more kids to play," Morris said. "I hope we have a couple of kids decide to play football after the clinic. I hope I influenced kids to play football."