Sports

Whidbey youth football, cheer camps popular

ABOVE: Young participants in the Oak Harbor Youth Football League learn the basics of running the football just like the high school team does. LEFT: Under the tutelage of Oak Harbor assistant cheer coach Robin Gohn, Haley Abbot, center, performs a stretch lift with help from youth cheerleaders Sarah Ulam and Jayden Collins.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
ABOVE: Young participants in the Oak Harbor Youth Football League learn the basics of running the football just like the high school team does. LEFT: Under the tutelage of Oak Harbor assistant cheer coach Robin Gohn, Haley Abbot, center, performs a stretch lift with help from youth cheerleaders Sarah Ulam and Jayden Collins.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

Fort Nugent Park was a busy place last Saturday morning.

More than 150 youth football players participated in the Oak Harbor Youth Football League’s agility camp and youth cheer director Kerri Brown said she had 42 kids in attendance at the cheer camp.

“We have a pretty good turnout,” she said. “We expect to have a lot more girls out for cheerleading before the season starts.”

On hand to assist in instructing the young ladies on the proper way to do the routines were members of the Oak Harbor High School cheer team along with assistant coach Robin Gohn.

Youth football coaches had players divided into several age groups.

While the younger kids were learning the basics of stance, handoffs and pass catching, more experienced players were being put through their paces running the high school black/brown offensive series of plays.

For the first practice of the season, they players were looking sharp with the halfbacks making fakes and the guards learning how to take that quick first step when pulling to lead the play and make blocks.

Max O’Neil, a 10-year-old “veteran” of the league, said he has played for a couple of years and is looking forward to the season.

O’Neil and his teammates were practicing handoffs and getting some running in while learning the proper technique for carrying the football.

Another group was learning how to make pass cuts while running at full speed without looking at the ground and still being able catch the ball.

Hunter Bos, a first-year player in the league, made a couple of good catches during the drill.

“My favorite position is playing wide receiver,” he said.

Regular practice sessions for cheerleaders and football players begin next month, but the kids at Saturday’s camp were ready to hit the field right now.

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