Pride football camp

Mountain Pointe High School’s football program is set to host a strength and speed camp for young athletes looking to improve their fundamentals both on and off the gridiron.

Beginning March 15 and running through May 20, athletes in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades have the opportunity to receive coaching from Mountain Pointe’s varsity, junior varsity and freshman coaching staffs two days a week. It’s the first time since Eric Lauer returned to the Pride program as head coach the school will host a youth camp. Last year’s plans were thrown out due to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the shutdown of schools and sports in March.

“You want to use that time to build relationships,” Mountain Pointe coach Eric Lauer said. “You can’t recruit, so you have to be able to show these athletes what your program is all about in an appropriate way. You hope those eighth graders will become your ninth graders and it will give those younger junior high kids something to think about when it comes time for them to choose their high school.”

The young athletes will partake in strength and speed training drills on Mark Lovett Field, where the varsity football team practices, every Tuesday and Thursday.

Lauer said one of the main focuses will be on technique. Due to the ongoing pandemic the kids will still be forced to wear masks during each session. But they will be broken up into smaller groups spread out across the field.

Cones, hurdles and other speed training equipment will be used in some drills while PVC pipes and other light equipment will be utilized for strength training. Lauer said toward the end of the camp they may allow athletes into the weight room on campus but that is not guaranteed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The main focus will be proper technique.

Additionally, Lauer and his staff will emphasize how to compete inside the classroom to achieve academic goals.

“We are going to work with body weight and using PVC bars, so they don’t injure themselves. Toward the end we may progress a little more, but we want to focus on technique,” Lauer said. “Freshman struggle academically, structuring their time and time management. So, to give them some other skills to compete in the classroom is what we want to do.”

The registration fee for the camp is set at $20 per athlete. Athletic shorts and shirt, football cleats, two or more gallons of water, a face mask and sunscreen are required by all participants.

Lauer said any parent or athlete who is interested in potentially attending Mountain Pointe will get an up-close look at how the program operates. Not only will athletes have an opportunity to build relationships with coaches but may have the opportunity to see first-hand how the varsity program operates in spring ball as the last few weeks of the camp line up with the Pride’s schedule.

Overall, Lauer hopes to make a good impression on the youth in the community.

“You only get your first impression and I feel like if you’re basing your full opinion on us after a COVID year with a new staff, please don’t,” Lauer said. “I feel like this is kind of our first year because we are now able to do the things we wanted to do last year but weren’t able to.”

For more information about the camp and to register, visit www.mphsfootball.com.

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at (480)898-5630 or zalvira@timespublications.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira

 

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