Youth Football Camp Ushers in Football Season in Owatonna
More than 200 potential future Huskies took to the new sod on the Owatonna football field to work on the skills and attitude to ultimately play there on Friday nights.
For more than 20 years the Huskies youth football camp has brought together the past, present and future of the program. Former OHS players join current varsity players as instructors, while the current coaching staff organizes and leads the proceedings. Varsity defensive coordinator Marc Achterkirch puts in hours behind the scenes getting the details together for the annual production.
The future players race from station to station, through a series of high-intensity, quick-hitting drills, many times with smiles on their faces and frequently with some sweat rolling down their brows. Water is provided on a continual basis.
About 65 instructors circled the campers for the introductory portion of the evening. Current coach and OHS grad Kyle Melcher said camp is a highlight of summer as it signals football season. Longtime coach Delles Solie enjoys seeing and working with the former players that come back to assist with camp. He takes a special liking to the games that are part of camp, as he gets to know who the competitors are.
Matt Skala is an OHS grad and current coach. He likes the positivity people come away with for the game of football from camp. He feels football is under a microscope, even though the game is safer than ever before and new technology is making it more safe. He also looks forward to seeing the guys come back from college to help.
Camp runs through Thursday, August 10, from 5:30-8PM each night at the OHS stadium field. Achterkirch says players that missed Monday are still welcome to join the camp. Wednesday is park and recreation signup day. A Hy-Vee hot dog cookout is also scheduled for Wednesday. All participants get a camp t-shirt.
High school football practice opens Monday, August 14. The varsity recently held a week-long camp to get into a football frame of mind.