CALLAWAY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - This is the time of year when high school football players are looking to segue from their summer workouts to the official start of fall practice.
Seven area high school football teams gathered Thursday in Callaway for FCA team camp
As a way of doing that, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes hosts team camps designed to get the kids in some pads, while doling out some good messages in the process.
Thursday, the Bay County version of the annual FCA team camp took place at the Callaway Recreational Complex. Arnold, Bay, Bozeman, Mosley and Rutherford participated with Sneads and Marianna joining in.
They had a similar camp last week in Marianna, just a one day camp since housing is problematic these days. Ordinarily these are three day camps, with teams staying on site.
This too, is a one day camp. The first part of the day is more message based, with the latter half, more X's and O's featuring light contact between teams.
"What can we do to still try to grow character and and the next generation of leaders in a one day camp, especially after the hurricane" FCA area representative Sean Aland asked rhetorically. "Everybody is hurting money-wise, funds-wise, fundraising-wise. FCA is hurting fundraising wise, so how can we pour that into these kids? We did what we call 'camp in a box,' a series of one day camps all over the Panhandle to benefit our kids at a much lower price.
"The coaches love the team and character building aspect
of the camp. Given the start of the fall practice season is just over a week away, and the start of the regular season is just over a month away, well they like the football aspect as well."
While the team building is certainly important, with just a couple of weeks until summer camps kick off, coaches welcome any competitive opportunities they can get.
There's tons of formations and offenses and different defenses and front sevens that you see," Marianna head coach John Donaldson said. "It forces you to go ahead and make some decisions and do some things you wouldn't do if you were just home with yourself."
"Really, it's an opportunity to get the kids in pads in summertime," Rutherford coach Loren Tillman added. "You have to go to a third party camp to do that. But also, the foundation of your program needs to be character, and so you get the character along with the padded camp, so it's a win win on both sides for me."
The first day of fall practice across the state is July 29th.
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