Local football isn’t just about Friday nights under stadium lights.
The players that make the right moves at those times have to get their start somewhere, and one of the places offering young players a chance to get out and get on their feet is the Rome/Floyd Youth Football Camp hosted by the Rome High School football program.
The two-day camp is in its fourth year and saw between 80 and 90 athletes, some as young as 7 years old, hit the practice field Tuesday and Wednesday at Rome High to take part in various drills led by the Rome High football coaching staff.
Rome High head coach John Reid emphasized the importance of just getting kids out of doors and having fun with the sport.
“The one thing is to get kids out here,” Reid said. “Get to know them and let them get to know us a little bit and then have fun. Most of the drills are related to getting football fundamentals while they’re enjoying themselves.”
Reid said while there is plenty of hard work put into being a great football player and team, he understands the basis of the sport at a young age is just playing a game.
“They don’t want to relate football practice as going to get beat down in the heat. They want to go out here and touch a football,” Reid said. “We always end with some games. That’s the highlight of their day. They’ve got to work a little bit to get to it.”
The camp, which is for Rome and Floyd County students entering first grade through sixth grade, focuses on making it easy for parents to get their kids involved.
Free bus pickup is offered for kids that live in the city limits, and there was no fee as long as kids were registered by May 24. It was $20 per child after that.
“People are so busy,” Reid said. “We’re not trying to make money. We’re trying to give back to our community and give some of our time to these kids. If we can get them involved, we may get them excited about something at school and get them to graduate, too. So we use football as a kind of tool.”
Activities included passing, receiving, blocking and kicking.