Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local Sports

June 30, 2013

Optimists, Rams’ staff team up for successful football camp

By TONY EIERDAM

More than 50 boys and girls from grades kindergarten through eighth grade participated this past week at the free four-day Optimist Club/Ram Football Camp at Ram Stadium.

Camp ran this past Monday through Thursday from 6-8 p.m. each evening.

MWISD coaches and Texas Bullets players, including Scott Aaron who also serves as a trustee on the MWISD school board, combined to run the camp. The Texas Bullets are a Texas United Football League team that played their games this year at Ram Stadium.

It was the first time MWISD and the Optimist Club have teamed up to hold a football camp. Optimist Club representative Daniel Gray, an instructor at the camp and a former Ram who also played this season for the Bullets, said he felt the kids responded well to the skills and fundamentals camp.

“We just wanted to get together and streamline everything from the little kids all the way up to the bigger kids,” Gray said. “All we were trying to do was give them a good foundation.

“The kids seemed to appreciate some of the Bullets being out here, and they also got to meet and work with the Mineral Wells (high school and junior high) coaches.

“This is also about bringing the community together. We have seen some talented kids from every age group here this week, and I think we will have some great football players in the future.

“We are hoping to combine with the coaches and school next year again.”

Rams head coach Chuck Lawrence was pleased with the attendance at the camp, and said it gave the coaches an opportunity to see the kids who will play school ball in the fall.

“We put the kids through regular agility drills,” Lawrence said. “We are teaching them ball security, and taking them threw throwing and catching drills.

“The first day we had about 50 kids, and the rest of the week we separated the flag football kids form the tackle football kids and both groups seemed to have gotten more out of it.

“Our numbers (participants) are higher than they have been, and I think holding the camp at night helped our numbers. The Optimist Club did a good job of setting up the drills and rotating the kids through, and it was a good camp and a functional camp.”

Lawrence said he particularly had his eye on a group of seventh-grade players.

“We have a core group in the seventh grade that we got to introduce our drills to and they look like they will be a good group,” he said. “Getting to see them a little bit early before they play school ball for the first time was the highlight of the camp for me.”

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