Minor football focuses on drills and skills at recent camp

There will be a new look for the youngest members of Red Deer Minor Football this season.

The successful Atom program will be sporting brand new uniforms this year according to president Greg Thompson.

“We decided we needed to upgrade the jerseys and get them more in line based on what everybody else is using,” he said.

“It was kind of a piece meal thing put together back in the day and we had a little bit of extra money and sponsorship from a donor which allowed us to get the jerseys going.”

The players will be wearing the colours of two pro teams, the Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers as well as a pair of college teams, the Florida Gators and the USC Trojans.

For such young players it’s a nice touch to be able to wear some good looking jerseys and instill some pride in their team as they learn the game, said Thompson.

Back in June the association held a camp at Great Chief Park and about 75 players aged five to 12 turned out to get some instruction on the finer points of the game.

“We left the equipment out of the camp this year just to focus more on the drills and skills as well as the minor details of football and not have them worry about a helmet or a pair of shoulder pads,” said Thompson.

It was the first time in three years a spring camp was run and this year there was a twist to the event with local high school players and a few university players running the show.

“I think it was a little bit of an eye opener for them to take a step back and understand what coaching really is and how much time and effort really gets put into it,” said Thompson. “We met for 15 minutes each night before each session and gave them a layout of what I wanted and let them decide based on their 10 years of playing.”

The interest in the camp was a sign that the program is on solid footing as it moves forward. “It shows that football is growing and you’re seeing it at multiple levels, all the way through.”

With such future promise Thompson is confident he can fill the rosters of the two Peewee teams and all four Atom teams.

“I’d really like to push the number base to get that third peewee team going this year,” he said. “But I think we’re going to wait another year before we get a third team going though.”