Bulldawgs host 250 kids in annual football camps
By TJ MAXWELL
Participating in Bulldawg Football camps just got easier and cooler.
A time change and dropping of the camp fee stimulated growth at this year’s annual Bulldawg Football Camps.
The free camp provides an opportunity to kids that might not be able to participate otherwise and running it from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. allowed those afraid of the summer heat to come out as well.
“We want involvement,” said camp director Donald Buckram. “We’re not worried about the money, we just wanted the kids to come here, have fun and actually learn the sport of football. We just want humans working with humans. We ‘re all human beings. We all want to improve each other and improve our society.”
Buckram believes having the entire coaching staff, along with a plethora of current and former players on hand, makes an even bigger impact on the campers.
“I think actions speak louder than words,” said Buckram. “A lot of times people say we’re going to do this and that. We have players say every year they are going to come back and talk to the kids. We actually have athletes doing that and it shows. We have little brothers, cousins, nephews and friends are all gravitating towards Bulldawg Football again, as well as basketball, soccer and other sports. All the camps we had were very successful this summer.”
Buckram and the staff took a combine-approach mixed in with some fun to really broaden the experience for those in attendance.
“We wanted to start them off in a very serious manner, then taper back towards the end and have some fun,” said Buckram. “We wanted to make sure we taught them the fundamentals first so it will stick in their mind.”
The camp is designed to teach the fundamentals of the game, but also help the campers be a part of something bigger than themselves.
“We’re trying to teach them the fundamentals of football, how to be teammates, how to be leaders how to be good human beings in our society,” said Buckram.
Buckram acknowledges, however, that none of this would be possible without the support of the community and especially the parents.
“It’s a huge, huge thing what the parents are doing,” he said. “These kids can’t get here because none of these kids drive. If 200-plus kids show up that means 200-plus parents were here dropping off their kids. That speaks ten-fold to us coaches that the parents are buying in too.”
Buckram also knows that the success of the regular season begins in the off-season with a good work ethic and a good attitude.
“We talk about it as coaches how is comes in waves,” he said. “We kind of got in a slump of losing in the first round. The kids know, the first round is not good enough. They want to do more; they want to go deep in the playoffs.”
Buckram was impressed with the turnout of 250 kids but hopes to improve those numbers in the second year of the new format.
“About 45-50 kids came to the little kids’ camp plus the about 205 that came to this camp so we’re influencing 250 kids,” he said. “We’re trying to get that number to grow to 300 or 400 kids next year.
“We told the kids, ’when they go back to school to tell their friends that they had fun, what they did here and what all we taught them.’”
Practice for the freshmen begins at 7 a.m. on Monday. Junior varsity and varsity practice begins August 12 from 7:30-10:30 a.m. The freshman scrimmage will be held from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Aug. 9 and the varsity intersquad scrimmage will be 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 17 following a freshman scrimmage vs Buda Johnson at 8 a.m.