Dozens turn out for first-ever Copperas Cove Bulldawgs Football Combine
By SEAN HANEY
At 9 a.m. sharp on Saturday, dozens and dozens of kids lined up at the gates outside of Bulldawg stadium for Copperas Cove’s first-ever 7th – 8th grade football combine.
The morning started off with Head Coach Tony Johnson introducing himself and explaining what the day had in store for them.
With stretches like shuffles, high knees, and the crossover done from the goal line to the 10-yard line, their blood was pumping, and they were ready to tackle the day.
Everything then got more in depth, when the kids got split into two groups.
The first group was sent to get their height and weight taken, and the second group ran 40-yard dashes and were timed.
Once both groups were done with each event, they swapped places so that the group doing height and weight ran 40-yard dashes and the group running dashes were getting height and weight done.
Kid after kid sprinted as fast as they could, looking like they were sprinting at the NFL Combine.
With all kids completing both events, Coach Johnson then asked kids which offensive positions they wanted to play, and then were sent to their respective groups.
The offensive positions available included quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and offensive linemen.
Unlike the 2nd – 6th grade football camp, these kids did not switch around to every position because they knew already what position they wanted to play or have already been playing.
They were allotted 20 minutes at their offensive positions and then they were swapped to their defensive positions, where they were allowed 20 minutes as well.
The offensive linemen were taught how to properly step and follow through with their blocking and then went to defensive line. The running backs were taught how to hold onto a ball and how to protect it when a defender is trying to strip the ball from them.
Wide receivers were taught how to watch the ball, to know when to move off the line, and how to catch the ball properly. Then both positions switched to defensive backs. The quarterbacks learned how to hold the ball and throw it properly, and tight ends were mainly taught how to block off the line, and then they were put at linebacker.
Coach Johnson was very excited by the knowledge and commitment each one of the kids had for learning and improving their skills at their positions.
“I’m not real sure how much those junior high kids were loved on in the past. We understand they are our lifeline,” Johnson said. “I am excited about the future Bulldawgs. Today’s 7th and 8th graders will be under those Friday night lights before we know it. Our staff is excited to be a part of their journey.”