Coach O’Brien Bennett’s Unaka Football Camp

Published 4:23 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

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By C.Y. Peters

Coach O’Brien Bennett’s Unaka Football Camp was a remarkable event, held at Goddard Field, home of the Rangers. This three-day camp, aimed at nurturing young football talents, drew nearly 35 eager participants of all ages. With the support of senior players Marcus Shomaker and Isaiah White, the camp offered a comprehensive and enjoyable introduction to the sport.

The camp was free of charge, ensuring accessibility for all young aspiring athletes. Shomaker and White, both experienced and enthusiastic players, led the sessions with dedication. Shomaker, reflecting on the experience, said, “I’m thankful that God has allowed me to help lead the next generation while having a fun bonding experience with them. The turnout we had for the first time ever was insane. Kids were able to have fun with their buddies and new faces while learning the basics of football. I hope to continue this camp so that the high school will have some great players in the future.”

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Throughout the three days, the young players were immersed in various football drills, focusing on essential skills such as blocking and catching. Coach Bennett observed the budding talents with a keen eye, noting the potential in many of the participants. His passion for developing future stars was evident as he encouraged each child, fostering a positive and supportive environment.

“It’s always a blast getting to work with our younger kids, teaching fundamentals, building relationships, and having fun,” Coach Bennett said. “I’m pretty sure our coaches had more fun than anybody this week. The future looks bright on Stoney Creek!”

The highlight of the camp was the seven-on-seven games held at the end of each day. These matches provided the young athletes with an opportunity to apply what they had learned in a fun, competitive setting. Laughter and cheers filled the air as the kids bonded over their shared love for the game, creating lasting memories and friendships. The success of the camp was undeniable.

Parents and community members praised the initiative, recognizing the valuable experience it provided for their children. The camp not only introduced young players to the fundamentals of football but also instilled a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship. Coach Bennett, along with Shomaker and White, hoped to make the camp an annual tradition. The positive impact on the youth and the community underscored the importance of such events in cultivating the next generation of football stars. As the camp concluded, there was a palpable sense of excitement for the future of Unaka High School football.