By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison High School varsity football head coach Bryan Schoonover is working to develop a love of football in today’s youth as well as developing their playing skills.
As part of this effort, Schoonover and his coaching staff held a youth football camp on June 10 for ages 6-13 on the historic football field at Groveport Madison Middle School Central, a field where the school’s mascot, Cruiser, once roamed in his paddock in the 19th century.
“We want you to be with us. We want you to be a Groveport Cruiser,” Schoonover told the young athletes at the camp.
The coaching staff instructed the eager kids through a variety of drills as well as a quick, gleefully played game of speedball where the ball keeps moving through non-stop passes until a team reaches the goal line.
“It’s fun to interact with the kids,” said Schoonover. “We want them to have contact with the varsity players and get to know our coaches. It’s a way to build a bond and help get the kids excited about playing football.”
Schoonover said he has also been working with the local youth athletic organizations – the GMYA (Groveport Madison Youth Association) and the GYAA (Groveport Youth Athletic Association) – to further connect with today’s young athletes.
Debbie Miller of the GMYA said she was thrilled that the varsity coaches held the youth football camp.
“It’s great for these kids to be able to work with the high school coaches,” said Miller. “Coach Schoonover goes above and beyond.”
Miller said football builds teamwork and discipline.
“Football is not an ‘I’ sport, it’s a team sport,” said Miller.
Miller said the GMYA football teams practice at Sedalia Elementary and play their games at Brobst Park on Winchester Pike.
“We had eight teams last year and we expect more this year,” said Miller.
For information on the GMYA, call Miller at (614) 402-8157 or visit gmya.net.
GYAA Board Vice-President/Director of Football Mike Kimbler said the GYAA holds practices at Glendening Elementary as well as Groveport Madison Middle School South. Home games are played at Groveport Madison Middle School South.
“We (GYAA) are a member of the Mini-OCC,” said Kimbler. “The league consists of Reynoldsburg and Gahanna, as well as Whitehall and Grove City, whom are new to the Mini-OCC effective this season. We are currently developing a new website at Groveportyouth.org which is up and running on a limited scale.”
For information on the GYAA call (614) 470-0077 or email Gyaa_email@yahoo.com.