Youth learn skills, meet players at Oak Mountain football camp

Published 8:18 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

By SCOTT MIMS | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – Close to 150 young athletes entering kindergarten through sixth grade participated in Oak Mountain High School’s football youth camp held at Heardmont Park July 12-14.

The kids took to the field at Heardmont Stadium and learned fundamentals of the sport through various drills held at eight specific stations around the field. During that time, they had an opportunity to meet and interact with high school players and coaches.

Oak Mountain football head coach Tyler Crane said this is the camp’s second year in its current format.

“Every kid gets to do every position,” he said. “It lets them do everything. It makes it fun for them.”

Crane said the camp’s drills are designed to make football an accessible and fun experience. At this stage, he said, it isn’t about winning championships as much as it is simply enjoying the sport and making connections.

In addition to creating a bond between youth and players, the camp allows coaches and players to meet the parents of Oak Mountain football hopefuls.

It also allows the school’s athletic department to reach out to newly rezoned areas of the community, such as Highland Lakes, Mt Laurel, Shoal Creek and The Narrows.

“I want to make football something that they want to be a part of,” Crane said. “Just showing the parents too that we’re there to work with the kids and have fun, and it can be safe. We can do really good drills, and it’s also good for the youth to come out and see how we do things too.”

The next date on the calendar for Oak Mountain football is the annual Eagle Day set for Saturday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. On this day, the school will welcome vendors and members of the community to celebrate the return of football season.

A jamboree game is scheduled for the following week, and the season will kick off Friday, Aug. 19 against Northridge back on their home field.

“It’s been really good, and we’re excited about the future and we’re excited about the direction we are headed and can’t wait to see where we are able to take it,” Crane said.