Ready for some football?
Published: Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
The Gainesville Dolphins Youth Sports Foundation got a glimpse of some of the talent it will be suiting up on the field during is inaugural season this fall at a free football camp held last Wednesday morning at Lincoln Park.
What: Practices are under way for the Gainesville Dolphins Youth Sports Foundation.
When: 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Where: Lincoln Park, SE 15th Street.
Cost: $85; deadline Aug. 1.
Information: Call 352-281-0739 or visit www.gainesvilledolphins.org.
Antonio Desue, founder of the program, estimated that more than 40 players ages 4-14 participated in the camp, which came to a premature end when it began to rain. Lincoln Park is located off SE 15th Street behind Lincoln Middle and Williams Elementary schools.
The Dolphins will have football for ages 4-6, who will play flag football, and a tackle football program for ages 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14. There also will be cheerleading for girls and teens ages 4-14.
The registration fee is $85 and can be completed online at www.gainesvilledolphins.org. There is a discount for families who register three or more children. The deadline to register is Aug. 1.
The Dolphins will be participating in the Mid Florida Football Conference and the first official game will be at Oak Hall School against the Orlando Titans. Practices, which started last Friday, will be held at Lincoln Park.
Before the rain came down, the camp was split into two groups, with ages 4-6 squaring off against each other in a flag football scrimmage and ages 7-12 participating in an aggressive touch-football scrimmage. One of the defensive players in the scrimmage with the younger players was tired of being on defense, and asked out loud, "How long are they going to have the ball."
Desue said the camp was held to give coaches a chance to teach players fundamentals and to give those interested in playing in the new league a chance to get familiar with the program.
"We have roughly 60 kids who have registered already, and we want about 120 in the program," Desue said. "We really need kids in the 13-14 age group."
Camp participants performed agility, pass catching and other drills, ran the 40-yard dash and practiced the fundamentals of football, such as blocking and tackling.
Several of the players said they enjoyed participating in the camp. Likeeyo Young, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Caring & Sharing Learning Center, said he is excited about being a part of the program.
"This camp is fun, and it is teaching me how to catch and about the fundamentals of football," said Likeeyo, adding that he just wants to help the Dolphins win when the season starts. "It don't matter what position I play, I just want to play, but I like catching and running a lot."
Like Likeeyo, 12-year-old Brandon Martin had fun at the camp, too, and is looking forward to being part of a winning program.
"I feel the drills at the camp today made us better," said Brandon, a student at Sweetwater Branch Academy. When asked what position he wants to play, Brandon said it doesn't matter.
"I just like helping the team by having good sportsmanship," Brandon said. "I also like hitting people hard when I make tackles."
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