Big guys give little guys some pointers
It’s not simply about going out and learning a couple things about the game of football, but about older kids passing on knowledge and experience while being positive role models for the next graduating class of Wellington High, 15 years from now.
The 2012 Wellington Dukes football camp kicked off Monday morning at the Dukes athletic complex located off Dickson Street.
Kids of all ages came to participate in the event organized by Rick Malinovsky.
“The youngest boy out there is a first-grader. I got a call from his mom asking if he’s too young, she said he just loves football and wants to play so bad, but she wanted to make sure. Oh he’s out there, he might be the smallest one, but he’s out there,” Malinovsky said.
The camp focuses on basic football skills, such as passing and how to stretch and warm up, but usually stays injury free as no one is getting hit.
“The camp is strictly no contact. They learn blocking, and they might hit the blocking pads, but not each other,” Malinovsky said.
The Wellington High School football coach was in attendance and has been happy about getting the young kids involved to breed future success.
“The kids get to follow behind what’s been done. We (the high school team) had camp this morning. I’m pleased with the effort of our young men. We made the playoffs last year and want to build on that, they’ve been in the weight room, they have great attitudes, and they’re positive,” said head coach Matt Stoll.
Beyond the football skills, both the younger and older kids are learning about community. The camp has been around long enough that some of the high school players that are helping out have gone through the program before. They remember what it was like to look up at giants, to be a bit unsure, to want to be like the bigger player.
The older kids were compassionate, funny, and helpful with the younger group, learning about what it takes to grow a village while teaching the three-point stance.
Malinovsky has seen the impact on the kids and town throughout his years with the camp.
“This is the eighth year I’ve been involved (with the camp). The kids get taught how to stretch, calisthenics, basic warm ups. They go to different stations, work on agility.
“It’s good times, watching these kids, sometimes you see a kid running a passing route the wrong way,” Malinovsky said.
Malinovsky, through his years with the football program, has seen friends and family members go through the program.
“It’s good for the young ones, helps them out. My grandson came to camp when he was in the fourth grade, now he’s a junior and still playing. Between the youth camp, youth football, the kids can really get invested in playing,” Malinovsky said.
Football camp questions or any questions about the Dukes football golf outing on July 28 should be directed to Malinovsky at 440-840- 0025, or check out the Wellington Fullbacks on Facebook.
by ADAM FOX