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High school football and how times have changed

By Tim Winters, 05/01/12, 3:00PM EDT


Four seasons and sports

As sports fans there was a time that we could easily identify seasonal changes by the ball being bounced or thrown around in the backyard or neighborhood playground.  As with many things, times have changed.  A sport like high school football for instance officially starts its season in the Carolinas in mid-August and ends during the first week of December.

If August is a few months away then why are thousands of young football players and their parents committing themselves to football camps for additional months of physical and mental strain from such a demanding sport?

The bottom-line answer is exposure and opportunity. Football camps and combines offer both plus the added bonus of qualified onsite coaching.  A college scholarship offer is the ultimate goal and in a highly competitive sport that demands the most from its competitors; there is no break for the weary.  High school football today is a 24/7, 365 day affair.  Okay we might be exaggerating but only slightly.  Union County played a role this weekend in the exposure and opportunity business.

Cuthbertson High School and Wingate University hosted two football camps, Football University (FBU) Charlotte and Hawg Tuff, respectively.  Hundreds of players took to these two county football facilities to display their talent, receive quality coaching and hone their skills.  Some of us can barely make it out of bed early on a weekend morning.  These talented young men were out of the house by the crack of dawn. They attended classroom sessions about position-specific techniques and leadership building in addition to on-field workouts on individual drills like route running, throwing motion and blocking schemes.

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson

FBU is an invite only camp that focuses on developing and enhancing the playmaking ability and skill of elite-level athletes in 6th to 11th grade.  The training provided by FBU is provided by the NFL’s top coaches like former NFL great, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and Former Pro Bowl and All-Pro cornerback Cris Dishman. Hawg Tuff offers  coaching to 3rd graders up to rising seniors from a select group of 20 top-line high school/college coaches from the area.

Football offers opportunity and these young men are seizing the chance to make themselves better people and players.  The initial goal for many of these players is to build an athletic resume to compliment their scholastic resume with the hope of a college scholarship offer to a Division I football program.  A small percentage of football players that participated over the weekend will achieve that goal and play for a major program.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, these young football players have dedicated themselves to hard work that many of us take for granted.  Football is more than just a Friday night event. Football requires a ton of smarts, strength and commitment plus the willingness to push oneself to be better.

[Congratulations to one of our local football stars, Chris DuChateau (WR/DB) of Cuthbertson High School who was invited to attend FBU’s Top Gun camp in July.  The camp will take place in Williamsburg, Virginia and will play host to the top athletes from all of FBU’s 2012 regional events.  Quite an accomplishment- way to go Chris!]

Union County Players at football camps