Local Sports

Football fundamentals

Highlands Today The fourth annual Heartland Football Camp is set for Friday, July 5, at the Highlands County Sports Complex. The one-day camp runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the cost is $35 per camper. For those receiving free or reduced school lunches the cost is $15 per camper. The popular camp is for those going into the third grade all the way up to the 12th grade and is led by Sebring football coach LaVaaar Scott.
"We want all the kids to come out and participate in this camp," Scott said. "If you don't have the money for the camp show up anyway because we have sponsorships that will take care of the cost. "We don't want money to be the reason why a kid doesn't come to the camp." Cost of the camp includes instruction from Coach Scott and former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Kenny Kelly and other outstanding coaches, as well as insurance, lunch, T-shirt, awards and gifts. "We hope to get bigger and better every year," Coach Scott said. "We will go over the fundamentals of the game on offense and defense so every position will get some attention. "We'll have speed work, agility drills, NFL combine drills and then the players will break off into their different groups. "We'll break for lunch and have a guest speaker talk to the kids about doing the right things on and off the field." Scott, who was a standout player at Sebring High, went on to play football at the University of Miami and is entering his third year as the head football coach of the Blue Streaks. "This is for all kids and we're starting to get a better turnout of players from Avon Park and Lake Placid," Scott said. "This gives kids something to do in the summer and learn more about the game of football from some great minds. "That's not to take away from what they've learned from their coaches around here, but this is just to add to their knowledge." Kenny Kelly, who besides playing football for the Hurricanes, also played professional baseball, is now the offensive coordinator at Bartow High School. Kevin Patrick is one of the coaches on hand for the Heartland Football Camp, and he was the offensive line coach for the University of South Florida until head coach Skip Holtz was fired. "We have outstanding coaches on hand for the camp," Scott said. "They know what it takes to succeed at a high level and the campers have a great opportunity to learn the right way to do things." The Heartland Football Camp is aided financially by the Mary Toney H.O.P.E. Foundation. "Mary Toney was my grandmother and the foundation stands for Helping Other People Elevate," Scott said. "We host several community events during the year and its all about helping kids in this area." The camp was a two-day affair before, but Scott is going to have a full day of fun and fundamentals packed into the nine hours. "This is a great deal for the kids and we're going to make sure they learn and enjoy themselves during the day," Scott said. "We want to help everyone improve their skill level and this camp is going to help them do that and maybe learn something they didn't know about the game." For more information, contact Scott at 863-214-3880. "We encourage the kids to come out and this is my way of giving back to the community," the Blue Streak coach said. "My goal is to one day hold this camp and it will be free for all the kids." mpinson@highlandstoday.com 863-385-5837