Stillwater News Press

July 9, 2013

Stillwater youth get early taste of Pioneer football

By Andrew Glover
aglover@stwnewspress.com

STILLWATER, Okla. — Many Stillwater area children got a little taste of what being a Pioneer football player is like as the second session of Stillwater High School’s youth camp began Tuesday at Pioneer Stadium.

“We got a good group of kids. A bunch of them were here the first session,” coach Tucker Barnard said. “It’s exciting for us. It’s one of the reasons we set the camp up the way we did — to extend the football these kids are getting during the summer.”

Each session is three weeks, with campers attending one day a week. The first session was last month. Rain kept the campers indoors. Tuesday’s weather was much different as temperatures were in the 90s.

“It was good. I think everyone was suffering a little bit, with the time off and being back out in the heat," Barnard said. “Our high school kids got a little heated up. With the younger kids, we had to take more breaks than we had in previous weeks.”

Barnard said they are going over the same thing as the first session but are adding a few things in.

“There’s a few new things that we add on from the first session,” Barnard said. “Because we have so many kids from the first session, they’re already familiar with what we are doing. So, we can take it one step further. The other kids, may not have gotten quite the background but they can catch on. It’s kind of the way we progress with our high school and junior high.”

The campers learned different offensive and defensive drills. Towards the end of camp, they scrimmaged against each other. Barnard said the drills they teach are similar to what his high school students do in practice.

“For the three hours prior to (the campers) coming out, we have seventh through 12th graders out here,” Barnard said. “We are running the same drills, just at slower pace. We use the same terminology that we use with our high school guys.”

Though it will be a few years before the campers become a part of Barnard’s system, the coach said it’s important for him and his staff to develop an early relationship with kids.

“If there is a better stadium in Oklahoma, I don’t know where it is,” Barnard said. “If you are a Stillwater kid or an area kid it should be pretty fun playing on this field.

“Hopefully, the end result is these kids as they are coming up will know who we are as coaches. Recognize us and get familiar with us and keep coming out and playing football.”