The bright sunshine was a perfect setting for the annual Eastlake Wolves True Champions football camp in mid-July.
The camp, which was for football players between second and sixth grade, took place from July 16-19 at Eastlake High School in Sammamish. Eastlake Wolves head football coach Don Bartel, who will be in his sixth season leading the Wolves on the gridiron this fall, said there was close to 60 players in attendance for the four-day camp.
Bartel said competition was the mantra every single day.
“We played tons of games. It was really fun. There was just so much competition throughout whether it was an obstacle course or relay sprints. One of the best drills we had was the chase drill where you are chasing the guy in front of you while trying to run away from the guy behind you. We had a fastest player in camp award too. There was a ton of competition,” Bartel said. “We also had a four-team relay throw like a relay drill in baseball only we did it with the football.”
Throughout the camp, Bartel made sure each player partook in a plethora of water breaks due to the high temperatures. The first days of camp (July 16-17) were much hotter than the final two days of camp (July 18-19).
“We kept telling the kids it doesn’t matter if you think you need to drink water or not, you need to drink water,” Bartel said.
Bartel enjoyed seeing members of the Eastlake football team offering sharing their wisdom and knowledge of the game with campers in attendance. Eastlake players were in charge of a plethora of stations throughout the duration of camp. Eastlake players arrived at the stadium each morning at around 8:30 a.m. to greet campers.
“It is always a great indicator or a kids self confidence. If a kid is self assured, he has no problem interacting and engaging with kids a lot younger than him,” Bartel said of his players coaching up the campers. “Seeing them interact and how they handle things on the run was a great thing to see.”