The Walnut Cove Wildcats are revving up for football and cheer season and hosted a weeklong camp last week at Lions Park to kick off the official first practice which begins Monday, July 31 at 6 p.m.
“We want the kids to come out and have fun and to see if they like playing,” stated Wildcats president Jon Tuttle. “We like to focus on the fundamentals of the game and use this as a spring board to our season.”
The camp featured close to 40 football players with a focus on blocking, tackling, conditioning, and words of wisdom from special guest speakers within the community.
South Stokes football coach Mike Holmes said playing football at a young age gives athletes an advantage and helps propel them at the high school level.
“You start building that bond at an early age,” the coach said. “Early success will bring the same when they get older. Programs like this are imperative for a high school program to be successful. We just want to encourage them and let them know we would be watching them from a distance.”
Southeastern Stokes Middle School coach Rob Birchfield echoed the same sentiment.
“It’s all about learning the fundamentals of the game at an early age,” he said. “We get so many kids that have never played before and we spend a lot of time focused on teaching them the game instead of being able do more advanced things. We have to keep it simple and sometimes that hurts us.”
The Wildcats are expected to have 20 plus kids on each of their freshmen and JV teams and as of now, have 15 signed up on the varsity team.
“Our numbers are up this year,” stated Tuttle. “We are expecting more to come out and we don’t plan on being at the bottom of the standings this year. We have set our goals high.”
The Walnut Cove Wildcats begin their first practice on Monday and the program’s first game is Saturday, Sept. 2 against the West Stokes Prowlers at North Stokes High School.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.