The Culver football program took 24 kids to Boise State University for a football team camp June 13-16.
Culver decided to change things up this year after having a camp at Western Oregon University last year. Shea Little took over the football program this season for previous coach Jesus Retano.
"We mixed things up with our camp this year just because there were a few team issues last year and we wanted to switch things up," Little said. "There was a little more opportunity for some fun in Boise. My wife grew up in that area and I have family and friends there. I knew some good head coaches down there and they said nothing but good things about this camp."
The Bulldogs drove to the camp, but on the way, they stopped at several different places for fun. Culver floated along the Boise River and stopped at a water park on the way back. The team stayed at a house this year instead of the normal dorm rooms.
"Our focus this year was really to bring the team together and have some fun," Little said. "We also wanted to improve our football skills with the Boise State camp. We are still trying to recruit kids and get numbers up, so those are the reasons we switched things up."
Culver was able to see a lot of bigger schools and elite programs at the Broncos football camp, allowing them to become exposed to tough competition.
"Just to be able to expose these kids to that atmosphere is good and to let them see that stuff," Little said. "Our kids brought a lot of energy. The camp coaches said we were one of the smallest schools, but you are the most jacked up, excited team. The kids were out there screaming, hitting hard and having a good time."
"They made a good showing and the camp was good for the technique and fundamentals," he said. "The exposure to the bigger program, as far as what is out there when it comes to football, was really good for them."
Teams not only go to team camps to become better, but also to get to know their teammates and the type of bond they will have. A football team has to be just that, a team, and preseason camps are the place to build comradery.
"This type of stuff is huge," Little said. "We have been able to do a lot of team bonding this year and it was pretty funny to see around 33 people in the house, including coaches together, looking like little sausages, all sleeping in sleeping bags. Off of the field and away from the camp was awesome team bonding and the kids were able to get to know each other all the way from incoming freshman to seniors."
"It was awesome and it is a huge focus for us," he said. "We want to get family more involved, want to get the kids bought in and create excitement. Football starts the season off for the entire school year, so we need to get kids excited."
The camp has ended for the Bulldogs, but the work is just now starting. Culver has their weight room program starting July 1. They also have a youth football camp Aug. 12-15, and a few fundraisers following.
"Our focus is to keep things going," said Little. "We have some barbecues later and are going to hit the weights soon. We just received some money for the weight room and have already picked up some new weight equipment. We will do some seven-on-seven tournaments with some local schools."
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