Football camp brings past, present and future together at WA

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch
William Ganuken, 10, practices tackling at the Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Elliot Stoss, 8, and Jack Sellers, 10, participate in a catching drill at football camp at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Aaron Crossley, 12, throws the ball to another player in a quarterback drill during football camp at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch
Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca, right, teaches an exercise on how to throw a football at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. - - Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

WEST PITTSTON – The past, present and future of the Wyoming Area football team shared Sobeski Stadium – the game field and adjacent practice areas – July 20 for the program’s annual Warriors Football Camp.

“This is the day we bring everybody together,” Wyoming Area head football coach Randy Spencer said. “It’s the highlight of our summer program and it serves many masters.”

The Wyoming Area coaching staff, alumni and current players serve as instructors for youngsters, many of whom aspire to be future Warriors, but also some who simply are learning about the game to help them better understand it as they follow it in the years ahead. Members of the current Wyoming Area junior high team went through the stations of football drills with the “campers,” making for more than 100 participants in the four-hour Friday evening session.

“The alumni come in and we also golf (the next morning),” Spencer said. “We’ve made a long weekend for them. They can come, get on the field, connect with the kids and then the next day go and hack up the golf course and have some fun.”

Spencer likes the contact between current players and those from the past who they may have heard about and also likes the alumni to get to know the players they continue to support in multiple ways.

“They do a tremendous job supporting our program,” he said. “Financially, with the way budgets are and circumstances, our alumni association sponsors about a third of our budget at this point.

“That’s not the only reason they’re here. They’re a great energetic group and they do a fantastic job of putting energy into the financial support. It’s so nice for them to come in and have this type of experience as well.”

Spencer said the players meet some of those responsible for the “tradition and legacy” of the program and get to see first-hand how much they still are about it.

“Going into our season, it’s a great thing for our players to learn from,” Spencer said. “But, then also the youth, getting to play out here. They’re playing football, they’re moving around on the field and they’re making connections.

“These are the same kids who will be in our stands on Friday nights and whether they go on to play or not, they’re a part of our Warrior Nation. It helps our players understand that those little eyes and minds are on them on Friday nights and it’s about so much more than themselves.”

The youth players moved from spot to spot on the field, learning different aspects of the game, then trying out the skills they were taught. Between sessions, they also heard from some of the alumni about what they got out of being part of the Wyoming Area football program.

“It’s really evolved,” Spencer said. “When you first start, you say, ‘we’re going to do skills development in a really football-focused camp’. As much as this is about football, it’s more about being in a football environment, having that positive energy of a program and it’s just turned into a football-fun day and a football experience that everybody can be a part.

“It’s not just recruiting, it’s connecting with the community on every level.”

William Ganuken, 10, practices tackling at the Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_PSD072918FootballCamp1.jpgWilliam Ganuken, 10, practices tackling at the Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Elliot Stoss, 8, and Jack Sellers, 10, participate in a catching drill at football camp at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_PSD072918FootballCamp3.jpgElliot Stoss, 8, and Jack Sellers, 10, participate in a catching drill at football camp at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Aaron Crossley, 12, throws the ball to another player in a quarterback drill during football camp at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_PSD072918FootballCamp4.jpgAaron Crossley, 12, throws the ball to another player in a quarterback drill during football camp at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

Wyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca, right, teaches an exercise on how to throw a football at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_PSD072918FootballCamp5.jpgWyoming Area quarterback Dominic DeLuca, right, teaches an exercise on how to throw a football at Wyoming Area football field in West Pittston. Sean McKeag | Sunday Dispatch

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or email sd@psdispatch.com

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or email sd@psdispatch.com