Nearly 50 young gridders turned out for the clinic, which was held at Honesdale High School
In what can only be construed as a positive sign for the future of local scholastic football, a large number of youngsters turned out for this year's Wayne County Commissioners Camp.
The annual summer clinic was held at Honesdale High School and overseen by Hornet coaches and current varsity players, under the direction of veteran skipper Mike Jurkowski.
It took place from Monday, July 31 through Thursday, August 3.
“I'm really happy with how camp went this year,” Mike said. “The weather cooperated for the most part and we had a great turnout.”
More than 50 youngsters from fourth through ninth grade attended the clinic. They received one-on-one coaching in all aspects of the game.
“We focused on offense, defense and special teams at specific times,” Mike said.
“And, then we played football! That was by far the kids' favorite aspect of camp. We played pick-up games every day and they absolutely loved it.”
In addition to Jurkowski, several other Hornet coaches also volunteered their time to help make this year's camp a success.
Varsity assistants Allen “Butch” Keller, Gene Biscontini, Jeremy Ebert, Jeff Kent and Joe Kusciuk were down in the trenches with the kids each day.
Current members of the varsity squad also took time out to lend a hand.
Alex Atcavage, Garyn Barnes, Beau Freiermuth, Ethan Dunn, Rhett Boyce, Luke Bancroft, Jake Kabonick, Justin LoBasso, Hunter Parenti.
All three Wayne County Commissioners made an appearance on the final day of this year's camp, a fact that impressed the kids and earned high marks from Coach Jurkowski.
“Their continued support of our youth sports program is a perfect example of why this is such a great community,” he said. “I'm very grateful to them for everything they do.”
For their part, the commissioners were more than happy to take a few minutes out of their busy day to talk with campers.
“We really appreciate the hard work all these coaches and volunteers put in,” Commissioner Joe Adams said. “Camps like this one stress the importance of teamwork, fitness and fun and those are things we're glad to support.”
Commissioner Wendell Kay was quick to echo those thoughts, saying:
“My own children were very involved in sports and I think it taught them a great deal about life,” he said. “I'm always happy to come out to a camp like this one and see so many smiling faces. These kids are our future.”
Board President Brian Smith also commented, noting the Commissioners' long history of supporting youth sports programs.
“We've always believed that it's important to provide kids with positive things to do during the summer,” he said.
“If they're engaged in positive activities, like sports, then hopefully they aren't tempted to get involved with less desirable things. Sports teaches many valuable lessons that kids can apply to their lives.”
On the Horizon
This year's junior high football camp was made possible in part through cooperation with the Wayne Highlands Youth Football organization
Many of these players will be back on the field as Honesdale's invited guests on Opening Night of the Lackawanna Football Conference campaign.
The Stingers are asked to wear their jerseys so that they can run out onto the field with their varsity counterparts Friday, Aug. 25 when the Hornets battle Wilkes Barre GAR.
“We're inviting all of the Stingers to come out and join us,” Coach Jurkowski said. “It's going to be a fun night and we really want them to be part of it. We want the Stingers to help lead us to that first win of the season.”
Opening kick-off for this contest is slated for 7 p.m. at the HHS Complex.