By Molly Seales
On July 14-16, about 22 young men from grades 3-11 gathered on the field at Marston Stadium for summer football camp. Excitement is already in the air for football season as the varsity Rebels are coming off of a state Class 1A runner-up finish and are seeking the championship this year. When I asked Head Coach Jared Smelser about camp, he said, “We started with some basic agility drills and blocking schemes. Some of the varsity players offered their help, and it has paid off. They are working hard.”
Last year Riverdale football coaching staff gained a huge asset with the addition of defensive coordinator Jensen Spillum. Spillum was a standout on his team at Class 5A Wakeland High School in Frisco, TX, and he is currently a college student majoring in secondary education at Northwestern State University. He is passionate about the game and has brought much positive energy to the program. When I asked him about the camp he said, “These are great kids who are working hard and love the game and/or have found a love for the game. Like Coach Jared said, we are going over basics of offense and defense. Our varsity players are amazing role models for these young men and are helping with their technique and skill.”
Many of the youngsters at camp were members of last year’s Class 1A Pee-Wee Swamp Bowl Runner Up team, and they are working extra hard to try to bring the championship trophy to Riverdale for the first time in school history. The Little Rebels will lose Cannon Breedlove and Preston Eaves as they move up to 7th grade, but they will return all of their other starters. While the younger football players worked hard at camp last week, the varsity Rebels have been conditioning all summer, working out in the newly renovated weight room from 6:00-8:00 a.m. every weekday except for Friday. This shows their passion and dedication to their school and football team.
This year the Riverdale football season will kick off on Friday, August 13, as the Rebels take on the Central Pioneers in a home game in East Point. We all can’t wait to see them under the Friday night lights and wish the Little Rebels and the Rebels good luck this season!
Photo credit: Keri Dortlon
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