“I have three questions for you. Did you learn something today? Did you get better? And most importantly did you have fun? Enjoy the game. That’s what I want you guys to do,” said South Stokes football coach Jonathan Frasher to a group of attentive Walnut Cove Wildcat players on Friday night.
As a guest speaker Frasher concluded the annual three-day football and cheer camp held at the Lions Park.
“In football all 11 people have to do their job,” the coach said. “That teaches you character. It teaches things like courage, honesty, integrity, loyalty, sacrifice and all the things that are going to take you through life.”
Jonathan Tuttle helped organize the camp and also serves as vice president of the Surry County Little League Organization which consists of eight football and cheer programs, three in Stokes County and five in Surry.
“We’re trying to develop a football culture,” Tuttle said. “We should have around 65 players, another 30 cheerleaders so we’ll have around 100 kids involved in Walnut Cove.”
This year the camp focused on teaching fundamentals but also included a Marshawn Lynch running back challenge and an ironman competition allowing athletes to push a jeep in neutral across a field.
“We want to make it fun for them and they loved it,” Tuttle said. “This is the age they should start having a love for the game. I started out on this field back in 1978 and I still love it. When you get that, you want to keep coming back whatever age you are.”
The program also brought in former South Stokes standout, Justin Rogers who was part of the Walnut Cove Wildcats program and now plays at the collegiate level and Southeastern football coach David Ross.
“It’s a way to give back to the community,” Tuttle said. “We have a number of South Stokes players who have played beyond high school and we’re proud of them.”
Although the Wildcats saw a decline in numbers last year Tuttle believes the program is heading in the right direction.
“We have some younger coaches who have come on which is good and we have Nick Booth serving as president and Lyle Chaney as vice president. I think this year the kids are working hard and we’re going to be competitive along with the other Stokes teams.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.