PHOENIXVILLE - The turnout of just 12 youngsters for the first annual Phuture Phantoms Football Camp was far smaller than new Phoenixville Area High School head football coach Evan Breisblatt would have liked.
Yet, he and the campers still had fun going through drills at the camp held at Washington Field from July 14-17 during daytime hours.
It is the start of an intense grass-roots approach Breisblatt plans on doing with a lot of hard work in an attempt to boost numbers and build the Phantoms’ football program to a consistently high level in the competitive Pioneer Athletic Conference (PAC-10).
Breisblatt hopes that by instilling the basics into youngsters at a very young age like 8, and at the same time, getting them involved with the older kids who are already involved with the high school team, he can develop more camaraderie and skills consistency and a carry-over in success and tradition with the kind of high quality program he wishes to run at the senior high school level.
“I would like to build on this,” said Breisblatt during the July 16 morning session. “This is a first-year camp, and we are trying to build on those numbers.”
One of the problems, he feels, may have been the July dates, when a lot of people are involved with summer vacations and other activities. He plans on switching the camp date to June next year, when more kids are still around the area with their parents, following the end of the school year.
“That is our whole philosophy,” said Breisblatt. “Our numbers are not good. The philosophy for me is to integrate the young kids into this program from K (kindergarten) through 12. It starts right there. We are trying to hit on everything. Every kid can try each position. They see the technique and get exposed to everything.”
Breisblatt implemented games in the drills for the kids to have more fun while being competitive at the same time.
“We did agility and strength training, and the kids really get a kick out of it,” he said. “It is also good for the high school kids to give back.”
Breisblatt also hopes to work together with officials at the storied Phoenixville Marian Youth Club (PMYC) youth program that has been serving the community since 1956.
“I have made an effort to get involved with PMYC,” said Breisblatt. “It is a great organization that has been around for a very long time, and I am looking forward to working with them.
“I want to build a relationship with those kids. We have included the middle school kids. They have been working out with us all summer. I want to make the sixth graders feel part of the Phoenixville High School football program.”
Breisblatt wants to operate an offense that institutes the spread formation and the no-huddle concept, despite the Phantoms’ lack of numbers. He said Phoenixville will do a lot of pass plays in order to spread the field for the opposition on defense to cover, and give his backs more of a chance to run the ball successfully, with more room to operate at the point of attack for the runners and blockers.
Follow Barry Sankey on Twitter @BarryBSankey1.