SALEM, Ore.– With the dawn of another season appoarching the Oregon capital in Salem, school’s around the area are doing a variety of camps in a different perspective of sports.
At McKay, it’s a opportunity for the youngsters in the area to get a feel of the local High School around them before they get to see them on Friday nights this Fall.
With kids, from kindergarten all the way up to entering eighth-grade ran around the grass that seperates the Varsity baseball and softball fields, participating in drills like route running, tackling, catching and causing fumbles to name a few of the drills that Head Coach Josh Riddell and his coaching staff threw out during the three-day Kids Camp at McKay.
Jake Sanderson, the nine-year-old son of McKays Boys Basketball Head Coach Dean Sanderson, showed off his talent on the gridiron as he too showed off his sense of humor through his shyness on what he learned from the camp.
With players floating around like a Ryan Bangs, Juan ‘Peanut’ Rangel, Anthony Tenorio and Kevin Her helping out in the camp; the feeling helping out the future Scots is just as fun as seeing the game down to it’s simplest form:
Just having fun playing the game.
“It helps me a lot, I really have fun with these kids and they’re the future of the McKay Football program and we helping them will help us in the long run,” said Her. “I’m just glad we’re doing that. I enjoyed everything.”
70 kids from Kindergarten to eighth-grade took part in the Kids Camp this year and there was a lot of excitement expressed by the coaches and the players on the field as they wrapped up camp with a team picture by the end of Wednesday’s day of camp and the camp finale.
“Our high school kids did a great job of coaching and helping out fostering that fun environment for the kids at the camp. Our coaching staff was phenomenal, kids love to be around them and they bring energy everyday,” starts Riddell.
“The bond is huge! That’s why we do this. That’s why we take time away from our own families. These are our kids! I want these kids to have pride and show them the great coaches and programs we have here. I can guarantee you this. If our youth football kids have a chance to be around our staff to learn and build a relationship with, then we won’t ever lose one of our own kids going to another school again!”
As the Football field is currently being done up with some turf, inside the McKay building and inside the basketball gym; something new was a’coming in the upcoming school year:
Bleachers and Scorestable.
“It’s really neat to see a balanced in the attention to our athletic programs,” said Scots Volleyball Head Coach Scott Coons. “When we see the new bleachers, the girls, you should’ve seen them two-weeks ago when they rolled in and saw them for the first time, they were just ecstatic. Their eyes were huge, it was like walking into Disneyland. It was a great experience for them.
“And so to have these, like this and the attention being focused on sports that our girls actually play, it’s exciting for them. It’s nice to get that balance out there.”
On both sides on the re-polished floors, were dark Green Stands and the Scots colors going horizontal on the middle rows. The stands over looking the gym above the main floor, reads ‘Scots’ in gold with the same dark-ish green stands backdrop.
“It’s always good to update things and trying to get on-pair with the other Salem-Keizer schools and I think that’s the biggest thing,” said Boys Head Coach Dean Sanderson.
“And that’s the biggest thing, with our kids going to other schools and not feeling like they’re walking into a ‘palace’ compare to where they play.
“And so that’s a good thing. It’s nice to see the leadership of the school is making it a priority to do that and the school district is on-board with it and there’s a lot of good things happening here so that the upcoming student-athletes are going to feel supported and respected and that’s a good thing.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald