By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– With their next big tournament next weekend in the Tri Cities, Washington-area next weekend, with Salem-native Dylan Young, former Withworth quarterback Johan Koski and a few other coaches brought some of their Middle School athlete’s that are apart of the EForce program down to Salem Academy Sunday afternoon.
For Young, who went to High School at near-by North Salem High School, and (Last name), its cool to give back in some way to the younger kids as they warm-up for some Sunday Funday games.
“It’s an awesome experience to share the knowledge I’ve learned over my long career from many great coaches that I’ve been blessed to be coached by,” said Young who was also on the Southern Oregon University National Championship team in 2014. “Passing it on to these younger guys brings a lot of joy to me because every week I see each kid taking a step forward in their young careers!
“Traveling with them is pretty sweet, begin able to watch each kid flip that switched from practice to live game reps and see how hungry each and everyone of our kids are to go make plays and win ball games is cool to watch. It’s huge for these young kids to have EForce to go to in the off season and it’s something I wish we had when I was in High School. Begin able to develop your skills all year round is key to taking huge strides each and every year.”
Koski, like Young, wished that he had this similar opportunity growing up as he also get’s to give back to the kids involved in the sport of Football.
“Oh it’s fantastic, being able to teach the game, I wish I had it when I was a kid,” said Koski. “It’s getting them outside of backyard football and actually getting them onto the field and teaching them the fundamentals. It almost brings back more love for the games and the joy and the excitement in the kids everyday when they come out to practice.”
The group of kids were split up into a ‘orange’ team and a ‘black’ team, but warmed up together as a collective unit with stretching and working on some route tree’s like hitch-seam combinations that High Schoolers run on a regular basis before the two teams split up for the games.
Just the little things that the kids could and can translate over to when the pads start popping in the Fall.
“It definitely helps a lot, I did their summer camps and this Football season it really helped me,” said sixth-grader Tommy Pempel. “They taught me how to be explosive and how to run complex routes and complex defenses, so it’s been really fun and it really helped me with this and my tackle season too.”
Prempel, who plays Running Back, Wide Reciever, Cornerback and Safety, is entering his third season with EForce and just the environment of being around the coaches has made the experience a real enjoyable one for him.
“It’s awesome, these coaches are great this is going to be my third-year with EForce so I’m really been taking a lot from them and it’s just been a great experience,” said sixth-grader Tommy Pempel, who was on Young’s Orange Team Sunday. “They bring a fun energy to practice and to game, where it’s fun to learn instead of sit down and watch coach yell at you.”
When the teams split up, orange on one side of the field and black on the other, Young and Koski were the main voices of the teams. They were interacting with players in showing them where to line up offensively for their particular route or helping them out lining up and adjusting defensively.
For Luke Baker, who was playing with Koski and the black team, the fifth-grader enjoys the fact he gets to learn from a college quarterback while getting to make new friends thanks to the program.
“It’s fun to play with friends I don’t know and throwing to people I don’t know and just trying to figure out how to get into this program,” said Baker. “It’s just fun seeing that a quarterback that’s my coach so he helps me every drive with something that I do wrong or anything like that.”
And as they switched opponents after about 20 minutes to get a different look, the Lake Oswego-based EForce will be traveling up to the Tri Cities, Washington-area next weekend for a tournament before returning to Salem May 5 and 6 for a Tournament back in the Cherry City.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald