The North Union Wildcat football coaches have been putting stock in the future of the program. For the past three seasons head coach Nick Hajjar and his crew of coaches have opted to give their incoming freshman classes their full attention by breaking up the entire football squad into two groups while attending their 10-day camps.
The sophomore, junior and senior classes attend the first session, while the freshmen group get the entire coaching staff in the second session of the day to teach them the basics of what Hajjar will want out of them over their next four seasons.
“They (freshmen) get the entire high school staff to teach them the foundation of offense and defense that they will need,” Hajjar said. “The younger kids are the life of our program.”
Hajjar said the move came when he realized the staff was “naturally gravitating to the older kids.”
“We thought we could do better,” Hajjar added. “We want to create a positive experience through athletics and one thing that isn’t fun is standing around.”
This year’s crew of newcomers brings 24 new faces to the program. Hajjar said that not only are numbers high for the incoming class but they are also diverse.
According to Hajjar, each class will come in with either more linemen or skilled positions, like running backs, wide receivers or quarterbacks, but this year’s freshmen class has a lot of diversity.
“They have depth at every position,” he added. “This allows us to really run an all freshmen practice were we can fill nearly all positions on the field.”
The football coach added that the all freshmen practice allows coaches to slow down the pace of practice so the kids can learn.
Hajjar has broken the freshmen squad into two groups allowing every player to get more repetitions and more hands on practice. Hajjar hopes that by breaking up the team it will help the kids understand the game better and hopefully transfer to more preparation for games. The Wildcats are also fielding a full freshmen team this season were they will get to take what they have learned to compete in eight games this upcoming season.
With practices starting tomorrow for the Wildcats, were the two teams that have been apart for the past two weeks will reunite, it will be about finding the best player for the job, Hajjar said.
“Age is just a number,” he said. “They (the freshmen) are one of us.”
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