Kids get a taste of Cougar football
About 90 Crosby ISD incoming third through eighth graders got the chance to be on the field of Cougar Stadium and to work with the varsity coaches.
Crosby’s Cougar Football Camp took place from Tuesday, July 31-Thursday August 2, where they learned the basics of the Cougar football system and participated in competitions, such as fastest man and longest throw.
“I think in the state of Texas, football is something little kids love to play and love to be a part of, and to have the opportunity to come and run on the field that they watch their heroes play on on Friday night is a big deal to them,” said coach and Crosby ISD athletic director Jeff Riordan.
Riordan, who is entering his seventh year at the helm of the Cougar football team, remembers first meeting senior starting quarterback Jaiden Howard when he came to the camp as a rising sixth grader. He remembers meeting many of the current starters on the varsity football team when they were young kids at the Cougar Football Camp.
“You see the growth; it’s crazy,” he said. “I wish I could take pictures of these kids and give them a football IQ test as an incoming seventh grader and then compare it to when they’re seniors and just see the difference and the growth that they make towards the goal that they’ve made.”
While the camp is mostly about having fun, Riordan acknowledged that kids getting early experience plays a big role in the varsity team’s success.
“It’s crucial that our seventh and eighth grade programs are on the same page as our freshman program, which is on the same page as our JV and varsity program,” he said. “That’s the job of my middle school, freshman, and sub-varsity coaches is to prepare these guys for us, for the varsity level when they get there.”
The children’s excitement at the opportunity to be on the field at Cougar Stadium shows. They are prohibited from coming onto the field after football games for safety reasons. The Crosby ISD elementary schools have field days on the field at Cougar Stadium and display that same excitement.
“All of our great players were in our camp for the most part because they love the game, and you’ve got to love the game to be a successful like they are,” Riordan said. “Loving the game means any chance there is for football you’re getting here and you’re doing what you can to be a part of football when it’s going on.”