West Limestone football coach Shelby Davis is trying to raise the profile of Wildcats football in Limestone County. Events like the youth football camp the school hosted Saturday will certainly help with that goal.
The Wildcats hosted 22 youngsters in grades third through sixth Saturday at the high school stadium, as West Limestone coaches, players and former players put the campers through some football fundamentals from 8 a.m. to noon.
“It was mainly for our kids just to have a chance to come over to our stadium and get acquainted with our program, and help the coaches get eyes on our younger kids,” Davis said. “We want to establish the relationships that will be developed down the road.”
Davis, who is about to begin his second year as West Limestone's football coach, significantly raised the number of football participants in his first year. Getting the youth involved in football is a way to make sure that number stays strong, he said.
“We feel like that's important for building a program in the future, getting the young kids over,” Davis said. “They come to a lot of our games and see these guys on the field, but they don't know them. This gives them a chance to get to know them, and gives our seniors and college players a chance to give back.”
Three former West Limestone football standouts who are now in college — Reed Blankenship, now at Middle Tennessee State; Drew Beddingfield, now at the University of North Alabama; and Addison Allen, now at Huntingdon College — all came back to help with the camp.
“I'm very proud of not only our seniors, but also Drew and Addison and Reed,” Davis said. “They were just awesome with the kids. They had a good time.”
Davis said he has received nothing but positive feedback from it. It is something he said he will continue to do each summer.
“I've had a lot of parents messaging me saying their kids wanted to come back the next day,” Davis said with a laugh. “There's an excitement there. These young kids have energy, and football isn't something they are normally used to playing in the summer at that age. This gives them something different to do.”