Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO Football host youth clinic

Friday, May 10, 2019
Junior Zach Hall training youth clinic participant.
Photo by Kate Marshall ~ Photo Editor

Football coach Tom Matukewicz, his staff and players held a two-hour football camp for boys and girls in the first through eighth grade on Saturday, April 27 at Houck Stadium

After starting with a group stretching session, the kids were split into groups and took turns participating in offensive and defensive drills.

Some of the offensive drills focused on basic skills such as passing, catching, running and footwork for blocking. On the defensive side, they taught the kids proper tackling, how to grab fumbles and how to make plays on the ball in the air.

“You just really want to connect with them and for them to feel connected with our program and players," Matukewicz said. "It's a key part of our program, realizing that this is bigger than you and being able to give back to the community that’s given so much to you.”

He also emphasized this was a great opportunity and a learning experience for the younger players on the team because they get to see firsthand what it is like to give back to those that support you the most.

“Teaching the kids the information that the coaches give us on a daily basis is the best part about this all,” said junior All-American linebacker Zach Hall, the first Southeast player ever to win the FCS Buck Buchanan Award as the nation's top defensive player.

He said doing a camp like this will bring them closer together as not only a team, but as a community.

Senior outside linebacker Devin Alexander also weighed in on the camp, and followed Hall's responses.

“Showing the kids that we’re people, too … we wear the same helmets and pads, we’re just older,” Alexander said.

He also put emphasis on the community and how much they mean to the team’s success, so that it’s important to continue to give back to them.