For Northview Head Football Coach George Gettle and his crew of assistants and volunteers, the heat is on.
The Clay County Youth Football Camp kicked off Tuesday at Northview High School, and as the mercury continues to rise-- temperatures flirted with the 90s during morning workouts this week-- excitement for the upcoming football season is approaching the boiling point.
"It's exciting," Gettle said. "The success we're having at the high school is bleeding over to the younger kids. They're doing a good job and having a lot of fun."
The camp provides instructions in football fundamentals to Clay County youngsters entering grades 3-9 and also affords Knights coaches a first look at up-and-coming talent. Gettle said he and his staff appreciate the importance of working with the pre-high school campers, who represent the future of the Northview program.
"They're as important to our program as the kids in high school right now," he said. "We keep our eyes out for kids that are aggressive, kids that hustle and work hard. We try to identify these kids at the camp."
Gettle said this year's camp, which fielded a healthy number of enrollees, has become more streamlined in its fourth year.
The coach chalked it up to a change of venue. Staged in years past at the CYFL football field, the event was moved to Northview's campus for 2006.
"We'd gotten so big we needed a little more space," Gettle said. "(Now) the equipment is all right here, so it's easier to access. We're able to be a little more efficient at practice. Hopefully this will continue to grow."