Siena Heights University coach and Detroit Lions Youth Football camp director Jim Hamilton works with campers on passing the football on Monday. THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
Plenty of Honolulu blue-colored footballs were tossed about Monday at Northview's Cats Stadium.
The writing on one side of the ball and a logo made it clear what NFL team was being represented during the first day of a four-day youth football camp designated for youngsters between the ages of 6 and 14.
PHOTO GALLERY: Lions‘ NFL camp at Northview
For the second year in a row, the Detroit Lions organization crossed the Michigan-Ohio border to sell their brand and teach proper football fundamentals to aspiring football players.
"We're teaching the game of football and we're also teaching other skills beyond that," said Lions camp director Jim Hamilton, who is also a member of the Siena Heights University coaching staff. "Our logo has on it, ‘Determine, Courageous, United, Ferocious and Noble.’ Our motto is ‘Today's preparation is tomorrow's future.’ Those are the kind of things we try to convey to the kids through the game of football. We think that it's the greatest team sport that there is."
Of course, promoting the Lions across the border is a given.
"We're excited to be here and we love to have Lions fans south of the border and increase our fan base," Hamilton said.
Northview is the lone camp held in Ohio by the organization, which holds more than two dozen.
Just over 30 campers are taking part in this year's activities that include two days focusing on playing offense and two days playing defense and special teams in a noncontact setting.
Campers are shown football techniques, such as proper three-point and four-point stances. They're also taught proper form for throwing the football, running pass routes, and tackling.
Blissfield, Mich.’s Remington Trout, a 12-year-old, is participating in the camp for the second year in a row.
"You learn how to get in a good stance," Trout said. "You learn how to have good effort, good attitude, and nobody is ever mad at each other."
Monroe's Ian Sanders, a 13-year-old, signed up for the camp this year.
"I just like the Lions and I want to get better," Sanders said, regarding his decision to participate in the camp.
Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead is expected to attend the last day of the camp on Thursday to speak to the campers and work with aspiring linebackers.
Lions youth football assistant David Greenslait said the camp was full for this week but there were a few openings remaining for the July 28-31 camp at Ford Field. The cost is $169.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 313-262-2248.