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Inaugural youth football camp teaches safety, life lessons

Dave Marean admits that part of his motivation for founding the Finger Lakes Youth Football Camp was to strengthen connections between the children learning the game and the high school programs in their communities.

However, the three-day event at Lyons High School — it began Monday and concluded Wednesday — was more than that.

“The big thing about this camp was that it was not just about learning the game as much as it is about teaching them a little bit about life through the game,” said Marean, who is entering his 14th season as head football coach at Wayne Central High School of the Finger Lakes East.

Seventy-two players representing 10 of the 16 programs in the Finger Lakes Youth Football and Cheerleading League participated in the inaugural camp. They spent two hours each night working on various skills with a total of eight coaches at the high school and college level. One of those was John Evans, the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Mansfield, which plays sprint football. Sprint football is played using standard football rules, but there are weight and body-fat restrictions for the players.

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