Success at a Young Level


The step from little league to high school sports is significant. Most athletes do not know what to expect when they start playing at the high school level. 

The Lakeland junior tackle coaches are working hard year-round to make the kids’ transition to high school football smoother. 

Jake Smith, coach of the 6th-grade football team, says in June, the teams will start conditioning every Tuesday and Thursday for an hour. Not only is it good for the kids to get out and move but also to meet teammates and coaches. 

President of the junior tackle/cheer and Defensive coach, Gabe Young, says getting together and putting in work in the off-season is very important. A group of players condition at Rathdrum fitness with coach Kurt Carr. Also, in July, the junior tackle will be doing a Football camp with the varsity head coach at Lakeland High School, Mike Schroeder. 

Smith explains that not only does junior tackle help prepare young players, but it entices more kids to come out to play the sport. Other kids will see what is going on and what to try. Smith said, “The more kids we have ready when they move on to the high school, the better.”

They aim for all kids playing to have fun in a competitive environment. As coaches, they also want to grow a love for the game while being great teammates on and off the field. Young said, “We want every kid to play football. It is a numbers game. We need to have as many kids as possible going out for freshman football each year.”

Kids playing at a young age leaves more opportunity to build a better skill level. 

Coach Smith said, “Learning the correct to tackle at a young age can only make you better at football later on.” 

Developing a heart for football at a young age will benefit the Lakeland High School football program.