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White Plains Youth Football Camp Braves The Heat

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The youth football camp at White Plains High School is in the midst of its second year, and almost 50 children gathered to participate in drills  Tuesday in the sweltering heat.

Jim Huebner, founder and president of the White Plains Tigers Youth Football League, partnered with Skip Stevens, head varsity football coach at White Plains High School, to hold the skills camp for children in second through eighth grades.

The camp runs from Monday to Friday this week from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each day. Participants move from station to station to learn quarterback, running back, wide receiver and offensive line skills.

When Huebner created the camp, he differentiated it from others of its kind in two ways. First, with the recent emphasis on safety in organized football, he wanted to create a noncontact environment where children could learn the fundamentals of the game. Second, with the intense heat in the summertime, he wanted to hold the camp in the evening to try to beat the heat.

On Tuesday, unfortunately, the heat won, with temperatures in the 90s.

“We’re going to find some of these days like this,” Huebner said. “But I tell you what. Safety’s paramount to us. … If it gets too bad, we’ll go in and watch videos. There’s some great instructional stuff you can put on the TV.”

The children took part in 12-minute sessions and then took water breaks in which they drank and hosed themselves down to stay cool.

Julie Martin sat in a tent on the sidelines Tuesday and watched her 10-year-old son, Liam, take part in the camp for the second year in a row.

“If it wasn’t such a professionally, well-run organization, I might be worried,” Martin said. “The coaches and the head of the program were very responsible, so that’s the only reason I have my kid out there. Otherwise, I would not have him out there.”

White Plains High School used to run a camp through the NFL, but when the league stopped the funding, Stevens tried to run a camp alone, but it proved to be too much to handle. Now, he and his coaching staff, along with a handful of players, work with Huebner to teach the young children the fundamentals of the game.

"Anything we can do to help the youth," Stevens said.

Children from Pelham to Irvington, and even other youth leagues in White Plains, participated in this year’s camp, which Huebner said has grown 15 percent from last year.

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