Courtesy of Yosef Fares
The Men In The Trenches Linemen Camp drew more than 40 football players Sunday in Memorial Stadium. The camp continues Sunday with three more camps.
Specialized lineman camp brings growth and Madera football growth while establishing a key foundation.
For the Madera Coyotes, along with other schools in the Central Valley, Jesse Sapolu’s M.I.T.T. (Men In The Trenches) Fresno Lineman camp offers the type of tutelage that some of the best high school programs take advantage of and, luckily for Maderans, it’s in their backyard.
“It’s basically broken up into two separate camps. We have an offensive line segment of it and a defensive line segment,” Madera Coyotes Head Coach Yosef Fares said. “The first half, they are working run fundamentals. The offensive line worked on run blocking and the defensive line worked on block defeats in the run game. In the second half they are working on their pass pro stuff.”
The camp, which started March 4, continues Sunday, March 17 and March 25 in Memorial Stadium. The first camp day is $60 to go with a registration and camp fee and $25 per camp day after that. The camp begins at 9 a.m. in Lee DaSilva Field.
“We had 42 players and that’s a good start,” Fares said “People were really happy with the turnout.”
The players will get into groups with specific coaches that can work with them. Intricate details such as feet or hand placement to even hip movement are taught. The M.I.T.T. lineman camp gives players and coaches access to techniques that some of the best programs utilize.
There are three events held in California, two being qualifiers and the last being the final camp.
“This is the first time this camp has been in the Central Valley,” Fares said. “It’s a big camp in Northern and Southern California and I wanted to bring this to the Valley and, especially Madera, to give our kids access to just work on their skills. Just giving them the opportunity and access is kind of making Madera, basically the central hub for this lineman competition and camp.”
Players in both high school and middle school came out and work on their craft with the help of coaches from around California. There are many benefits from participating in the camp that lasts until March 25.
Along with the proper skills necessary to excel on the field, players have opportunities to impress college scouts. They aren’t allowed specifically at the events, but social media can help highlight a kids skills.
“College coaches aren’t allowed to come to these camps, but you get social media presence and you get writers there,” Fares said. “People start hearing their names. Our lineman last year, Cameron Lopez, got first team All-CMAC. He really got the eye of the Bullard coach Don Arax and the Sanger head coach (Jorge) Peña at this camp because he worked his tail off and he’s competing with Buchanan and all these guys and they were all like, ‘We love your center.’ He got first team All-CMAC from that competition, along with his play, of course. It solidified it.”
If some athletes are unable to make it, this time around. The M.I.T.T. Lineman camp will make another appearance next year. The fact that this camp will return is a big deal.
In fact, Fares took some of his players last year and the added focus helped during the 2017 season.
“We saw tremendous growth from the competition last year because it forced us as a staff to start working our pass rush and pass protection stuff early,” Fares said. “We saw benefits in the season from our pass rush and protection, so we were a thousand times better at it compared to from year one to two.”