July means football in Eagle-Vail | VailDaily.com

July means football in Eagle-Vail

Ryan Slabaugh

Especially when Tom Backhus, owner of 4 Eagle Ranch in Wolcott, run his 20th annual Vail Summer Football Camp July 15-18 at Battle Mountain High School. The camp, for seventh graders to high school seniors, uses video to review and analyze a player’s performance on the practice field, whether it’s tackling technique or using blocks as a runner.

“The purpose is for them to understand us when we break the game down to little pieces,” said Backhus, who coached college football for 12 years before moving to Wolcott. “The one thing the high school kids don’t get is the video. We tape the practices and we watch the tape. They don’t get that in high school.”

Registrations are being accepted for the camp, with pre-registration appreciated but not required. The cost of the camp is $100 per athlete, which includes instruction, daily lunches, drinks and a camp T-shirt.

A special mid-day condensed camp program, designed to introduce the game to fourth, fifth and sixth graders, is priced at $50.

Backhus, who won the national title with Ohio State in 1968, is joined by camp co-director Jim Paronto, the former head coach and athletic director at Mesa State College in Grand Junction. Seven other coaches are scheduled to participate in the camp, including Tom Ehlers, defensive line coach at Colorado State University, and Brian Cabral, linebackers coach at the University of Colorado.

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“I want the kids to get to know the college coaches on a personal level,” Backhus said. “They come from the same places the kids come from. These guys are just good guys and come from all circumstances of life. It should teach these kids, no matter where they come from, they can achieve.”

The camp begins each day at 8:30 a.m. and runs through 3:30 p.m.

“The other thing we want to do is get these kids to be better football players,” Backhus said. “Two things will happen. They’ll have better instincts and understand their assignments on the field more completely.”

For more information, call Backhus at (970) 949-6479 or (970) 926-3372.

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