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Cal Poly athletes run football camp for Vandenberg youth

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  Ryan Mole, back right, running back for Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., does drills and exercises with children from the Youth Center on July 30.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Ryan Mole, back right, running back for Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., does drills and exercises with children from the Youth Center on July 30.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  Jonathan Dally, quarterback for Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., practices drills and exercises with children from the Vandenberg Youth Center on July 30.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Jonathan Dally, quarterback for Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., practices drills and exercises with children from the Vandenberg Youth Center on July 30.(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- "Down,set, hut!" 

In a joint effort between the Vandenberg Youth Center and Cal Poly State University, Vandenberg hosted the first ever football skills camp July 28 at the Youth Center Sports Complex here.

The camp, which hosted approximately 35 children, taught the youth fundamentals on how to catch, throw and play defense.

The children ranged from grades 3-10. They were split up into five stations each day to gain the skills necessary to compete with kids who might have more opportunities as far as sports are concerned.

"We run camps to specifically benefit military kids," said Will Gulley, owner of the company that put the camp together. "Military children don't always get the same opportunities due to being stationed overseas for part of their life, or being stationed away from cities that have these functions."

"Having a camp here is a great idea," said Martin Mares, a corner back and one of six Cal Poly players who participated in the camp. "I know I can speak for the players when I say it feels good to give back to the community that sacrifices so much protecting America."

The camp started each day at 9 a.m. with morning conditioning and agility drills for about an hour and a half.

"The players didn't go easy on them," Mr. Gulley said. "A lot of the kids are new to football, and the camp leaders introduced them to actual football conditioning."

After conditioning, the camp participants went to one of five stations, each focused on a different position: defensive back, linebacker, wide receiver, quarterback and running back.

"The skill of the guys we got from Cal Poly is extremely high," said Mr. Gulley. "They are all seniors that start, and play big roles on the team."

After skills and lunch the kids participated in an obstacle course and scrimmage to exercise what they learned in the first half of the day.

"We were impressed by the discipline and dedication of the kids," said Ryan Mole, a Cal Poly running back.

The team of Cal Poly volunteers left the camp every day at 4 p.m. to rush back to practice in the evening. Their motivation and dedication is what made this camp work, and could also be what takes them to their ultimate goal next season:

"A national championship," Mr. Mares said.