Friday, 20 August 2010 00:00
Training camp for the 11-year-old Hicksville Crusaders is now in full swing. Marty Ketelsen is beginning his seventh year as head coach for this group of Crusaders. Once again Peter Capel, Kevin McPartland, Rob McBride, Steve Delaney and Tom Fleming have returned as assistant coaches to help Ketelsen with the team.
During the first few weeks, the focus will be on conditioning. In this way, the boys will be well prepared for the vigors of what they are about to face. As the team gets further into training, the emphasis will be on techniques: blocking, tackling as well as running and passing plays will be the order of the day.
Last season, the Crusaders suffered a number of key injuries. Taylor Collins, Connor Dalton and Stephen Ketelsen were all sidelined for various games. Even so, Coach Ketelsen was still able to guide his troops to the playoffs, thereby making the year a success.
James Zobian, Kieran Sullivan and Patrick Ospina have all returned to the team after a year’s absence. In addition, there are also a group of players that are joining this team for the first time. Jateek Albelo, Ty Baron, Joey Botto, Vincent Falkowski, Patrick Rilling and Nick Savva will be vying for rookie of the year.
The parents of this group are in for a shock and a surprise. The shock will come from how hard the boys will work during camp and the surprise will come from how well equipped the boys will be when the training camp ends and the games begin.
Sunday, Sept. 12 is the date of the first game. At that time, the 11-year-old Hicksville Crusaders will unleash their secret weapon – their fans! In past years, no matter the weather or the location, a huge crowd of supporters assembled at every game, cheering loudly and vigorously. To the team, their fans are the 12th man on the field, helping to give them the advantage over their opponent that will lead them to certain victory.
With only a few weeks left until the start of the season, the coaches will continue to impress upon the team that the only way to achieve success is to perform as one unit. As Coach Ketelsen has continually preached, “you must all play with one heart.”