Bulldog athletics hosts mini clinics for area middle school students

Bulldog athletics hosts mini clinics for area middle school students

For Concordia Bulldogs athletics, community involvement is a pillar of what makes each individual program a success. In conjunction with the NAIA Champions of Character Initiative, many Bulldog coaches and student-athletes took part in the annual sports mini clinics held late Friday morning at Plum Creek Park in Seward.

Representatives from all Concordia sports were on hand to teach approximately 400 Seward Middle School students fundamentals of their respective games, while having fun along the way.

“It’s good because it provides a chance for the Seward community to interact with Concordia athletics,” head baseball coach Jeremy Geidel said. “And it gives a chance for kids who don’t have the opportunity to go to athletic camps and clinics the ability to participate in some activities and get introduced to some sports that they maybe weren’t interested in before.”

“It’s a good opportunity for Concordia athletics to integrate with the Seward public schools system.”

Fifth through eighth graders rotated stations throughout the two-hour event. The young students fired fastballs in front of a radar gun, hit volleyballs for a chance to win Concordia t-shirts, played knock out on the basketball courts and learned drills football players use to warm up prior to games, among many other activities.

Through it all, the Seward Middle School students showed tireless energy.

“It’s just great to see their excitement at a young age,” sophomore volleyball player Emily Metschke said. “I really like working with kids, so I jumped at the opportunity to get involved.”

Sophomore basketball player Kevin Busch also lent his support to the community outreach program. Busch, like Metschke, enjoys seeing the enthusiasm and development of youth athletes. He even devotes time in the summer to similar activities.

“I worked with kids in the summer at Christian summer camp,” Busch said. “So I really enjoy interacting with them and teaching them. It’s always a lot of fun. I think they’re enjoying it.”

For graduate assistant football coach Jim Landers, the smiles that shine brightly on the students’ faces make it all worthwhile.

“I love working with kids and getting to teach them the game of football at a young age,” Landers said. “I love working with our guys and working on fundamentals. I love getting to see the joy on the students’ faces when they catch a football and it’s great seeing them work hard.

“I think our football team has more fun though than they do.”

Concordia athletics is known for excellence not only on the playing field, but also in the community and in the classroom. Junior soccer student-athlete Louisa Mehl has worked extensively with the Lutheran Malaria Initiative and is part of a women’s soccer team that took a mission trip to New Orleans over the summer. In addition, football players often go to local elementary schools to read to youth as part of the Bulldog Buddies program, while volleyball recently organized a clinic with St. John Lutheran School students. All of the other athletic teams also participate in some sort of outreach efforts.

Bulldog athletics also have the distinction of having the most NAIA Scholar Teams for the second-straight year and the most Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes all-time.

28 September 2012