Cougars Bring Tackling Practice to the Bears

August 11, 2017


by Len Lathrop

Hudson Youth Football and Cheer (the Bears) opened their conditioning week of preseason training, no pads just helmets and a lot of equipment dummies.  On Thursday, after some warm up, the Bears had some special visitors at practice.  Coming in from Litchfield were member of the Campbell High School Football team (the Cougars) under the direction of Coach Glen Costello.  While using drills with partners, the proper angle and head position was shown to the young athletes.  Campbell players demonstrating and helping with proper form were Carter Vedrani, Danny Castellano, Ryan Yanutzewski, Dylan Putzlocker, Nick Boucher and Paul Tarszuk.

The Bears had three different age groups teams involved.  Several first-year players were 6 years old but were very ready to play.  As Coach Costello had the Cougar players demonstrating the exercise, then he checked every pair of players on style and forms, being sure their backs were straight, arms were wrapped around the partners’ legs and heads were outside the contact area.  Many of the Bear coaches were also helping the younger players with their form.  Coach Costello spoke to the players about tackling and how it was the foundation of the game, and how a game outcome can be based on how well tackle you tackle.  If you do it the right way, everyone can win, however, doing it the wrong way will most likely cost your team the game.  He spoke of how special they were to want to work hard and learn to play the game.

As the Bears gathered after the drill, Coach Costello had a guest speaker to address the players, Coach Adam Griggs who has a long history with local football and currently coaches at MIT.  Griggs played for the Alvirne Broncos then went on to play at Bentley University.  After graduation he was on the coaching staff a Bentley, then Assumption College and now is part of the MIT staff.  While maybe not part of his résumé, Griggs was one of the early coaches for the Bears as the league was being formed.

In speaking to the players, he talked about football, being part of the team and representing your ‘brand’ each and every day.  He advised them to learn the lessons that football has to offer you and use those skills each and every day.  As an O-lineman, Griggs had a special message about being the unsung teammates that can make or break a game wide open.  Remember, he said “you can’t take a play off (lose focus) because someone will get tackled.”  He spoke about playing for the right reasons and how this is an opportunity to change their lives.

As the sun was setting on the practice fields at HMS, the parents had fired up the portable lights and the players were once again high stepping it over tackling bags and cones, hopefully with a little more spirit in the drills.