7-19 Brad Dement

Brad Dement knows its important to nurture football’s importance in Beloit.

BELOIT—Beloit Memorial head football coach Brad Dement is concerned about preparing for his team’s first season back since COVID-19 wiped out last fall’s traditional schedule and forced the Purple Knights to play in the spring.

But he’s also thinking of a lot of seasons down the road.

While the Knights have contact days scheduled Monday through Friday, they will also serve as instructors along with Dement and his coaching staff for a free hour-long youth camp each day for football players entering sixth through eighth grade.

The youth camp will be from 3-4 p.m. and held on the Knights’ practice field across from the high school.

“Our kids will help the coaches instruct during the camp,” Dement said. “They will do stations and basic skills and try to implement some of the basic movements and plays we use. It’s a little starter course for them. We’re also hoping to get the youth coaches who are signed up out there and meet with them. We want to get the youth involved in everything we do and get them aligned right up to high school so we are doing the same things.”

Dement said it’s fine if the youth players can only make some of the days, wearing workout gear.

“They can come to as many camps or as few as they want,” he said. “We’d appreciate if they could come with cleats, but some of these kids probably don’t have them.”

Rob Douglas will head up the youth football program moving forward.

“It’s been difficult because kids haven’t played middle school-level football for so long,” Dement said. “You don’t have access to the list of kids who play football coming from those schools you used to. We don’t even know who’s interested.”

Dement said through the camp he is also hoping to spread the word about the city’s youth football program for sixth, seventh and eighth grade tackle football.

“After the youth camp is done we’ll have our own mini-camp for the high school athletes starting around 4:15 each day,” Dement said. “They already have their equipment so they should be ready to roll from 4:15 until 7.”

Dement served as interim coach last spring when the Knights went 0-5, but showed significant progress.

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