Football: Hubs kick off summer schedule with skills camp

Sophomore Brandyn Metzger (middle) takes the ball from senior David Gerber (right) during the Rochelle Hub football team's skills camp Monday morning. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Offseason slate includes lineman camp, sevens, padded camp and more

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub football team kicked off its summer schedule earlier this month, with returning and incoming student-athletes taking the field for the team’s annual skills camp and lineman camp. The Hub Power strength and conditioning program is also underway.

Skills camp began on Monday, June 6 and runs every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30-10 a.m. for sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as 10-10:30 a.m. for incoming freshmen. Head varsity coach Kyle Kissack said the main focuses of the skills camp include fundamentals, offensive and defensive assignments and attention to the small details.

“We always start with the foundation and the small details that are really important,” Kissack said. “Those details make a huge difference for us because we’re usually in games against very talented teams and we’ve had opportunities to be successful because of the small details. We’re starting at the foundational level and focusing on what will make us successful during the fall.”

The one-week lineman camp for sophomores, juniors and seniors started Monday evening. The four-day camp will run Monday through Thursday from 4:30-5:45 p.m. While many of the athletes attending skills camp include quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, the lineman camp allows both offensive and defensive linemen to get more work in the trenches.

“We have the skills camp for all of our skill positions, but we have to address our offensive and defensive line as well,” Kissack said. “Those kids will come in and they’ll start at the foundational level as well. We’re making sure that every detail is coached this summer. They’ll have their pads on and they’ll be getting physical. These camps provide our kids the opportunity to put themselves at the top of the depth chart right now, but they have to be consistent.”

The skills camp and lineman camp kick off a busy summer schedule, which includes multiple 7-on-7s with schools like Ashton-Franklin Center, Kaneland, Sterling and Byron. Rochelle will also hold a combined team camp with Forreston on Wednesday, July 20 as well as its annual Lift-A-Thon at RTHS in late July. The two-week padded camp for high-schoolers, which runs from July 18-28 later this summer, will run every Monday through Thursday from 8-10:30 a.m. 

“We have over 70 athletes in the weight room during the morning and that’s only the sophomores, juniors and seniors,” Kissack said. “I’m impressed with the retention rate of our program and our numbers have been consistent since the summer started. We have a number of competitions happening this summer, which will breed some competitiveness that some of these kids haven’t been able to show before. That’s exciting to think about as a coach.”

The 2022 season will begin with a home game against Woodstock on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m.