Players show off skills Monday in 1st day of Doak Walker Football |

Players show off skills Monday in 1st day of Doak Walker Football

Ben Bulkeley
Justin Dugan runs down a pass Monday night at Woodbury Sports Complex. Justin, a defensive end, said he wants to get more quarterback sacks this summer.
Ben Bulkeley

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Craig Parks and Recreation still is accepting football players for the upcoming Doak Walker Football season. Players have until Wednesday to fill out forms and sign up.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 826-2029.

Football’s preseason has started.

Doak Walker Football’s preseason, that is.

Monday was a mandatory skills day for third- and fourth-graders readying for a season on the gridiron.

More than 60 young players took to the Woodbury Sports Complex fields to showcase their abilities.

Recreation coordinator Pam Maneotis said the skills day allowed organizers a chance to decide where each player belongs.

“We don’t want the best throwers, or the best receivers or the fastest runners all on one team,” she said. “We want to spread them out over all the teams.”

Players in the fifth- and sixth-grade will have their skills day at 3:30 p.m. today at the Sports Complex.

With more than 120 youths signed up for football, Craig Parks and Recreation will be able to field 10 teams, or five teams for the third- and fourth-grade division and five teams for the fifth- and sixth-grade divisions.

Hayden will field one team per division, and the rest of the teams will be from Craig.

Maneotis said the number of youths playing football had increased from last year.

On Monday, children from 8 to 10 years old, took turns sprinting, throwing and catching.

Halfback Breck Henderson said he was ready for the season to start.

“I’m excited because last year I had to play for Hayden,” he said. “I’m from Craig, so I wanted to play with all my friends.”

Running back Tristen Walls needs few words to sum up why football is his favorite sport.

“It’s just fun,” he said. “Football’s more fun than soccer.”

Defensive end Brent Cook needs even fewer words to explain his job, favorite part of the game and calling card.

“Hitting,” he said.

Defense is the side of the ball Cook wants to be on.

“You can make people cry,” he said. “My favorite thing is definitely hitting.”

Brent said he had big plans for the upcoming season, the least of which includes a few tackles and bloody noses.

“I want to be the best football player on the team,” he said. “I just need to practice, practice, practice.”

Like Brent, Chris Mochetti likes being a stopper on the team.

“I like being a linebacker because I get to sack the quarterback,” he said. “This year, I want to sack more people.”

Cody Pleasant wants to switch from defense to offense.

“Last year, I was a nose guard. This year, I want to be a quarterback,” he said. “I like running with the ball and throwing it.”

To get under center, Cody has devoted many afternoons to the craft.

“Every afternoon, I practiced passing at home with my dad,” he said. “I did nothing but throw the ball.”

Cody, a Patriots and Broncos fan, said switching sides had other benefits.

“When I was playing nose guard I was hurt a lot,” he said. “We played against a lot of tough centers who like to hit hard.”

Justin Dugan played a variety of roles with his team last year, ranging from nose tackle, long-snapper and defensive end.

“Defensive end is the best,” he said. “You get to rush in and hit the quarterback.”

Justin had two hopes for the upcoming season.

“I just want to learn some more football,” he said. “And smack some quarterbacks around.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or

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