Craig kids show pigskin prowess at Doak Walker skills day | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig kids show pigskin prowess at Doak Walker skills day

It's never too early for football season in Craig.

The young athletes of Northwest Colorado already have gridiron glory in mind after this week with the Doak Walker tackle football skills day hosted by Craig Parks and Recreation.

The Wednesday gathering tested kids in grades three through six for their capabilities in the sport. Drills in passing, catching, and running determined the kind of skills each player could bring to the field.

The skills day took place in the Moffat County High School gym, complete with Parks and Rec staff, as well as a few older athletes as MCHS varsity football players helped along with the testing with a few warmups.

Dennison said Doak Walker’s affiliation with USA Football also includes certification for coaches and initial testing for concussions before the season officially begins, such as the King-Devick test, helped along by Eyecare Specialties and Craig Kiwanis Club.

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Bulldogs Colby Beckett, Colby Beaver, Jefferson Piatt, Josh Teeter, Connor Etzler and Jared Atkin aided in the process, which Recreation Supervisor Ryan Dennison greatly appreciated.

"It's great for the high-schoolers to engage and help out like this," Dennison said.

Dennison said Doak Walker's affiliation with USA Football also includes certification for coaches and initial testing for concussions before the season officially begins, such as the King-Devick test, helped along by Eyecare Specialties and Craig Kiwanis Club.

"USA Football is a great umbrella, a lot of knowledge, a lot of resources, just a plethora of information," Dennison said.

He added that grant money from USA Football last season also aided in providing uniforms for the program.

Practices for this year will begin in mid-August for games in the late summer and fall.

A number of Doak Walker athletes, taking after the football legend namesake, have already put in practice time, which showed during the drills.

Tristan LaPlatt will be going into the upper tier — fifth- and sixth-grade — of the program this fall.

The 9-year-old said he felt he did pretty well showing his talents on offense, but it's the other side of the ball where he excels, namely as a defensive lineman and linebacker.

"I love defense, it's my favorite thing," he said, recalling last fall with his team, the Dolphins. "One of the big guys kept getting through, and I stopped it."

Tristan and his father, Josh, have been keeping on the ball throughout the summer by regularly working on the important skills of the game.

"Every day after school we'd play catch," Josh said. "I'm looking forward to watching him play, and I know he's excited about it."