Vipers begin training camp

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., Aug. 5, 2011
Vipers A-teamer Jacob Wilson looks in mid-season form as he practices tackling at Legion Field on Aug. 4. Photos by Steve Smith.
Vipers A-teamer Jacob Wilson looks in mid-season form as he practices tackling at Legion Field on Aug. 4. Photos by Steve Smith.

Vernon Vipers Youth Football and Cheerleading President Scott Hagelin said the organization is “bursting at the seams” with participants this year, as practices began on Aug. 1.

“It's the biggest year ever,” he said, adding that the group has 130 players and about 85 cheerleaders, despite the economy.

“We've done nothing extraordinary,” he said. “Everything's good, which is nice. I've been doing this a lot of years, and this is one of the easiest ones so far. Things are coming together and people are doing what they're supposed to do.”

Hopefully, the larger teams translate to more wins. Last year, the 'A' team (eighth-graders) Vipers won the league championship, defeating Rocky Hill late last November. “That was quite an accomplishment,” Hagelin said.

The outlook for the future strengthening of the Rockville High School team also looks positive, as more and more youth players develop skills earlier, Hagelin said.

Hagelin said the volunteerism of parents and families has remained excellent, and several players who have graduated from the system have returned to help coach. “A lot of people giving back, which is fantastic,” he said.

During the first week of practices, the players work a lot on fundamentals, before getting into full pads at the beginning of the second week. “We go for five days without contact,” Hagelin said. “We start to work them into their pads a little bit. We try to ramp them up so it's not a big shock for the kids when they start having to hit people. We try to give them the confidence ahead of time.”

Hagelin said that, despite the large number of players across the board, the Vipers' ‘A’ team still has openings. Parents of any interested soon-to-be eighth-grader can find contact information on the Vipers' website, www.vernonyouthfootball.com.


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