Viking coaches and players enjoy providing instruction to Long Island Bronco players last month.
From July 18-22, the sounds of football once again emanated from the Seaford Viking’s home turf.
However, things seemed different this year; coupled with the usual guttural growls and gruff war cries made by the Seaford Vikings was the high-pitched chirping of children, at their youngest five years old, eager to begin playing football right beside varsity counterparts twice their size.
While seeing players from ages five to 18 all practicing together on the same field would usually be unusual, to say the least, it is in fact all a part of a revitalized football camp hosted by the Long Island Broncos. Bolstered by the support of football program, the Broncos are hoping to create a football camp that will shape up to be an elite program.
Broncos and Viking coaches can be seen working together at the camp, guiding the young players through drills and exercises to strengthen and hone their skills. The fusion of coaches from both programs is overseen by one Robert Perpall, head coach of the Seaford Viking’s varsity football program.
“It’s a perfect fit to work with the Broncos,” Perpall said. “It’s been absolutely phenomenal so far.”
It is not just coaches from both programs working in tandem; Perpall also brought in his varsity and junior varsity players to help run the camp and guide the young Broncos through the drills. The Vikings certainly weren’t complaining, and actually got a kick out of helping the kids.
“I love working with the kids,” said Seaford lineman PJ Ruttura. “It gives you a sense of satisfaction to help out.”
In between each exercise the Vikings could be seen giving each young player a high-five, along with some words of encouragement.
For as elite as the program is aspiring to be, children can still be children, often to an amusing result. For example, at one point a group of five and six year olds became distracted from stretching out during warm-ups, content with watching a jet streak across the sky.
The jet-watching is a reminder of just why all the Broncos and Vikings are there in the first place, namely to have some fun and enjoy themselves. Coach Perpall recognizes this as well.
“I’ve coached from 10 to 23, but once that uniform goes on, they all act like children,” he said. “They’re all just having fun out there.”
With over 120 Broncos coming out for the camp, and coaches from both sides absolutely loving the idea of both programs working side by side, all parties involved view the camp as a resounding success. It’s safe to say that in the years to come, the Broncos summer football camp, with the help of the Seaford Vikings, will soon evolve into an elite experience when it comes to playing football and having fun doing so.