As the summer heat kicked in, Stockton High School hosted its annual football camp for middle and high schoolers the week of June 8-12, at the SHS practice field located on the corner of RB Road and South Street. 

Scores of current and prospective footballers from the town’s middle school and high school classes turned out as well as up-and-coming junior high teammates, who participated in offensive and defensive drills, and a number of team-building exercises and conditioning routines. 

Another unique element to the camp was the interactions between new coaching staff members and returning teammates. 

Luke Rader has been installed as the new head coach for the Stockton Tigers, as well as the boys high school physical education and weights teacher. 

Greg Warlop, girl’s physical education teacher, Kenyon Breedlove, freshman U.S. history teacher, and Josh Short, physical education teacher, Sheldon, will round out this year’s coaching staff for the Tigers’ football offerings. 

When asked what his objectives were for his first season at the helm of all things Tiger football, the new head coach made it clear what his goals and aspirations are for the team’s coming season.

“I’ve got two goals for this group of athletes,” Rader said. “I want these players to serve each other as teammates. Seeing that trait carry over into everyday life is critical to how these players develop both on and off the field. And, I want to see this team compete every day, regardless of circumstances. That’s how you build character and that’s how you win.”

Rader said he looked forward to further assessing and developing offenses and defenses specific to his roster’s strengths as the team begins to hit the weight room for strength training at the start of the coming week as well. 

SHS’ new principal, Jim Flora, also was in attendance to assess the new athletic routines and coaching staff on Friday, June 12, and offered an optimistic assessment of the new faces on the sidelines. 

“[Luke] Rader brings a lot of experience to the field,” Flora said. “We’re incredibly excited to get the new football program rolling and we’re looking forward to the coming season.”

Next on the Tiger’s summer agenda is hosting the annual 7-on-7 scrimmages throughout the coming week as area teams are given the opportunity to play brief sets of downs against opponents they will face later in the coming school year’s regular football season. 

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