YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WKBN)-More than 100 Valley kids hit the field Friday as Cardinal Mooney hosted its annual Mooney Camp of Champions that shows kids good training drills and basic football fundamentals.
“It is exciting to see young people that are eager to get out and be physically active, compete and learn the game,” says Cardinal Mooney Head Coach P.J. Fecko.
“They aren’t sitting around and watching TV or on their phones, whatever it may be,” said YSU Head Football Coach Bo Pelini, who was one of the guest coaches at the camp.
“The only way you get good at sports, whether it is football, basketball or whatever is getting the ball in your hand,” he said.
Coach Fecko says one of his greatest joys is seeing former campers come back as a coach, just like current YSU Strength and Conditioning Coach Mark Brandenstein, who was at the camp more than a decade ago.
“It is what we want to give back to this place and what we got when we were kids here when we played. Again, I get the chills because it is extremely special,” says Brandenstein who joined the Penguins in January 2016, heading the team’s strength and conditioning.
Moments that will last a lifetime for these kids.
“The amount of kids now, kids that I recruit now say, ‘I remember when I first met you at the Mooney camp,’ or things like that and that makes you feel good because that is what it is all about,” says Pelini.
“I was here and Coach Bo spoke when I was a kid here so it is unreal to see. You will never forget it. When the Coach Stoops and Pelinis are here, you will never forget it. As you keep going and going and it is always in the back of your mind, it is something special, I want to impress those people, I want them to look at me and say, ‘Oh wow, look where they have come.’ It is about Youngstown, this community.”