Incoming freshman Bobby Howell feeds a handoff to sophomore Brian Castaneda during motion scheme drills. The fundamentals learned during the camp training have been instrumental in helping Tehachapi to three CIF titles in the past six seasons. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News

Learning From the Best!
Wing-T Football Camp Gives Warrior Football
First Class Instruction

Posted on June 25, 2009, by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

With football fast approaching, the Warriors got a leg up on the season this past weekend during the National Offensive and Wing-T Football camp at Tehachapi High School.

Over 200 athletes from Tehachapi High, San Dimas High, and Highland (Bakersfield) took instruction from Princeton University coach Steve Verbit and his staff of some of the brightest minds in the collegiate and high school coaching ranks.

“It’s always nice to be in Tehachapi because Steve Denman is an unbelievable great host,” said Verbit during the 2008 camp. “The school and the boosters do a great job preparing for everything and taking care of every coach and every camper that’s involved. This camp attracts hard working teams much like Tehachapi, and we have a group of people here that are hard workers and good listeners.”

Verbit has coached 24 seasons as defensive coordinator at Princeton University, and has strong roots in Tehachapi’s utilized wing-t, helping the University of Delaware to a Division II national championship in 1979 using the offense.

“What we try and bring is a different voice, both for the kids and their coaches,” said Scot Dapp, camp instructor and former president of the American Football Coaches Association. “It’s all about discipline and desire, and hopefully we can help set the foundation that they can build on to make (themselves) better.”

The camp instruction lasted from Friday to Sunday, with each team given an opportunity to scrimmage along with learning fundamentals of various techniques in the wing-t, spread, no-huddle spread, and multiple, one, and two back offenses. They also learned the intricacies of pursuit drills, interception return responsibility, screen drills and tackling circuits.

“We are very fortunate to have some of the best coaches in the country come right here to Tehachapi and instruct us,” said Warrior football head coach Steve Denman. “It’s all about getting the players into the right mindset heading into summer practice and learn early on what we expect of them.”

Since incorporating the tools learned from the National Offensive Camp, Mountain Football has used the wing-t to win three CIF championships in 2003, 2007 and 2008 and five SSL championships since installing the system in 1996.

This season marked the seventh time Tehachapi has participated in the camp, and sixth-straight year hosting Verbit and his staff.

A group of Warriors and Braves go through agility and stamina drills during the first day of action at the National Offensive and Wing-T Football camp. Over 200 athletes from three different schools were in attendance at the three-day camp last weekend. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News