Lauren's First and Goal

High school football players from Pennsylvania and the surrounding states traveled to Lafayette for Lauren's First and Goal football camp. 

Silas Wagaman, Isaac Keane, Aidan Hauser and Zach Singer participated in the Lauren’s First and Goal football camp held at Lafayette College in Easton on June 2. The camp is named after Lauren Loose, a pediatric brain tumor survivor.

All proceeds from Lauren’s First and Goal football camp benefit pediatric brain tumor research and cancer services.

According to laurensfirstandgoal.org the camp has raised more than $2.1 million dollars since its inception in 2004.

The clinic is a massive one-day football camp that is open to 8th through 11th grade football players. It is the largest single-day camp in the country. The ratio of players to coaches is 8:1, with numerous high-profile college coaches in attendance including Penn State’s James Franklin, Syracuse’s Dino Babers and Army’s Jeff Monken.

With so many notable coaches and high school players in attendance the camp is an incredible opportunity for athletes to test their abilities and learn new skills.

“I was pretty excited to go. It’s such a huge camp. I was nervous but I was excited, I knew it was going to be good competition,” Wagaman said. “I was like a sponge trying to soak everything in.”

Training under the guidance of premier college coaches carried with it the added pressure of knowing every action was being watched.

“It wasn’t like someone just said to do a drill. They [college coaches] are evaluating you while you do it. They are watching you, your attitude, how you are doing it and if you are listening to what they are saying. I definitely was nervous starting out but then I got in a groove and it was a lot of fun,” Wagaman said.

The camp was spread over multiple fields, with each area being designated for specific activities. The groups were separated into position and age.

Wagaman recalls hitting the turf during one of the drills on a field hockey pitch. There was no give in the turf. He pulls the sleeve on his shirt up and displays a big scab on his elbow and another on his knee. Just another part of the game.

At the end of the day, Wagaman and his three Hornet teammates came away from the camp with some new skills and an appreciation for the demands of high-level college coaches.

“I learned a bunch of new defensive back skills and how to mesh your route with a wide receiver,” Wagaman said. He added, “I’ve always known this but it kind of reassured it, that there is always someone watching and I always have to be mentally tough.”

The skills learned at the camp will be put to use in the upcoming season when Wellsboro looks to improve on a strong 2018 campaign.

The Hornets finished last season with an 8-3 record and fell to Troy in the first round of the district playoffs.