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A day for future Knights at St. Francis High football camp

Football: St. Francis High conducts inaugural youth camp with an eye on spreading the word for prospective players.

June 28, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
(Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — The inaugural rendition of the St. Francis High football camp gave youth players a chance to learn the basics, as well as a few finer points, of the game from Golden Knights Coach Jim Bonds, his coaching staff and some of his current players.

Bonds, who was a prep standout at quarterback at Hart High and played at UCLA before shaping the Golden Knights into a perennial CIF playoff team out of the tough Mission League, hopes at least a few of the sixth through eighth graders that were scampering around Friedman Field this week will repay the favor by choosing to don the Knights' brown and gold when they reach high school.

"We're just trying to get interest, we know that there's kids that don't live too far away from here who have never even been on St. Francis' campus before," said Bonds, who opened the school's facilities to about 50 participants from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. "We just want to introduce the school to them and just work on some relationships and let them know that this is an option.

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"There's kids that live in the area that are driving right past us or going to other schools or driving downtown and going to a school down there, so we're just trying to market the school and the football program a little bit."

Some of the attendants participating Tuesday afternoon said it was the reputation of St. Francis as a school and a program that had attracted them in the first place.

"I mainly got here from talk from my friends expressing how good this was," said Daniel Scott, 13, of Monterey Hills, who said he learned about teamwork and discipline during the camp. "My main experience on going here was just to get better and also to try to focus on who the coaches are, meet them, make sure they know who I am.

"Also, it's a football camp, so just trying to get better is my main goal."

Others, like Sean Barkley, 12, of Santa Clarita, whose father is an alum and whose brother is a current Golden Knight, already had a strong connection to St. Francis.

"I came here because it sounded really interesting and so far the coaches are doing really amazing at coaching us," said Barkley, who anticipates he will attend St. Francis. "The drills are really fun, but exhausting."

But for anyone still on the fence, Bonds and his staff made sure to miss no opportunity to promote the value of being a Golden Knight.

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