Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camp Directors Doug Sarver and Tom Swittel were inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame last month.
Sarver is in his second year with the Packers Youth Football Camp program. Currently the head coach at St. Francis High School near Milwaukee, Sarver started the local Warriors youth football program in 1978 and continues as its director. He became an assistant coach at St. Francis High in 1985 and took over the program in 1990.
Since then, he has compiled a record of 112-78 and had only one losing season since 1994. He has led St. Francis to 12 playoff berths and a WIAA Division 4 championship game appearance in 2004.
Swittel also is entering his second year with the Packers Youth Football Camp program and his first as a director. He is in his 14th season as the head coach at Wauwatosa East High School, also near Milwaukee, and he is also the dean of students at the school.
Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camps are comprehensive, week-long, non-contact day camps for kids ages 6 to 14 years old. In addition to Sarver and Swittel, Keith VandenHeuvel of Appleton serves as the program's senior director.
Both Sarver and Swittel are looking forward to another summer of the Packers Youth Camps, which also include supplemental instruction provided by 'Packers Heroes', former players such as John Anderson, Johnnie Gray, Larry Krause, Dexter McNabb, Bryce Paup and others.
"It's great to watch kids enjoy playing the game," said Sarver, who like Swittel brings extensive youth football coaching experience to the camps. "The kids enjoy the camps and really enjoy the Packer Heroes when they come in."
Swittel noted the campers take the Heroes' messages to heart.
"They describe what it took for them to get to that level, the hardships they had to endure, the obstacles they've overcome, and in the end, you have the success," Swittel said. "What I think the kids get out of it is none of these guys made it just by virtue of being super athletes or anything. It was hard work, and taking opportunities or breaks that they got.
"These kids understand it could happen to them if they work hard enough and they take advantage of the opportunities they have. Even though all the Heroes' stories are different, the theme is the same, and it's good for the kids to hear that same theme every day."
What's also good for young players is learning about and trying all different positions at a young age, which is how the Packers Youth Camps are structured. Different stations provide instruction on the various offensive and defensive positions.
"We work on the fundamentals, try to teach them how it all fits into the game of football and the concept of team play," Swittel said. "Those are the things we hope the kids get out of the youth experience."
This year's Packers Youth Football Camps directed by Sarver and/or Swittel are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
July 6-10 at Mequon (Trinity Lutheran School)
July 13-17 at Franklin (Milwaukee Co. Sports Complex)
July 20-24 at Glendale (Glendale JCC)
July 27-31 at Elm Grove (Elm Grove Lutheran)
Additional camps are available statewide with the following dates and locations:
June 15-19 at Mequon (Trinity Lutheran School)
June 22-26 at Appleton (Holy Spirit School)
June 22-26 at Madison (Bishop O'Connor Center)
July 6-10 at Waukesha (Heyer Elementary School)
July 13-17 at Oshkosh (Oshkosh Community YMCA)
July 20-24 at Kenosha (Kenosha YMCA)
July 27-31 at Green Bay (Green Bay East High School)
July 27-31 at Madison (Bishop O'Connor Center)
For more information on the Green Bay Packers Youth Football Camps or to obtain application materials, please call 866-246-9800 or click here.