Summer camps aim at connecting local youth talent with UH football team
Soon enough, Greg McMackin's focus will be fixed solely on the challenges immediately ahead of the Hawaii football team, most prominently, a season-opening trip to The Swamp to face Florida.
Much of his efforts this summer, though, have been targeted a bit farther down the road.
The first-year UH head coach helped conduct football clinics in American Samoa along with June Jones and members of the SMU staff and spoke at the Game Plan Hawaii camp at Aloha Stadium upon his return.
Next week, he'll lead the Warrior coaching staff in a series of youth camps hosted by UH, valuable to the program more for the connection to the community than as a fundraiser.
"We're Hawaii's team and we're running this clinic, not to make money, but to bring kids in to our program so we can see them, they can be with us and can learn the fundamentals and skills and be better football players," McMackin said.
"For us, it's a chance to get acquainted with the kids of Hawaii from the little guys on up. ... We want the kids to have fun and just get introduced to the University of Hawaii."
The series opens with the Kid's Camp (ages 5-12) on July 12 and 13. Players ages 13 and up can sign up for the Skills Camp (for receivers, defensive backs, quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends) set for July 15-18. The Big Man's Camp for linemen ages 13 and older is July 21-23. Registration information is available at HawaiiAthletics.com and HawaiiSpeedandQuickness.com.
McMackin spoke glowingly of his first trip to American Samoa and said he spoke to former UH and San Francisco 49ers lineman Jesse Sapolu about expanding the clinics to include Samoa (previously Western Samoa).
"I think it's really going to bring a lot to the University of Hawaii," McMackin said. "It was a dream of (Jones') and I think we're really going to benefit from it."
Amid the flurry of speaking engagements and clinics, McMackin remains keenly aware of the countdown to fall camp in about a month and the Aug. 30 opener.
"It's been busy but fun," he said. "I'm going to have to crank it down here pretty soon because we're getting into serious football time. I've gotten a chance to meet a lot of people, but now it's time to get down to football. We've been thinking about Florida, Weber (State) and Oregon State. We've been working on those."
Former UH quarterback Colt Brennan is scheduled to hold an autograph signing at Pictures Plus in the Pearl Highlands Center tomorrow from 3 to 6 p.m. Prices range from $20 to $50 depending on the size of the item to be signed. Details and tickets are available at picturesplus.net