The annual Huskies youth football camp allows future varsity players to learn from past players and have some fun while going through drills and playing small games.

The 20th annual youth camp this week at the high school has 240 attendees and 70 coaches, which include many current and former players. The camp began the summer after coach Jeff Williams' first year as Owatonna football coach. Third- through sixth-graders go through a series of quick, high-energy drills led by past and present varsity players. They work on offensive and defensive skills required to play all positions.

Seventh- through 10th-graders are instructed by current Owatonna coaches. They spend a little more time at each drill and work on position-specific skills. The oldest players also run through formations with Williams calling the plays.

Longtime assistant coach Marc Achterkirch is very involved in organizing the camp each year. He says the week offers former players a chance to "give back to the program." He adds it's a great chance to introduce Owatonna's style of play to future players. Achterkirch also thanks sponsors who provide meals or coupons including Hy-Vee, Domino's Pizza, Cash Wise Foods and the S'Cream Ice Cream Shop.

Wednesday night is Owatonna Parks and Recreation youth football registration night. The camp wraps up Thursday. High school varsity practice begins Monday, August 15. The Huskies open the season Friday, September 2, hosting Mankato West.