Griffins’ camp experience transcends football

Chanti Jones and Javaris Cook make their assault on the rock-climbing obstacle.

Demetrius Yarborough, Wallace Brown and the Griffins hit the water.

Damien Bell, Mitch Crosby and crew wet their hooks.

This summer, the Fairfield Central Griffins football team honed their passing and pass defense skills in a series of 7-on-7 tournaments across the Midlands. Last week, the Griffins roared into their first official practice of the 2012 season. This week, they put on the pads.

But before all the focus shifted to football, head coach Demetrius Davis and his staff experimented with a slightly different approach to “team building.”

A little more than a week before practices with the full squad began, Davis carted his Griffins into the hills, to Saluda, N.C., where the team spent three days and two nights at Camp Bob Hardin, a Boy Scout camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There the Griffins camped, swam and fished, took canoes and boats out on the camp’s twin lakes, took a ride on the zip-line and got a vigorous workout rock climbing.

The Griffins also took a gun safety course from a certified National Rifle Association instructor and earned their certifications in first-aid as well.

“It had less to do with actual football, and more to do with character building and team building,” Davis said. “It gave us a chance to learn a lot of the things the Boy Scouts learn. We did a lot of good things to make the kids more well-rounded and not just run up and down a football field.”

Davis said he hopes his team learned a few things that will help prepare them for life after football. Life during football, however, continues as the Griffins prepare for opening night, Aug. 24, when they host the newly minted Westwood Redhawks.