Team chemistry and trust are crucial elements for building any good football program.
For School of the Osage, a day spent at Camp P82 in Rocky Mount over the summer helped the Indians move closer to that goal. The camp, which was founded by Horseshoe Bend Pastor Cory Casey, has been operating since 2010 as a non-profit Christian Ministry and an outlet for underprivileged youth. The Osage football team visited the camp for the second straight year and while there, Osage players spent a few hours cleaning up the campground and went through obstacle courses and team-building activities.
“We have done it the last two years and I had to miss it the year before because I was out of town. I wished I hadn’t because it was awesome,” Osage senior Ian Riley stated. “It just feels good that we can help out people that always come and support us.”
And the camp returned the favor.
The camp was not in session at the time, but Osage football players began the day with some service work and completed a number of tasks such as cleaning up an area where grass would be grown, picking up and moving rocks and logs and a number of other things that helped Casey complete in just a few short hours what would have taken a couple of days alone.
“I think it has an awesome impact (on the team) because there are probably kids that do not get that and it is a great way to show them that helping others helps you as well,” Riley pointed out. “Everybody can use that lesson all the time so it was good.”
The camp also features a water slide and Riley, for one, did not waste any time getting that taken care of.
“He (Casey) has a huge water slide and there had been some branches and stuff that fallen on it so we cleaned that up and got to do the water slide,” Riley said. “It was 200 or 300 feet so that was awesome.”
Then it was time for the challenges presented by the obstacle courses and a few team exercises that Riley still vividly remembers.
“We did a team strength building activity where you have to line up in groups and hold on to the person in front of you without being able to see or talk. We had no idea where we were at and all we could hear was the leader of the camp and the voices of our coaches,” Riley recalled. “You just had to hold on to the person in front of you, do what you were told and that put a lot of trust in your teammates and coaches when you got to the bottom of the hill.
“Then you had to walk on a plank, fall backwards and trust that your teammates were going to catch you, but you had no idea who was catching you. It was probably the high point of the summer and it really brought our team together,” he added.
Overall, it was an experience the senior will not take for granted being his final year with the Indians and he hopes his teammates feel the same way.
“It definitely just humbles you. You realize how good we have it and how lucky we are to even get to do everything we do as a team,” Riley stated. “You realize there are kids that do not get to do that and get the opportunities we have so that is the best part about it.”
Osage will seek to continue utilizing that that trust and team chemistry as the Indians go through the rest of the season.