Skip to main content

Avon Grove HS to host youth football camp

05/20/2014 05:42PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Schools, Sports

Harry O'Neill, head football coach at Avon Grove High School.

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Beginning at the end of June, the long-suffering football program at Avon Grove High School will begin its first steps toward resurrection.

Harry O'Neill, who most recently served as the defensive coordinator at Unionville, was officially named to his position at an Avon Grove School District meeting on March 27. He inherits a team that went 2-19 over the past two seasons, but rather than just focus his energies on improving won-lost records, O'Neill has decided to cultivate and grow an entire program, beginning with kids who are just learning to play football.  

From June 24-27, O'Neill will oversee a football camp targeted toward youngsters from the third grade through the eighth grade. Campers will receive instruction on offensive and defensive fundamentals, as well as participate in punt, pass and kick competitions. The camp will also feature combine-like agility testing, and each session will conclude with seven-on-seven passing games. Campers will get an opportunity to interact with current Avon Grove players, and learn from varsity coaches. 

O'Neill brings 27 years of coaching experience with him to Avon Grove, which have also  included coaching stints at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia and with the Avon Grove Wildcats youth football team. In many ways, the camp will allow O'Neill to spot -- and develop -- local talent as part of a "feeder" pipeline to the Avon Grove varsity squad.

"I'm trying to change the culture of the entire program overall, beginning with the youth leagues, so as to give the younger players a chance to take pride in what they will eventually be a part of," he said. "By engaging them early, their first exposure won't be when they walk into tryouts when they reach ninth grade."

It's one thing for a new coach to project innovative ideas like a youth football camp in order to give a floundering program a shot in the arm, and entirely another to get others to buy into the plan. O'Neill said that his goal of tethering together youth football in the West Grove area to the high school team is already working. He has conducted clinics with 20 Wildcat coaches, in which O'Neill "invited" them to take ownership of the entire Avon Grove football program. 

"The Wildcats' coaches have been unbelievably supportive of us and what we want to do with this program," he said. "The Wildcats are the future of what we will become here."

O'Neill said he was already supervising spring practices, and has seen a commitment from his returning players.

“When you're 2-19 over two seasons, the game becomes an afterthought, and the football program becomes irrelevant,” O'Neill said soon after he was hired at Avon Grove. "In the time I've been at Avon Grove, I've already seen that the guys here are much better than what I've seen on the field. The talent level is there to be successful, and if we focus on the fundamentals of the game, we can make improvements to those win totals.”

The cost to attend the camp is $140 per camper, if paid by June 1, and $160 if paid after June 1. To obtain a registration form, contact Coach O'Neill at

avon grove high school camp football avon grove high school football summer camps

You might also like


The required and acquired love of books

Local high schools' summer reading lists introduce students to both classics and modern literature.

Avon Grove grad interns for Sen. Toomey

Michael Eaverly, of London Grove, will intern in his Washington office this summer, working on education, judicial, labor, and commerce issues.

  • Kennett Flash schedule


    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...

  • Annual Fall Family Fun Day and Craft Fair

    09:00am — 04:00pm

    Nottingham Presbyterian Church hosts a family fun day and craft fair annually on the third Saturd...

  • Nottingham Presbyterian Church

    09:00am — 04:00pm

    A fun day for the entire family. Come out and enjoy great food, unique crafts, free entertainmen...

  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...

  • International Red Panda Day

    10:00am — 01:00pm

    Become a Red Panda Ranger! A Red Panda Ranger is a special title given to a child who has learned...

  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...

  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...

  • Open Hive Day

    10:30am — 12:00pm

    Join TLC apiarist, Dan Borkoski, for an inside look at the busy buzzy world of honeybees. Partici...

  • Harvest Day Cookout

    11:30am — 06:30pm

    The fall is approaching and this means one thing - The 45th Annual Yardley Harvest Day is right a...

  • Goo Fest

    02:00pm — 05:00pm

    As part of North Star Orchard's Adventure in Flavor tasting series, you are invited to Goo Fest! ...

  • Brews for Books

    06:00pm — 09:00pm

    Sample fine craft beers with friends and support public libraries at Brews for Books, a craft bee...

  • Kennett Flash schedule


    The following acts are scheduled to perform at the Kennett Flash (101 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Squ...

  • Celebrate Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday at Milburn Orchards this weekend! Share a piece of his birt...

  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    01:00pm — 04:00pm

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...

  • Writing Baseball


    What happens when baseball leaves the field and swirls around in the imaginations of great writer...

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

Chester County High School Sports