GREENVILLE – The 25th annual two-day Matt Light All-Conference Football Camp came to a close with former Greenville and Arcanum High School coach Larry Masters turning the reigns over to Greenville football coach Aaron Shaffer after 25 years.
“It’s hard to walk away,” said Coach Masters. “I walked away from teaching and I really enjoyed teaching but football it’s something special to me. It is a little harder, but when do you know when to quit. That’s the hard part and I just felt like now was the time. I’ve been doing the camp since 1994. I think it’s time to hand the ball off.”
“The cool thing about this year is; Larry, 25 years is just something that you can’t really put into – well it’s hard to do anything for 25 years,” Matt Light said. “The fact that Larry is here and we’re celebrating what he started 25 years ago in 1994, he put his first camp here in Darke County and it’s just been an awesome thing for the Light Foundation to be a part of and to walk along-side Larry over these years and see how he has interacted with these kids and the impact that he has made is pretty special.”
“Coach Masters has done a great job with this camp starting 25 years ago when I was still in high school and he’s done a great job with this camp,” said Coach Aaron Shaffer. “I am really honored to have Matt and the folks at the Light Foundation ask me to do it and more than happy to do it.”
The camp instructs kids about positions both on offense and defense receiving instruction from a who’s who of coaches from the surrounding area.
The campers compete in individual competitions along with drills a complete the camp with the touch football Light Bowl tournament.
More than 20 coaches from the surrounding area assist the camp each year at Harmon Field.
“A lot of great memories working here, coaching here and teaching here,” said former GHS assistant coach and longtime Miami East head football coach Max Current. “It’s always fun to come back and see a lot of the guys I coached here – coaching these young guys like ‘Big Daddy Shaffer, Griffin, Gilmore. I had those guys all in school.”
“The comradery of the coaches, just getting to talk to them and of course seeing Matt,” continued Current. “I coached Matt – I was his position coach when he was in high school and it’s always good to talk to him and reminisce a little bit. All these little kids are eager to learn. I knew Larry (Masters) when I first started at Greenville. Larry was the head coach, so we go way back. It’s always good to help him out.
The Matt Light All-Conference Football Camp is free to campers paid through local donations and an NFL grant.
“Twenty-five years celebrating Larry this year and we’ll send him off in style,” Light said. “We’re going to look forward to ushering in Coach Shaffer. He is going to be headlining this camp. We’re excited to work with him but for now we’re going to soak up a few more lessons with Larry and have some fun doing it.”
“My family has been supportive,” concluded Coach Masters. “My wife put up with a lot over the years, the hours I put in and being gone – my daughter too. I missed a lot of her stuff. She was an athlete in high school and played sports and I missed some of that stuff because of my obligations. Now I’m really enjoying my grandson. I don’t miss much of his. No regrets, none, do it all over again.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Coach Larry Masters leads his final Matt Light All-Conference football camp. (Gaylen Blosser photo)