Coaches Shaffer and Hall – campers to coaches

Former Matt Light All-Conference Football Camp campers now serving as coaches for the prestigious local football camp

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Former Matt Light All-Conference Football Camp campers AJ Shaffer (L) and Ansonia head football coach, Adam Hall (R) return to coach at local camp. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – The Matt Light All-Conference Football Camp just completed its 30th year and has come fully circle with former campers now coaching at the prestigious camp.

Ansonia head varsity football coach, Adam Hall was the first former camper to coach at the free football camp and former camper No. 2 to join the coaching ranks, AJ Shaffer completed his coaching debut at the recent Greenville camp.

“The first camp I came to was still out behind Kroger,” said Coach Hall. “It was rained out the first and ended up having to cancel – it was a three day camp at the time so we still had two days left that we got to attend.”

Ansonia head football coach, Adam Hall gives instructions at the 2023 Matt Light All-Conference Football Camp. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Greenville 2023 graduate, AJ Shaffer was on the field helping coach the annual football camp before heading off to play college football at Marian University.

“The camp has been going on long enough that we have coaches now who were campers,” said Greenville AD and camp director Aaron Shaffer.  “Adam Hall, head coach at Ansonia is doing a great job up there, he was a camper. We were reminiscing his one year of being a camper, his very first day got cancelled due to weather.  AJ, my son is going to go off to college and wants to become a teacher and a coach. He wanted to come out and start getting his feet wet in the coach’s world so it’s neat to have a camp that has gone on as long as it has. Now we have guys that are able to give back to the camp that gave them something at some point, so it’s really neat.”

“What’s really cool is that we grew up together and Coach Shaffer has invested so much into this community and in the athletic program as a coach and as an AD,” said Matt Light. “But what is special for him this year is that his son AJ is out here coaching. He’s a kid that went through this camp, watched his dad coach him a million hours and now he’s out here and he’s working on that Shaffer 2.0. It is going to be fun to watch AJ mature as a coach.”

Greenville 2023 graduate, AJ Shaffer coaches young campers at the 2023 Matt Light All-Conference Football Camp. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“It’s fun to coach all the young kids because I was the young kid once looking up to all the coaches and taking in all the advice that they had to give me,” AJ stated. “I’m giving that to the kids I’m coaching.”

AJ’s goal is to be a high school coach and looks to the recent camp to help launch a coaching career.

“I’m getting experience with a lot harder kids to coach because they’re young and if you don’t tell them exactly what to do and how to do it they won’t do how they need to,” Shaffer said. “It’s nice to see how all the other coaches are coaching. This being my first time it’s good to pick up on what they are doing.”

Coach Hall was CCC Offensive Lineman of the Year and was named Second-Team All-Ohio playing for the Ansonia Tigers under legendary coach Eugene Hoening before going on to a successful college football career at Defiance College. As a college senior, the 5’9” offensive lineman weighed in at 290 pounds.

“As a player there were a whole lot of coaches here,” Hall said of his days as a camper. “Same way now. There are a lot of county coaches you get to learn from and that was great but I think more importantly when you’re young you just want to play football, the more days you get to do that it’s a good thing.”

“As a coach, it’s fun to come back, see all the kids out here and interact with all of these coaches,” Hall added. “There are a lot of coaches out here. It’s a good chance for young coaches to learn from.”

Coach Hall understands a young athlete has but one high school football career and needs to make the best of it.

“If you are a boy that goes to Ansonia we want you to play football, junior high football, flag football, pee wee football and obviously high school football,” Coach Hall stated. “It’s hard work but the benefits that you get from it, there is no way to put a number on it. It’s overwhelmingly good. Once football is over, it’s done and you are never going to get a chance to do that again. You have to take advantage of it while you have it.”