Contact Football Camp Lake Forest College
Improve your game and have serious fun
at Contact Football Camps
The Lake Forest College Contact Football Camp is a camper favorite. With top-notch instruction, premier competition, and full contact drills campers leave camp ready to compete at the next level!
Jim Catanzaro has been directing Contact Football Camps for the past eight summers. Along with a reputable coaching career, Coach Catanzaro demonstrates a high level of enthusiasm, passion, and energy.
- Individual Camp ages 8-18
- Grouping by age, weight and ability
- Contact Football Camp T-shirt and Prizes
- Great exposure to college coaches
- View More Details ⟩
Camp Director Jim Catanzaro
"Sports continually stress selflessness, and a willingness to achieve things that can only be accomplished by an individual when he is part of a group. The mental focus, physical development, and dependence on character are evident throughout the entire process. Without preparation there is not achievement, and the process is what we celebrate." - Jim CatanzaroView Jim's Bio ⟩
- Getting to Know Jim Catanzaro: Q & A.
- Football Tip: Developing from the Ground Up.
- Football Tip: The First Three Steps of Offensive Line Play.
- Football Tip: Tackling is Fundamental
The 2018 season will be the 10th as Lake Forest’s head coach and 13th at the College for Jim Catanzaro.
The Foresters were 8-2 overall and finished second in the Midwest Conference South Division standings with a league record of 4-1 in 2017. Thirteen players on the team were named All-MWC South, including running back Joey Valdivia, the MWC Offensive Skill MVP, and R.J. Pompey, a first team selection as a defensive back and special teams player for the second year in a row. Valdivia also earned First Team All-West Region honors from D3football.com and First Team All-American accolades from the American Football Coaches Association. Pompey was among eight Lake Forest players to conclude their collegiate careers at the Tazón de Estrellas (Game of the Stars) in Tijuana, Mexico, in December.
The Foresters’ eight-win season in 2017 was their second in a row and fourth in the last six years. Lake Forest also had back-to-back 8-2 records in 2012 and 2013 to match the highest two-year victory total in program history. The team is 23-8 on Farwell Field in the last six seasons with a school record-tying 10-game home winning streak from 2012-13.
Catanzaro was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2012 after Lake Forest earned a share of the fifth conference title in team history. He has also been a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award twice in his tenure. After nine seasons as head coach, Catanzaro ranks third in program history in career victories. His players have earned 87 All-MWC honors since he took over as head coach, including 36 First Team accolades and a pair of Offensive Player of the Year/Skill MVP awards. Six players on the team have been named All-West Region by D3football.com and five have earned All-American distinction. The Foresters have also broken or tied 68 school records during that time, including a 12-game winning streak and the highest scoring totals in a season, game, half, and quarter.
Lake Forest has been especially successful on the defensive side of the ball since Catanzaro took over as defensive coordinator in 2006. In addition to ranking among the conference and national leaders in several statistical categories as a team, individual defensive players have tallied 59 all-conference honors during that time.
Catanzaro’s team’s improvement on the field has coincided with its increased success in the classroom. The Foresters had 19 Academic All-MWC honorees in 2017-18 and have amassed 133 such honors in his nine seasons as head coach. In addition, 16 players on the team have been selected to the prestigious Hampshire Society of the National Football Foundation and one was named Capital One Academic All-District® in 2013.
Forester Football has also been extremely involved in the community under Catanzaro’s watch. The team’s annual Heroes Day efforts have generated more than 340 care packages to be sent to American troops overseas and the squad has raised more than $92,000 over the last nine years in Lake Forest’s Relay for Life initiative. The College has twice presented the team with the Program of the Year award for its participation in on-campus events. Catanzaro’s players have also contributed to numerous other community service projects, both individually and as a group, and have averaged more than 500 hours of community service per semester over the last five years.
At the national level Catanzaro has served on the NCAA Division III Football Committee since 2016 and as a Regional Advisory Committee member since 2014.
Catanzaro came to Lake Forest from NCAA Division II Wingate University, where he was the defensive line coach for three seasons. The Bulldog defense tallied 86 sacks, led the South Atlantic Conference in turnovers twice, and helped the 2004 team post the best single-season record in the program’s history. In addition, a pair of Wingate players earned All-American honors under his direction. He was also the head strength coach for all Wingate sports.
Prior to his time at Wingate, Catanzaro was the defensive line coach, recruiting coordinator, and head strength coach for three seasons at Glenville State College. The Pioneers claimed the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 2001 and he was a member of that year’s SAC Coaching Staff of the Year.
Catanzaro graduated from Greenville University, where he started every game of his career and earned all-conference honors on both sides of the ball. He also handled all the long snapping duties. The team captured a conference title his senior season. Catanzaro also lettered twice in basketball and once in tennis.
He later earned a master’s degree in communications studies from West Virginia University.
Contact Football Camps feature full contact drills and scrimmages with a staff of major college coaches and players. At camps "contact" is introduced in a slow, gradual progression before any actual "contact" is initiated. Campers are divided according to age, weight and ability.
The instruction (3 times a day) stresses both individual positions and team play with every camper. Thousands of our previous football campers played, or are now playing college football (many at schools represented by our coaching staff.
2019 CAMP DATES
- June 16-20
Week Long Camp Check-In
Check-in for the All Skills Camp takes place between 11:00am-12:00pm on Sunday. Opening Ceremony will be on the field at 1:30pm and the first practice (full gear) will begin immediately following around 2:00pm. Parents are invited to watch.
Week Long Camp Check-Out
Campers scrimmage in the morning on the last day of camp, beginning with the youngest campers. Youngest campers will be ready to check out by 11:00 am and all campers should be finished and checked out by 12:00 pm. Parents are encouraged to attend the final scrimmages! Check-out is on the grass practice field.
Campers will be housed in McClure Dorms. Rooms are quads, sleeping four players sharing one one bathroom.
Check-in for the Specialty Clinic takes place at 8:30 am on Sunday. Clinic will end at 12:00 pm.
Campers need a full set of football equipment - helmet, shoulder pads, two jerseys (one light/one dark), pants and pads, football shoes (NO metal-tip cleats), athletic supporter, cup and mouthpiece. For campers without equipment, Contact Football Camp has equipment for rent prior to camp at $150 per set (helmet, shoulder pads, pants and pads) and $175 per set if rented on the first day of camp. Individual pieces of equipment are available at $75 per item.
HALF DAY MORNING SPECIALTY CLINIC - 9 am - 12 pm (first morning) - $165
Quarterbacks – Personalized attention and instruction by our quarterback coaches. The focus of the instruction includes the following: leadership, passing techniques, drop-backs, quickness, footwork, speed and agility, ball handling, hand-offs, pitches and options, passing techniques, sprint-outs, bootlegs, rollouts and play-action, passing drills, grip, QB/center exchange, pivots, sprint-draw and play-action pass, progression for finding the open receiver, mental and physical preparation for playing QB, warm-up drills, reading coverages, secondary pressure, and audibles.
Wide Receivers - Personalized attention and instruction by our receiver coaches. The focus of the instruction includes the following: reading coverages, correct pass routes, working back to the ball, catching the ball at the highest point, catching the ball, following the ball to the hands, speed control, how to get open, spotting defensive coverages (man-to-man, zone and combinations), running drills, receiver drills, stance, release, patterns: out, post, hook, curl, post/corner, fade, in, fly, cross, etc.
Lake Forest Football Highlights
Foresters finished 8-2.. this is the first time that LFC has had back to back 8 win seasons in school history (we've been playing football since 1882)
Coach Cat named a finalist for the Liberty Mutual D3 National Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year
Coach Cat named coach for Team Stars and Stripes (2nd year in a row) in the Tazon de Estrellas Bowl Game
12 players named all-conference
Lake Forest College defense ranked in the top 10 in the country in three categories
Camp Code: FBXROW
Sample Daily Schedule
- Day 1
- 8:30 a.m. Clinic Campers Check In
- 11:00 a.m. All Skills Camp Check In/Rules/Orientation
- 2:00 p.m. Regular Camp Schedule
- Days 2-4
- 7:15 a.m. Wake Up/Stretch/Run
- 7:45 a.m. Breakfast
- 9:00 a.m. Practice #1, Offensive Emphasis
- 11:30 a.m. Lunch/Free Time
- 2:00 p.m. Practice #2, Defensive Emphasis
- 4:00 p.m. Day Campers Depart
- 4:30 p.m. Free Time/Dinner
- 6:45 p.m. Practice #3, Competition
- 815 p.m. Evening Activities, Meetings, Speakers
- 9:00 p.m. Extended Day Campers Depart
- 10:00 p.m. Lights Out
- Day 5
- 7:15 a.m. Stretch/Run
- 7:45 a.m. Breakfast, Warm Up, Drill Recap
- 9:00 a.m. Games
- 12:00 p.m. Camp Check Out
Thanks to a land donation from Senator Charles B. Farwell, who also funded the College’s gymnasium 13 years earlier, Farwell Field was opened in 1903 for Lake Forest’s football and baseball teams. It has been home to Forester football ever since and was renovated prior to the 2004 season. New bleachers and a state-of-the-art press box were constructed and artificial grass was installed on the field itself. It also became the permanent home of the College’s soccer teams at that time.
- Artificial turf installed in 2004 and resurfaced in summer 2017
- Regulation football and soccer field
- Press box with phone and data line accessibility
- Bleacher seating and standing room (total capacity 2000)
- Adjacent to Halas Hall, which includes locker rooms and meeting rooms
Camp ReviewsSubmit a review
June 29, 2018: The talent of the coaches exceeded my expectations. My son learned a lot of new drills and they kept the boys safe. Great camp we will see you next year!
— Nicholas H. Parent
Coming back next summer!
June 24, 2018: This was his first year at camp and he loved it! He met new friends from all over the country. Great coaching staff that worked with my son. Definitely will be coming back next year!!
— Greg J. Parent
Coaches are great!
June 22, 2018: The coaches had great control and levelheadedness at camp! Gavin says he always felt safe and that the coaches did a great job!
— Christine N. Parent
This camp helped a lot!
June 22, 2018: Madden feels he really picked up on his defense techniques along with huge QB help
— Frank Parent
Loved the specialty clinic
July 3, 2017: He loved the extra WR session on Sunday morning as well as the time he spent with new friends at lunch / opening day BBQ.
— Mike T. Parent
Loved his coach
July 1, 2017: Charlie loved his coach, Caleb. He was a great role model and had a lot of fun with the kids.
— Erin Parent
June 30, 2017: I really enjoyed the camp. This was my third year. Every year I learn new skills and ways to improve my playing.
— Matthew J.Parent
Prepares him for fall football
June 30, 2017: This was our 3rd year and each year is a great experience. He loves the drills, competition and food. This camp prepairs him for fall football and the skills he learns at camp have helped him to stand out from his teammates and opponents!
— Keith C.Parent
8th Grade Linebacker Named NUC All-American after attending Contact Football Camp
"This camp was a genuine test for me, because I competed against players who were in high school. It taught me that I can compete against high level competition."
Amazing what coaches can do in a few days
"Great camp for my son, second year, amazing what coaches can do in a few days / how it shows up on the final day in the game. It looks like the kids have been playing together for a month!"
I will tell my friends
"I loved the camp and will tell my friends at LF high school for next year."
We were so happy to see that this camp was all about learning and getting a lot of reps!
"The coaches did a great job! Love the structure of the camp. My son wanted to work on WR skills and that's what he got, plus a lot of reps. He has been to several camps and we feel the razzle dazzle that's played at a lot of camps (divide kids up into teams and coaches are qbs. Two hand touch.) is, quite frankly, a waste of time because the ball doesn't get evenly distributed to the kids and they don't get the reps they deserve. Plus, the kids basically just run down the field...there's no structure to the routes so they aren't learning. They get bored and frustrated because they are putting forth the effort, but not seeing results (i.e. "the ball"). We were so happy to see that this camp was all about learning and getting a lot of reps! We went to another camp after this one (Yes, it had razzle dazzle) and my son said a few times that while it was ok, "it's not as good as the Chicago camp". Definitely worth the money and we'll be back next year for the week long camp as well.
Coaches and Counselors were fantastic role models!
"We were so impressed with the professionalism, dedication and organization of the camp. The coaches and counselors were fantastic role models for our son. We were more than impressed! Thanks!"
Great coach to player ratios
"The coach to player ratio exceeded my expectations. It allowed more reps as well as individual attention to improve my technique at my position. The coaching staff was very knowledgeable and professional. It was rare to have so many Head Coaches of football programs participate in a football camp."
— Overnight Camper
The campers included all ages
"My son was the youngest camper at the Contact Football Camp at Lake Forest. Initially I was nervous about him participating, but the camp counselors made sure he was in a group with kids around his same size. He was easily immersed into the games/drills by all. The kids were great and he had a wonderful time. We will be sending him again next year."
I learned so much
"I had a great time! I played the offensive and defensive positions that I wanted. Thank you! The coaches seemed tough at first, but in the end I learned so much. I really appreciate the time the coaches spent with me! I met new friends who will be coming back next year and so will I."
— Overnight Camper
My son enjoyed the camp. He is looking forward to coming back next year.