JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Todd Dodge’s knack for developing quarterbacks is well known across the state of Texas and in many parts of the country.
But now, his reputation has crossed over international borders.
That was evident when four players from Mexico City, Mexico, stepped onto the turf at Mustang Stadium for the Todd Dodge Quarterback and Receivers Camp on June 17-20. The Marble Falls High School athletic director and head football coach has conducted the camp for 21 years.
At the conclusion of one camp session, Dodge gave the four players a private lesson, with their coach, Jaime LaBastida, shooting video to take home to implement some of the same drills, steps and techniques at his Redskins team’s practices. Dodge even offered clips of his teams’ performances.
The Mustangs coach praised the Mexico City players’ efforts each time they took the field.
“They’re improving,” he said.
LaBastida said he has attended coaches clinics offered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where Dodge was a featured speaker.
“He showed us the videos of him training the guys,” he said. “In Mexico, (football is) so different to play. We like a lot of the football that’s prepared here. You can do more preparation here in the U.S.”
LaBastida’s team plays in the Mexico City club league Fademac, which he called the best league for players. In all, the league has 230 players who start training in January but don’t put on full pads until late March. Players ages 5-8 compete in flag football, while ages 10-15 put on pads.
And just like in the United States, the top players are offered scholarships to play American football at several universities in Mexico.
Receiver Emilio Morales, 14, said so much of what they learned during the camp was new to them.
“In Mexico, they don’t explain that many things,” he said. “And here, (they do.) There are many things we learned here. We will take that to Mexico. We will teach these things.”