Camp builds great football players and great young men

High school football boys help to educate younger players

By Sydney Booth

For the Eaton High School football coaches and their players, it’s all about giving back to the community. High school players took three days out of their last free week before school to instruct local kids in everything from passing, punting, blocking, and receiving. Working with the kids is its own special kind of reward for these high schoolers, especially when they start to see improvement from the group of dedicated kids. In the words of head coach Zac Lemon, it’s all about making “great football players and great young men.”

The young athletes that come out are willing to listen and accept tips from coaches to improve their game. Travis Cunningham (18) observed the hard-working attitude of the young players, some of which who wake up at 8 a.m. on their last few days of summer to play football. The second year of the camp has yielded a higher turnout of young athletes than its previous first year, which is yet another testament to the willingness of the kids to work hard on their game.

The high school coaches have seized the opportunity to become role models for the kids that come to the camp ready to learn. Some of the elementary and middle schoolers, like Nate Graham say they he has never played football before. His sibling and new high school football coach, Ethan Graham (19), sparked his interest in football, and he has been enjoying the sport so far.
The camp itself is broken down into grade levels. A middle school session runs from 8-9:30 a.m. and the fourth through sixth grade session goes from 10-11:30 a.m.. As far as the instruction at the camp goes, kids are split up into groups based on positions. Austin Coalson (18), a quarterback himself, works with the small group of want-to-be quarterbacks and running backs. Other groups include the offensive and defensive linemen and wide receivers. Meanwhile, the students at the camp scrimmage with their newly acquired skills, sometimes competing against their high school coaches. Lemon said that the kids “go harder” in the presence of the high school coaches, which helps to build a competitive environment. The camp has value on both sides: the high school players become better players from the coaching experience, and young players are familiarized with the varsity football program.