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Football camp fires up Longhorns

By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

Saturday’s football camp for youth league players at Johnson County High School was a complete success in many ways.
There were broad smiles on the faces of each participant in addition to the ones displayed by the high school players and coaching staff.
JCHS’ head coach Don Kerley took time out of his busy schedule to put the kids through four hours of workouts on a hot muggy morning. But nobody seemed to mind, especially his players and coaching staff.
Defensive drills were the primary focus for the first two hours of the camp. The kids appeared to get the hang of it after Kerley and his staff demonstrated.
“We had a good turnout of kids, both youth league and high school players,” said Kerley. “Our coaches did a good job working with them and so did some other volunteers who provided refreshments. We worked on tackling, head drill, arm and fumble recovery to get things started. We also did a lot of defensive back drills. Each of the kids did a great job of listening. I thought everything went well.”
There weren’t many linemen but JCHS’ starting center Jake Bower made sure that each participant got the special treatment.
“I really enjoyed just playing with the kids and teaching them football,” said Bower. “I looked up to the high school players like they were gods when I was little. So getting to give back to them and helping out was something special for me. I can’t believe that I’m now a high school senior and they’re looking up to us. We’re all Longhorns regardless of what age we are.”
The kids were allowed to enter the locker room and put on the players’ uniforms at the start. The high school players had a good time with it.
“We try to keep things team oriented,” said starting lineman Alec Tester. “When you look out here you see a lot of Longhorn pride. We’re close like a family even with the little kids. Johnson County is a big football town. It feels good to help these kids and be a part of teaching them. I hope when they get up here they’re better than we are right now. If we all keep giving back the program will keep getting better.”

JCHS’ starting lineman Evan Martin knew how each kid felt. He said that coming to the high school games was always special to him.

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