Youthful football players unleashed their passion on a wide assortment of bags during the seventh annual Sumner Spartans youth football camp last week at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
Close to 75 players in kindergarten through sixth grade ran routes and made picture-perfect hits on tackling dummies during the four-day camp.
Sumner High School head football coach Keith Ross said the camp focused on making sure every player left the field excited about the sport.
“We call this a fun football camp where we incorporate some easy football skills for each position,” Ross said. “The kids are having fun with that and tackling the big bags. We play some tag games and do a little bit of scrimmaging, too.”
Ross said more than 20 high school players helped to coach the youngsters during the week.
“A good portion of them are getting hours for their senior project by coaching at the camp,” he said. “It’s just a great deal all around.”
Sumner running back Brandon “Juice” Tuilaepa, who has been a regular at the camp for the past four years, said showing youngsters the details of the game is something he enjoys.
“It is so much fun,” he said with a smile. “It’s a challenge when you work with the younger kids, because sometimes all they want to do is hit the bags. As a coach, you’ve got to keep up with them. That’s the hard part. They have so much energy.”
Tuilaepa said it’s an honor to be a role model.
“They love talking to me about our football team and our football games,” he said. “A lot of kids tell me they see me wearing my No. 6 jersey when they go to the games. It makes me feel good as a football player, knowing they look up to me like that.”
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.