Prospective football players as young as 5 and as old as 12 received instruction from Reeltown’s coaching staff Saturday.
The Rebels hosted their third annual youth football camp in partnership with Star Seeds, the Tallassee area’s youth mentorship organization.
“The goal is to teach them a few skills,” Reeltown head football coach Matt Johnson said. “If they can walk away just learning one thing, it’s worth their time. But amongst all that, the main thing is just to come out here and have fun.”
A combination of assistant coaches and current Reeltown players guided the youth through a series of fundamental drills before capping the camp with a few backyard games Saturday.
Campers were from all over the area, including young athletes playing pee wee football for Tallassee, Reeltown and Elmore County.
Johnson said there were even some in attendance that had never tried the sport before.
“We want to make it a family atmosphere. We feel like it is that,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty loose. We’ll eat and hang out.
“It’s a lot of positive vibes all the way around. It’s just a blessing.”
Plenty of smiles were showing throughout the course of the day, both from those in the training session and those running it.
Johnson noted that instructing the youngsters was a great experience for his players, who got to see the future of the program and act as role models for a day.
“Number one, they get to work with kids,” Johnson said. “Seeing them having fun with the kids, and teaching them the game and teaching them to have fun, there’s a community aspect to that. Then also you’ve got the part where they’ve gotta teach a little football. It strengthens their craft, it sharpens their tools.”
A number of campers that came out were members of Star Seeds, with president LD Bell helping drive the widespread nature of the event. Several school systems were represented.
Tallassee and Reeltown may be rivals on Friday nights, Johnson said, but at any other time it’s important that they work together to better their towns and the county at large.
“When he started his program, and I came to Reeltown, he and I both came together and we brainstormed a lot on what we can do,” Johnson said. “We’ve been in touch, putting kids in his program from Reeltown and this camp. It’s just knocking down whatever barriers may be between kids and schools.”