PACE — Last week, the Patriots held their annual football camp at their practice fields. The camp is not for high school players. It is for boys ages 7-14 and normally held in July.
"We had about 12 kids that signed up for the camp this year," said Head Coach Kent Smith.
Pace varsity coaches run the camp and they give instruction on the specifics of each position. The school also allows the camper to use the practice fields and weight rooms. The camp is three days long and you have to pay to attend.
Varsity players from the Patriots team volunteer to help with the instruction, practicing and in building the young players confidence and sense of team said the coach.
"That was the best part of camp," said Andrew White, who will enter his senior year in the fall and plays safety and punts for the team. "Man, the day we got to hang out with the varsity players ... that was cool."
White should know. He has been involved in camps and PARA since he was 3-years-old.
"I liked the camps and PARA, they teach you the game and it gets you used to the speed and quickness of the next level," White said.
The camp teaches children offensive and defensive techniques, stretching and provides personalized attention from the coaches.
The kids at this year's camp, as in years past, were in awe when they met the varsity players and started getting instruction and encouragement from them.
"It's like you're meeting your hero," White said.
The varsity players responded by encouraging the kids’ efforts, teaching them when they can and treating them as team members.