David City football took a glimpse at the next generation of gridiron stars when it hosted a junior high mini camp last week.
Players and coaches from the varsity team came together to teach the younger players the fundamentals of football and began introducing them to the terminology of the system.
On top of being an opportunity to prepare the youth of David City for football, it also is a chance for the players to give back to the community and younger supporters of the team.
"That's a big part. That's what I tell my high school kids. You need to give back to this program," coach Robert Evans said. "Those kids are there Friday night watching you.
"That's what helps build our program, too, building relationships and stuff like that. That's what makes kids want to come out. They're like, 'I've seen him play, I want to be like him.' You have those people that you idolize growing up. That's a big part I sell to our kids - 'Give back.'"
David City used to combine with Shelby-Rising City at the junior high level, but with SRC moving to eight-man football, David City is now doing its own thing.
Now that David City junior high is on its own, Evans wants to install his offense at that level to make for an easier transition to the high school level.
"Instead of those kids coming in and only getting four years of our program, we're going to get two more years at junior high doing exactly what we're learning," Evans said. "I tell our high school kids, 'You come through our system, by the time you're juniors and seniors you should be studs, because you've mentally repped these things over and over.' Now they don't have to thing about it. They're just doing it."
At this age, Evans is mostly focusing on teaching technique and terminology. This is only the second year Evans has been coaching the program, so for many of the players, they're still advancing in their understanding.
"They need to know our system" Evans said. "Just the base stuff is all we're teaching."
The camp was also an opportunity for the high school players to share their love of football
One player who said he's enjoyed helping out this week is incoming sophomore Caden Denker, who plays tight end and defensive end.
"It's been great," he said. "I know these guys are the future of the program. To be out here teaching them things they need to know is a good feeling."
Being a sophomore, some of the players he's teaching will be on his team in the next two years.
One of those players is his brother, who will be a freshmen when Denker is a senior.
"Seeing him out here and learning all this stuff is weird, because I know in a few years he's going to be here with me," Caden said.
The camp also provides a fun opportunity for the coaches to teach football to players that don't have much experience. It's a style of coaching that offers a change of pace to Evans and his staff.
"That is the best part," Evans said. "When you get them at this age, they're like a sponge. They're wanting to absorb everything."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at email@example.com