The Golden Mules Youth Football Camp focuses on the "little things" a player needs to be successful.
Solanco varsity football coach Tony Cox hopes the camp serves as something of a refresher course for his high school athletes as they instruct the younger players.
Cox, his assistant coaches, and current Mules players were the clinicians at the camp for kindergarten-eighth graders held last Thursday and Friday evenings at Solanco High School.
"It's like anything else, you want to build a foundation from the ground up," said Cox, who is entering his sixth season as Mules coach. "So we go out and get kids to come out to this camp so we can teach them the fundamental stuff, how to hold a ball, how to run with the ball, how to catch a ball so they can transition that into midget football. It's just the little things. I'm big about if you take care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves."
Cox says the camp benefits both the participants and instructors.
"They get to build relationships with kids in the community," Cox said of his student-athletes. "It's not just them. We're all a team here at Solanco. Being able to interact with young kids and teach them helps them because it makes them focus on the little things, the cues and the keys that we talk about at our practices."
It's a fun experience for the Solanco High players. "I enjoy teaching the kids how to do drills, building fundamentals, and having fun with them," rising senior Grady Unger said.
Rising junior Seth Harnish agrees. "I like it a lot," he said. "They look up to you and you get to teach them stuff that you know, and you get to play with them. It's fun for everybody."
Said Chad Carter: "I just love the game and I want them to enjoy it. I like to play with the kids. I like it when they laugh and it's fun just hanging around with them."
The camp is one of many ways the Solanco football program is involved with the community.
"Building ties in the community means more people come to the games, more people support us," said Unger.
Harnish spreads a simple message. "Work hard," he tells the campers. "You can get better at anything if you work hard at it."