LAGRANGE – LaGrange High head football coach Dialleo Burks thought he would give his a players a glimpse of how the other half lives.
During Saturday’s youth camp at Granger Park that was hosted by the LaGrange football team, Burks tasked some of his players to serve as instructors, in part to provide them with a chance to be the ones doing the coaching.
“I purposely put my guys, our players, in charge of the little guys,” Burks said. “They see how hard it was to get them to move, or to tell them something, and then they forget it after you just told them. Now they understand what we go through as coaches. It was good to see them in that light.”
Burks said the players did an outstanding job in their role as coaches, keeping the young campers on the go, and making sure they got the most out of their three hours on the grass at Granger Park.
More than 80 young players came out, which was a considerable increase over the turnout from two years ago when Burks first offered the camp.
“I did it my first year, and we had 15 kids,” Burks said. “We took off last year because of the field, and came back this year.”
While some of the campers who signed up didn’t make it on Saturday, Burks said the day was a success.
“It was a pretty good day,” Burks said. “We had 125 signed up, and I think we ended up maxing out at about 83 kids. I’m proud of them.”
Each of the players received a LaGrange football jersey and a T-shirt, which many of them used as a platform to get autographs from some of the college football players who were helping out.
In addition to the LaGrange High players who were lending a hand, Burks and his assistant coaches were also out on the field with the campers.
Burks said it’s a way to attempt to make the LaGrange High football program a larger part of the community.
“We’ve kind of lost that feeling a little bit, that connection,” Burks said. “We just want to re-establish that connection a little bit. That’s what we’re doing.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports