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LaGrange players lend a hand at camp

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – The shoe was on the other foot.

Or, more aptly, the whistle was around the other neck.

On Saturday, LaGrange High head football coach Dialleo Burks hosted a youth football camp at Granger Park.

Serving as instructors were many of Burks’ players, and he said it was a valuable experience for them to be on the other end of the teacher-student relationship.

“It was a good deal, especially where we are right now with our guys,” Burks said. “Having them help the little ones, they said coach, they don’t listen, we had to tell them more than one time. That’s what I told them. That’s how I feel about you guys. You guys act the same way to us.”

Burks said the day went well, even though the participation level was a bit down compared to a year ago.

“It was a good turnout today,” Burks said. “But we had a lot of guys that were playing AAU basketball.”

The young players were on the field for three hours on Saturday, and Burks said that the time was well-spent, with the campers being put through a number of drills designed to improve their football skills.

While Burks and the other instructors made sure the players enjoyed themselves, he said it was a teaching camp.

“We put them in the system, lined them up, they had to call positions and all that,” Burks said. “It’s not about running around cones. Some of it is. But my take on football camps is, I want you to learn football. Proper technique, proper fundamentals. That’s what we teach.”

Burks said he appreciated the enthusiasm level of the campers, and he hopes that’s something his players took notice of.

“There’s no pressure at all,” Burks said. “That’s where they started playing, at that age. It’s a mentality, a mindset. They’re playing because they love it.”

As for his team, Burks said the summer program for the players will begin on June 5, and there will be workouts at the school every day from Monday through Thursday, with the exception of the week of July 4th which is the Georgia High School Association-mandated dead week.

Burks said LaGrange will host two 11-on-11 padded camps on June 20 and July 15.

“The one in June, we’ve got about three schools that have committed,” Burks said. “The one in July, we’ve got about 10 that are coming, and we’ll be in (Callaway Stadium).”

Also, a number of Grangers will be participating in position camps, and Burks said he and the other coaches will be working hard to get the players who are interested football scholarships.

When the last week in July rolls around, it’ll be time for official practice to get under way, and LaGrange begins its season on Aug. 18 against Callaway.