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Players volunteer time for football camp

April 9, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A strong community can help people make it through the rough times of a recession. Local high-school athletes decided to use their spring break to train younger kids and give them pointers about their favorite sport: football. Football is a sport of skills. Skills that are best learned from people who play the game. That is why camps like the one at Canyon High School attract such large crowds.

But in today's economy, many families can't afford to send their kids to camps like this one. So Canyon High sophomore Taylor Kozak put his camp together for a very affordable price: free.

"My family? We couldn't afford this," said camp organizer Taylor Kozak. "You can't afford like $100 to give your kid to go to a football camp."

Kozak rounded up 30 of his varsity teammates to serve as coaches, and he got Canyon High to let them use the facilities, and he alerted the elementary and middle schools in the district. That's when they were hit with a blitz of about a hundred football campers.

Parent Shannon Doria has three boys at the camp, only possible because it's free.

"Where do you find a bunch of high-school kids to say, 'I'm going to cancel my spring break, whatever plans I have, I'm going to go on the football field for six hours a day, four days out of the week and teach these kids football?'" said Doria.

The school is providing the field and equipment and all the food was donated by local businesses, but these high-school volunteers are giving up something much more valuable: their vacation time.

"This is their only spring break, and especially for football, you don't get any time off," said Kozak.

"I love football," said camp volunteer Josh Telles. "It's a passion of mine, and being able to teach these kids just how to play is just totally worth giving up spring break."

And there's a lesson learned by the teacher -- a lesson not about quarterbacks and running backs, but about giving back.


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