The Belen High School football team took to the field on Saturday to help with a youth camp. In the camp’s second year, 70 kids ages 7 to 14 showed up for the full day of football fundamentals.
“Last year was the first year and we had 80 kids, but that was because (Little League baseball) all-stars had just finished up,” said Kevin Peña, who coordinated the camp. “We got a little bit of a late start this year.”
The camp was a good chance to get the younger Valencia County residents out on the field and show them the fundamentals of football. Peña and the other coaches divided the kids into groups. Campers received instruction on everything from defensive positions to agility drills that the Eagles use in their daily practices.
“It is always good to give back to the community,” Peña said. “We had fun showing the kids some fundamentals, and, of course, it helps to strengthen the (high school football) program.”
For fun, an obstacle course was set up and the kids were divided into teams so they could challenge each other.
“We kept the kids moving so they didn’t get bored,” Peña said.
Not only did the campers keep active and have fun, the high school players enjoyed working with the younger players.
“It’s great to get the kids out here,” senior Terrell Trantham said. “They get to see the faces of the players they’re familiar with from the high school. This will help them know much more about football. It’s a light atmosphere where we show them moves and have a good time.”
Mostly kids from Belen attended the camp, but there were also players from Los Lunas, Albuquerque, Mountainair and even one from Las Cruces.
The camp wasn’t all about football.
“We made it a point to focus on academics,” Peña said. “We made sure to tell them that school comes first. If you don’t get it done in the classroom, you can’t go out on the field.”