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HOMETOWN HEROES — Memorial coaches see free football camp as community & future investment

For past five years, Memorial Head Football Coach Brian Morgan has offered a free football camp to the area youth.

Morgan said he sees the camp as beneficial on two fronts.

“I think if you are really doing it for the kids, and everyone says that, (keeping it free) make it available to everybody,” he said. “The way I see it, it is more of an investment on my end. The kids that are going to it are going to play for me. It might not be for five, eight or 10 years.”

Morgan said some of the children that coaches first worked with are now in the summer program as middle schoolers.

“It is really good to see,” he said. “Some of them have older brothers that play for us now, so you get to see the younger brothers.”

All of the coaches from middle school on up participate in the camp, but Morgan said he also has players help out.

“The kids look up to them,” he said. “They are at the games on Friday and see those guys. More than anything, our kids need to understand how to give back to the community and how to do things to benefit the younger generation. Hopefully they can apply that later in life.”

Memorial defensive coordinator Korey Mangum said he is happy to be a part of the camp because it helps out the community.

“It is always good to see the kids from the whole Southeast Texas area come out,” Mangum said. “It is good for them to come and not have to pay. We get to meet them at an early age. A lot of our team that is going to be seniors were coming into the ninth grade from that camp. I think it is a big deal. I am glad that COVID is slowing down and allowing things like this to open back up.”

The camp also offers younger kids a chance to know what it takes to be a high school football player and set a standard.

“You are trying to get these guys to understand and grow up,” Morgan said. “They understand what being a Titan is. Most of them play for the Little Titans. They go to one of the middle schools and then come to us. It is kind of funny to see how much they grow. We have a couple of them that are going to be freshmen this year and we have seen them since they were young.

“They are getting a little height to them and a little size. It is funny. It is obvious, too, at the younger ages, sometimes, who is the athlete. It is fun to recognize those kids early. Jah’mar (Sanders, the Titans’ starting quarterback) was a really good player when he was young and is still a really good player.”

The camp will run July 27-28 for ages 6 to incoming ninth graders.

More information regarding the camp will be posted on the districts social media pages in July.