Coaches, young athletes get community connection at PNG camp

Published 12:10 am Thursday, June 2, 2022

PORT NECHES — More than 100 kids swarmed the Port Neches-Groves High School football field this week to partake in the school’s football camp.

Lineman Bryce Loftin remembers what is was like to be in elementary school and see varsity football players at the camps. Loftin was one of a few PNG football players helping with drills Wednesday.

“It is a lot of fun,” he said. “I remember being a little kid like them and thinking that I couldn’t wait to be (like the varsity players). Here we are.”

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Campers split up into positions and went with their respective coaches to work on some fundamental drills.

The camp was the first for new Head Coach Jeff Joseph.

“It has been really good,” he said. “We want them to fell like they are part of the school’s football team and part of the community. We hope to teach them a few football skills that they can take with them as they go to their youth football league seasons. We really want them to feel like they are a part of the team and let them get to know their coaching staff.”

Joseph said the varsity players were there on their own accord.

“Those guys came out because they remember what it is like to be those kids,” he said. “It means something to them to be out there and see them.”

Joseph said the camp also allows him to get closer to the community. He was hired to take over the program earlier this year.

“It is huge to be out there with them,” he said. “The quicker we can build a relationship with them, the better off it is going to be in the next few years as the kids enter high school, themselves. It is important to build that relationship with the players and the coaches.”

Joseph, who has coached defense his entire career, wandered around to different defensive drills this week. He primarily worked with defensive backs on proper footwork and ball skills.

“We are teaching the basic skills and fundamentals,” he said. “We have three or four coaches on staff that have their kids out there, too. They know the importance of being a part of the community. They have their own families. They know how they would like their kids to be treated at camp.”