Spring may not be when you expect to see players on a football field, but members at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County’s Goshen Clubhouse are using the traditional off-season to learn more about the game.
They’re taking part in a Junior NFL program. More than 35 members have signed up and are completing the roster for four teams.
“The reason we’re doing football now is that schools will do programs in the fall, and we want to attract kids who might be busy then. We are trying to teach the fundamentals and get them prepared to eventually take part in our varsity teams,” said Athletics Supervisor Tyler August.
The program is the latest in a series of similar programs for the younger members. Junior NBA and soccer programs were offered earlier in the school year.
“We have different kids taking part who saw or heard from friends about the other programs and wanted to give this a try,” August said.
Like the other programs, the Junior NFL teams are being coached by teens at the Club. They provide mentorship and advice to the younger members.
“I coached Junior NBA basketball and it was a lot of fun, so I wanted to do this, too,” said teen coach Trenton.
The players say they’re excited to be taking part in the fun.
“I want to be successful. I’m mainly into soccer, but my friend wanted to do this so I’m giving it a try,” said 11-year-old Brandon.
“I’m having fun, but looking forward to winning,” said 12-year-old Adrian. “I played tackle football so I know a little about this.”
August said he hopes the members develop a passion for the game.
“I want it to be lower intensity as they develop their skills. If they want to move forward, they will hopefully want to play for us or on a school team,” he said.