With six different ages groups, USA Football gives athletes access to the best coaches and training while also providing top-level competition in a safe environment.
The program also helps young men develop their character while exposing them to elite players and coaches, and last weekend Missouri Military Academy head football coach Mitchell Jenkins took three of his players to particpate at an event in Bashor, KS., and things couldn't have gone much better.
"Because of Missouri State High School Athletic Association rules, we didn't really prepare in a way you'd like, like a college player getting ready for the draft or anything like that," Jenkins said. "The players lifted hard during the spring, worked on agility drills and then spent a lot of time on their own, working on football drills."
Representing the Fighting Colonels in Kansas were defensive back Wrayvuse Givens and tight end Forrest Drummond. Freshman defensive lineman Tao Cunningham was on-hand, as well.
"Tao had an outstanding camp, based on what I saw. I was very surprised by how much he has improved in a short time, and looked very good against much bigger (school size) competition," Jenkins said. "Wrayvuse was very steady, as he always is. Forrest was playing a new position and turned in a good performance on day two during seven on seven drills."
With age groups running from U-14 to U-19, at this event Givens and Drummond competed with the U-16 athletes and Cunningham worked with the U-15 group. To become eligible to participate at one of these events individuals actually have to be nominated and are chosen based on criterias such as number of years having played football, other sports played, position played in that sport and which of the regionals that student planned on attending.
"As a coach, I love watching how USA football runs a camp. I got several drills and practice ideas from the camp," said Jenkins. "Its always nice to see your players not only compete, but hold their own against some of the best players in the region. Lots of our players were freshman and sophomores last year, and I'm hoping the growth that these three showed is a sign for the rest of our program."
Now that school is ending today for MMA, offseason workouts begin on May 29 for the football team with weightlifting every Tuesday and Thursday. What makes Jenkins optimistic about this offseason is the number of Fighting Colonels who will be living within driving distance of the school this summer that he hopes will make this offseason an incredibly busy one for he and his squad.
"I'm excited for our weight room attendance to be at an all-time high," Jenkins said.