Loudon High School's football coaching staff held a free skills camp for youth entering grades five through eight this week.
Although numbers were down somewhat from years past, head coach Jeff Harig said the coaches are still glad to do it.
"The reason I do it for free is it's good practice for us," Harig said. "This is exact stuff we'll be doing with our varsity guys when we get back from the break. It's good to get us in the mindset. We do enough other things to raise money."
Youth worked with position coaches running through no-pad drills for two hours at night Monday through Thursday, focusing on both offense and defense.
"It's good because a lot of these kids play in our youth program," Harig said during a break in the camp.
One downside this year was a drop in participation.
The Loudon coaches have hosted the program for six years, many years with a corporate sponsor so they could supply kids with free shirts and footballs. That wasn't the case this year.
"Somehow we didn't get the word out well enough," Harig said. "A lot of kids are doing baseball and stuff like that, so it's hard. You would think for free we'd have a little bit more, but that's all right too. The ones that are here are doing a good job and they're eager."
Harig said in past years the camp has drawn 50 or 60 campers. This year's offering was about 10 to 20 campers shy of that mark.
Loudon will begin a skills camp for varsity players July 9 following the TSSAA's two-week dead period.