The Benton Rangers football staff, under the direction of Benton Consolidated High School head football coach Justin Groves, held the annual youth camp this past week at a spruced-up Tabor Field.
Groves, now in his fourth year at the helm of the Rangers program, greeted nearly a hundred youngsters that turned out for this year's edition of the popular event.
The coach said, "The camp is designed for all football players going into the first through eighth grades and we teach them the basics, how to block, how to tackle, the fundamentals of offense, defense and special teams and hopefully we're able to instill in them a love for the game in the short time we have them."
Camp participants were also each timed in a 40-yard dash, got to participate in a punt, pass and kick contest, and competed against their peers in agility contests.
The camp was divided into two groups, with first- through fourth-graders grouped together and fifth- through eighth-graders together.
In addition to sharing many tips about playing the game with the youngsters, Groves said they also stress nutrition and fitness. "We talked to them about taking care of their bodies and about the importance of eating right," he said.
Like most area coaches and players, Coach Groves is looking forward to playing a full schedule and before crowds again following the pandemic restrictions, adding, "With the limited season last year we went 5-1 and the ISHA playoffs were canceled, so our kids are excited about things getting back to normal!"