Paying it Forward

Jul 23, 2012 1:48 AM by Van Nguyen

High school students organize free football camp for foster kids

TUCSON - Some high school students are paying it forward, using the sport they love to make a difference in the community.

They've organized a kids camp, teaching foster children the game of football.

Dozens of kids eagerly hit the field ready to play football.

They loosen up first with a few warm-ups, followed by some jumping jacks. Then the serious practice begins.

Football players from the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy organized this free youth football camp for foster kids.

Senior Grayson Barghols says, "a lot of kids my age take for granted the opportunities they have. We're really blessed. We have a lot of things in our life, we don't recognize that a lot of other people don't have those same opportunities."

For one week, Barghols and other players serve as coaches showing foster kids what football is all about.

Together, they work on exercising, speed and agility.

No matter what obstacles may be in their way, coach Troy Cropp hope this experience will teach foster kids the community cares about them.

Cropp hope his players leave understanding what leadership truly means.

Cropp says, "leadership isn't about just me and my accomplishments, it's about serving your community. So we're instilling that in our players year round and this is an outstanding context for them to go serve, be humble and encourage others."

Barghols says he'll take the lessons on this field with him to the classroom and beyond.

He says, "if you find the chance to give back, it's really important to do that because there are kids less fortunate than you that have the same interest, that have the same goals, if you can push them in that direction, I think it's a terrific opportunity."

It costs nearly $2,000 to organize the youth football camp.

The students sold discount cards to raise money for the camp.

They say they want to make it a yearly event.

You can help donate by contacting the Pusch Ridge Christain Academy athletic office at 797-0107.

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