“The camp has been really good,” said Mitchell, who is entering his second year at the helm of the Trojan program. “Our whole staff is here. The kids are getting a lot of one-on-one coaching. That’s going to pay off for them down the line. And they’ve had a lot of fun.
“Overall, it’s been really successful. We’ve got a lot of talented kids, talented young kids. We’re happy with it.”
Nearly 50 players took part in the camp, including 28 in the older division, which included players entering the sixth through ninth grades.
Mitchell said that group, more than the youth group, understood the importance of being able to play on the turf, which was completed in early June.
“The older kids, the sixth through ninth group, I think they understand the significance (stepping onto that turf). They’re excited to get out there on it every day. It’s a whole new experience for them. A lot of them have never been on anything like that. They’re loving it. It’s really exciting to them.”
The youth group featured nearly 20 players and wrapped up around 10 o’clock on Wednesday morning.
“We think it’s super important (to have the young players involved),” Mitchell said. “The younger we can get them, and start molding them to take pride in being a Trojan and understand how important it is and what a big deal it is, the better off we are.”
The older group wrapped up play around noon on Wednesday.
After each group finished, the campers were presented with a camp T-shirt and certificate of completion.
Mitchell addressed the older group after handing out the certificates, telling the campers that they were all now Trojans.
The same sentiment was passed along to the youth group as well.
Mitchell said it was important to him to make sure each camper knew that they were a part of the family now.
“We tell these kids, at the end of the camp, ‘Now that you’ve been here and you’ve been a part of the camp ... you’re part of the family now. Any time you need anything, or when we see you, make sure you come and say hi, because you’re a part of us now.’
“We want them to feel that way all the way, even after they graduate. I think that’s the biggest thing about it.”
Kevin J. Keller is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5223, or at sports@mySouTex.com.