Hezekiah Costly, an 11-year-old Hay Branch Elementary School student and future running back, showed off his moves and talent while participating in the day’s football drills at a clinic held by the Hometown Pros on Saturday morning.

 “Today was fun,” said Costly, adding that he “liked all of the drills” and couldn’t pick which one was his favorite.

Costly was one of several children who filled the Killeen Community Center Athletic fields excited for the chance to learn from area football coaches and athletic trainers at the Hometown Pros event.

Held in association with the Killeen Independent School District’s Wellness Fair at the Celebrate Killeen Festival, the Hometown Pros held a free tackling technique and family friendly workout session that aimed to teach children the proper fundamentals of tackling and training.

The morning started with an introduction from the day’s lead trainer, Carl Robinson. Robinson, a head athletic trainer at Body and Soul Fitness, led the children in the day’s activities.

“Today was very successful,” Robinson said. “We had a lot of young kids come out today … it’s great establishing so early the advantages of healthy living, not just to these kids, but their parents also.”

Along with athletic training, children also had the opportunity to learn from local high school football coaches about the importance of proper technique and mechanics.

“The big push in the NFL right now is the importance of heads-up tackling,” said Ken Gray, former head football coach at Shoemaker High School. “Teaching these kids the importance of form tackling, how to drive your hips and proper head placement will prevent injury… Hometown Pros is happy to be a part of today.”

The Hometown Pros return July 12-13 with their fourth annual Cen-Tex Pro Football Camp and Combine.

“The goal for today was to give back to the community,” Hometown Pros Vice President Veshell Willis said. “Today was just a little taste of what’s to come.”

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