HARKER HEIGHTS -- Harker Heights replaced the usual week-long freshman football camp with a freshman football academy lasting all day Friday.

The event started at 10:30 a.m. and concluded with a parent meeting at 5:30 p.m.

Knights head coach Jerry Edwards was happy with how the academy went and how many kids showed up. Approximately 60 freshmen participated in the academy, according to Edwards, who was inspired at the turnout.

“It’s encouraging,” he said, “because this is not mandatory. This is just one of those things to come and learn.

“That’s why we made it into the academy — so those guys can come and get a leg up.”

Serving as a way to merge into the first day of practice Monday, there were plenty of drills related to the game throughout the day, but the kids learned more than fundamentals.

“They came in and did their impact testing to make sure for concussion protocol,” Edwards said, “we went through offense and defense, and we did some character lessons in the middle of the day to give them a rest.”

The players were also assigned lockers and received some equipment.

“This will give them a leg up on those guys who show up for the first time on Monday,” Edwards said.

Along with getting a head start, the participants were also given extra time to adjust to leap from the middle-school level to high school.

One of the biggest changes is the increased number of coaches. At junior high, teams only have four or five coaches, but there are 12 to 14 at high school.

“It’s really good,” Edwards said, “because it’s a little different setting.

“We’re not rushed, because we have all day, and it does give them a chance for them to acclimate a little bit.”

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