In June, members of the Los Angeles Rams rookie class facilitated a free coed football clinic for the students of the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) at Crozier Middle School. Over 300 students came out and learned different drills from the new players.
“It’s awesome that they were able to bring the kids out to work with our elementary and middle school student athletes,” said IUSD director of athletics Omar Bray. “We always want them to focus on fitness and nutrition as well as academics, so this is something that they can work on, strong mind, strong body.”
The youth participated in speed and agility drills along with drills in running and catching. They also got to learn the basics of flag football. The youth were divided into groups and rotated through drill stations, the rookies and youth engagement coaches would facilitate and participate in the drills.
“I remember going to events like this when I was a little kid, it just takes me back,” said Rams rookie defensive lineman Elijah Garcia. “It’s like I’m living in their shoes again, but on the other side of it. Being able to give back to this community, it’s been awesome.”
Garcia helped the kids learn what it takes to be a running back. He noted that he wanted to know what it was like to be a coach.
“They’re learning how to hold the ball and just go through the bags, go through it with contact,” Garcia said. “They’re doing well.”
Parents of the youth watched their children work with the Rams players. Jason Peoples brought his two sons Cyrus and Chase to the clinic.
“It’s exciting. I want to get out there, but I know I’m too old to get out here and play with these kids,” Peoples said. “I appreciate them coming out and they’re enthusiastic about it, kids love it, I’m enjoying it, it’s my day off.”
Antwoine Sims brought his son Carter to the clinic. He hopes that his son will learn the importance of teamwork and camaraderie from the event.
“I figured it was a good opportunity for me to bring my son … to come out and have some fun with the Rams players,” Sims said. “The rookies are good though. They’d be able to get a chance to come out and see the kids in the city.”
Rams’ director of social justice and football development Johnathan Franklin noted how events like the clinic promote health, wellness, and unity among youth.
“So excited that we can have a fun day highlighting the power of football right here in our home in Inglewood,” he said. “[We’re] really excited to provide our rookies a vehicle to give back, to be the local heroes that they are, and provide access to our community members.”