As the Syracuse University football team continues it's week on Fort Drum, it was a special event Thursday night that head coach Scott Shafer says was just cool. The team hosting a skills clinic for Drum's Pop-Warner players and as our Brian Dwyer reports, Shafer says it was the Orange's way of giving back.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- It was really hard to tell who was having more fun, the 100 or so kids taking part in a skills clinic with the Syracuse Orange football team or the Syracuse players and coaches hosting it.
"It was great just to see the smiles on the kids' faces and our kids' faces. The hooting and hollering with those little guys running around," Orange Head Coach Scott Shafer said.
"It was kind of awesome because you can find your position and you can play with them and learn some stuff that you never learned before," Fort Drum Mountaineers Jr. Pee-Wee player Guillermo Rosario added.
Kids of all ages having a blast throwing, catching, tackling, all with some big time athletes, but maybe they not even realizing what this day meant. Many of these youngsters have a mother or father in Afghanistan or about to head off in just a few weeks.
"I think it's really inspiring," Johnny Soto, another Mountaineers player said of the clinic. "I want to get into the NFL when I grow up. I think a lot of them can get out there. I'm inspired right now."
"Let's make this kid have some fun right now, get a couple of pictures and make sure that we give a little bit back to Fort Drum," Shafer said of the kids.
"That was fantastic. That's showing that the organization cares and they're willing to go out into the community and help out with the youths," Mountaineers Jr. Pee-Wee Coach Ron Dumas added.
After all that fun, the kids got to watch these guys in action. The Orange hosted a scrimmage on Fort Drum Thursday night.
"All and all, I thought it was a good day. We came out of it fairly healthy," Shafer said of the team's effort in the scrimmage.
The Orange's week on Drum ends Friday, but not before the team gets in the annual paintball war.
Coach Shafer says he really does feel like his team has bonded and have become closer on this trip.