The Crusaders, who won back-to-back Class 3A state championships in 2014 and 2015, conducted their seventh annual youth football camp for players between first and eighth grade from July 17-19 at Eastside Catholic School in Sammamish. The camp was led by Eastside Catholic coaching staff and varsity players.
Eastside Catholic senior quarterback Zach Lewis said giving back to the youthful football players community is something he wouldn’t miss for the world.
“Obviously coming up we had older kids showing us the way, so it’s only right to give back to these guys and keep it going,” Lewis said with a smile. “It is a really fun team bonding time for us too.”
Crusaders lineman Jackson Reed echoed Lewis’ sentiment. Reed said he had fond memories of being coached up by Crusaders varsity football players when he was a kid.
“Almost all of us were out here at one point or another when we were younger. It is a nice walk down memory lane. The best way to learn something is to teach it. I think we all exemplify that,” Reed said of coaching players in attendance.
Crusaders head coach Jeremy Thielbahr thoroughly enjoys watching his players cultivate bonds with camp attendees.
“I think it’s really special for young kids to meet guys they look up to on Friday and Saturday nights. I think we’ve got some great kids on this team, some great mentors who have really done a lot in their lives and not just on the football field but in life,” Thielbahr said on the first day of camp on July 17. “They can teach these kids the right way to do things. Every year we have our players talk to these young kids and be a mentor to them. We’ll have our kids talk about eating right, getting enough sleep, doing the right thing with your friends, academics and leadership as well as football.”