Football Practice With Rams

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Brittany Minor, Web Editor

Varsity-Football15Football team spends time with the Rams

By Brittany Minor/Web Editor

All sports teams in the district were forced off school property during their pre-season training. For the district football teams, this eventually led to the opportunity to spend two days practicing at the St. Louis Rams facilities.
“It felt good, seeing the players, getting to see their lifestyle. The NFL life,” said Jaylen Jefferson a sophomore and member of North’s football team, who was excited about the opportunity granted to him and the rest of his teammates.
Before any news of the issues ailing the school district’s students and sports programs had reached the Rams’ organization, the football team here at McCluer North had been offered 75 tickets to the Rams’ preseason home game. Instead of going as a team the tickets were handed out to the players to do what they would with them.
“We let them take the tickets instead of making it a team thing…we wanted to make it about them,” said Coach Griffin, who is honored to have had such a once in a lifetime chance as the opener to his first year as head coach.
After hearing about the district trouble through the news, the Rams organization was generous enough to offer to host all the district football teams practices. The boys and coaches got to meet the players and even watch Rams camp while they were there.
“We got to watch the Rams practice and even got to help with a red zone drill, they have to get out the zone quick… We had to simulate crowd noise, so we stood behind the line and they just went crazy just making noise,” said Griffin.
Until they were offered temporary use of the Rams practice field the team spent a few days practicing at Wedgwood Park. When the time came to migrate to their new location they packed up all of their equipment and toted it around until the first day of school.
“They had to carry their lockers with them,” said Griffin.
The entire Rams team seemed more than happy to host the boys and let them walk away with plenty of great mementos, including autographed footballs and gloves from players including Austin Pettis and Tavon Austin. One player said that he wasn’t interested in the keepsakes; he was more focused on his game.
“I wasn’t interested in that stuff. I was talking to the wide receiver and seeing what I could do to get better. I was more interested in learning,” said senior Ryan Stokes, who is looking to make an impact during his final high school season.
After being allowed to watch the Rams and being brought in for the red zone drill the boys got to have their own time. In the last few minutes they took the field to do some of their own team chants.
“At the end of the drill we kind of took over the camp. They started doing their cheers and ‘where my North Stars at’…the players loved it. We ended it with a ‘Ferguson on 3. 1.2.3. Ferguson,” said Griffin.