Cedar Rapids Youth Football Coach Goes From Gunshots to Gridiron
If the youth in Cedar Rapids wants to play for this football program, they're going to have to stay off the streets and stay in the classroom. Arnold Smith and Darian Boyd are not only trying to teach the game of football but to help give these kids something to look forward to. Their goal is to not only build great football players but to also teach these kids about life.
Coach Boyd was shot last July, 6 times in a random incident, and knows just how important it is for young kids to have a positive role model. He told KCRG it was younger kids who did it.
“July 1st I was shot six times. Ironically, those were younger kids that did that. Even though it was a random incident, it just reminded me of the importance of being in these kids’ lives, helping them grow with what they’re passionate about already”
According to KCRG Smith and Boyd coach multiple teams which include flag football, tackle football, and 7 on 7. They want to keep kids off the streets and are using sports to do it. Just the idea of giving them something to do and look forward to can go a long way in helping kids stay out of trouble. One of the biggest problems kids can suffer from in the summer months is boredom.
Coach Smith said to KCRG
“They say idle minds are the devil’s work.”
LJ Nyenow is 14 years old and plays for the flag football team. He was interviewed by KCRG and he told them football is helping him stay out of trouble and in school.
"It keeps me out of trouble because if you do any bad thing out of school, you won't be able to play on the field."
Both coaches have made their expectations very clear on how you can stay on the field. It starts by staying in the classroom. Coach Smith told KCRG you'll need to be performing in the classroom, no matter how good you are.
“If you are not getting good grades we will give you a warning, we will try to help you, but if you keep messing up we just eventually take you off the team. We want these kids to be good in school, but also be great men In the community.”
A fantastic reward for these football players is meeting NFL stars. NFL WR Tyreek Hill made an appearance with Hard Count Athletics back in 2020 and this year Green Bay Packers running back, Aaron Jones will meet with the players at Kingston Stadium, on June 4th, according to KCRG.
For more information on joining the team or to get someone you know involved in the camp with Aaron Jones, you can visit Hard Count Athletics. Camp goers will receive on-field instruction from camp instructors as well as Aaron Jones and a limited edition Aaron jones camp t-shirt.
There will be multiple position stations which include Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Running Back, and Defensive Backs.