HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The New Orleans Saints face their long-time rival the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday. On Tuesday, some Hancock County students got a taste of some of the training the Saints go through to prepare for a big game. They learned how to make the right moves to reach their goals on the football field and in life.
They hustled, rushed, tackled and tossed the ball. More than 100-students who scored Advanced on their state tests got quite a work-out during an hour-long football drill Tuesday.
The New Orleans Saints organization teamed-up with Hancock Bank to host the junior training camp at Hancock Middle School. Their main goal was to help sack childhood obesity.
"We're the number one obese state, so it's good for us to try to get healthy," said eighth grader Cooper Grafe. "It was exciting and inspiring."
The Saints experience supports the NFL's "Play 60" campaign, a movement to encourage young fans to get active for at least 60-minutes a day.
"It was very inspirational, because they just have some of sense of telling us to get out and get playing and stay fit," said seventh grader Harleigh LaFontaine.
"I enjoyed it. First when I saw this, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to do horrible.' Then as I did it I actually did really good and I enjoyed the time," said eighth grader Victoria Feazelle.
As they jumped from station to station, the students picked-up other lessons.
"A lot of teamwork goes into events such as this. They learn about nutrition and learn about goal setting and achieving those goals," said Clay Leyser of Hancock Bank.
And they learned that by getting good grades, staying fit, and developing leadership skills, they can become winners in the game of life.
"It was very fun. It taught us to never give up. If you keep on trying you can get it," said Harleigh.
"We can work as a team and no matter what, just don't give up and keep going," said Victoria.
"I thought it was really cool, because I'm a big supporter of the Saints and I was excited," said eighth grader Abby Lemmon.
In two weeks, the Saints Youth Programs Department will take the junior training camp to Petal Middle School. Next semester, the staff will be at Bayou View Middle School in Gulfport.