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Members of the Eastern Oregon University football team enter Community Stadium with youth players from Heppner, Pilot Rock and La Grande Saturday prior to the Mountaineers’ contest against Montana Tech. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
At the past two Eastern Oregon University football games, youth players on La Grande’s fifth and sixth grade traveling squad had the opportunity to play at halftime in front of the crowd at Community Stadium.
The reason, according to EOU head coach Tim Camp, is for youth players to get excited about the Mountaineers and football in general.
“We want to be as involved in the community as possible,” Camp said.
“We want to get kids jacked up about football and jacked up about Eastern. That age — fifth, sixth, seventh grade — is such a crucial time for kids to decide if football is fun.”
Last Saturday La Grande played Pilot Rock and Heppner in two eight minute quarters at halftime.
Camp said Jeff Robinson, who started the La Grande traveling team, approached him about the possibility of having the kids participate at halftime.
The youth players also had the chance to walk out with the Mountaineer players prior to the EOU game.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase Eastern Oregon,” Camp said.
“They did the Mountie Walk with us. You should have seen the looks on their faces, they were jacked up.”
Camp said that he wants to continue to support and help grow youth football in the area, adding “we want to make it as big as we can.”
He also said that he received praise from opposing coaches, despite the prolonged halftime.