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Former Bears players coach kids

Youngsters participating first IndianChicago Bears Youth Football Camp Crown Point Sportsplex wait for their next drill assignments. | Carrie Napoleon~for

Youngsters participating in the first Indiana Chicago Bears Youth Football Camp at the Crown Point Sportsplex wait for their next drill assignments. | Carrie Napoleon~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 1, 2014 7:56AM



CROWN POINT — Young football players from around Northwest Indiana had the chance Wednesday to run drills with a couple of former Chicago Bears during the first Indiana Chicago Bears Youth Football Camp.

Former linebacker Mickey Pruitt and defensive tackle Anthony Adams headlined the camp, which drew youth from throughout the area for a chance to learn from and interact with pros.

“It’s really fun,” an excited Gage Anderson, 10, of Winfield said.

Participants were broken into small squads to work with coaches and the former NFL stars who ran drills, talked safety and encouraged the kids to work hard and bring all their energy to the football field.

“This is amazing,” Valparaiso resident Zach Barrasa said of the chance to work out with Pruitt and Adams. The 10-year-old who looks like he was built for the game ran through the drills with all his effort. “It’s pretty cool.”

Jennie Burgess, parks director, said officials did not know what to expect from the first camp and were pleased with the turnout. She said it was important to ensure there would be enough coaches to keep the squad size small. The camp was open to youth 6 to 14 years old.

“We have about 100 kids,” she said.

Mike Gross, coordinator of the Chicago Bears Youth Football Camp, said the organization conducts 18 similar camps in Illinois from mid-June to the end of July. The last Illinois camp was Friday. Wednesday’s camp at the Crown Point Sportsplex is the organization’s first venture into Indiana.

“So far, so good,” Gross said. “It’s a great facility and it’s beautiful weather.”

He hopes to continue the one-day camp next season.

“We would love to be invited back.”



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