Making an impact: JFL coaches help kids of community

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DECATUR -- They could be at home in the air conditioning or out to eat with their families.

But a group of Decatur football coaches is choosing to spend its offseason swatting bugs in the summer heat as a way of lifting up the community.

The leadership of the Junior Football League has added Tuesday night clinics at Firestone Field in hopes that extra work flipping tires, using tackling dummies and running through cones will help turn kids into the next Dante Ridgeway or Brit Miller to make it to the NFL from the Soy City. The youngsters are led by the likes of Moe Dampeer, Marcus Cook and John Paul Jones. They meet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and there's a heavy emphasis on conditioning leading up to the start of the JFL season later this summer.

More importantly, the coaches are working to ensure kids in the community have a place to go in the summer months, a place where they'll be looked after and given tough love. That's what makes the bugs and summer heat worth it: making an impact on the next generation.

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