High school football players got a glimpse of a potential future Wednesday at Chiefs training camp.
The second annual “High School Days” allowed the young players to visit with Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones. On Wednesday, teams from Benton, Lafayette, Central and St. Joseph Christian got a chance to watch the team practice and to meet with the defensive force.
Jones started playing football in 10th grade and since then has dreamed of the day he would be able to meet with high school football players to share his experiences.
“You know, when I was in high school I was wanting to be one of those guys that come back and take pictures with those high school kids. It is a pleasure for me,” Jones said.
Joey Austin of media relations at Mosaic Life Care, which is a sponsor of the event, started the session off by asking Jones some questions. After that, there was time for photos with each individual team, an autograph session and a chance for players to ask Jones questions one on one. The pro had a consistent message for the student-athletes.
“Believe in yourself, the coaches are going to do their job,” Jones said. “You just have to believe in yourself and whatever the coaches are telling you, they are telling you for your well-being.”
Some of the teen football players were at the event last year with Jones.
“Last year he talked about his faith and how he trusts his teammates and gave us some motivation on how we should be like that,” Trey Smith, a sophomore running back who attends St. Joseph Christian, said.
The coaches view the event as a fun day but also as a way to see a professional team practice.
“I think any time you get to watch the high-level athletes compete and watch how they practice and their tempo, it is really good for our guys,” Regi Trotter, head football coach at Central High School, said.
Every high-schooler had one question for the 6-foot-6, 300-pound lineman.
“‘What do you eat bro, ’cause I need to get some of that.’ That is what I am going to ask him,” Smith said.