Senior lineman Tyler Smith helps coordinate a drill at the football training clinic
Senior lineman Tyler Smith helps coordinate a drill at the football training clinic
Football - Tue, Aug. 28, 2012

CHICAGO - Saint Xavier University's 2011 NAIA Championship football team kicked off its new season by hosting a youth football training clinic on Aug. 21 at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, 1250 W. 119th St., Chicago. Head Coach Mike Feminis and 10 of SXU's top players worked with boys ages nine to 18 to share what it takes to be a championship football team through agility drills, training routines, and exercises. Feminis said the tenets of a successful football team include hard work, extensive training, and exceptional teamwork – all attributes that contributed to SXU's phenomenal NAIA championship last season. Feminis added that it's equally important "to maintain outstanding academic records and to constantly seek out opportunities to give back to the community."

"We have been praying that this year would be the year we could bring football back to the South Side of Chicago," said Senior Kroc Officer Major David Harvey. "For years football has been disappearing from Chicago and the south suburbs. We believe the Kroc Center can help to bring back this sport and others through this state of the art center and fields. The only thing we were missing to kick this off was someone to help start the initiative and excitement, train and motivate our coaches and young people interested in football. It was a Godsend to have Saint Xavier University staff call and share that their football team would help get us started. We thank the team and university for believing in the dreams and talents of our kids on the south side. This is truly the beginning of a great partnership and miracle for us all. Our kids and the sport of football will never be the same."

Partnering with The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center to create this fun training clinic is in accord with SXU's Sisters of Mercy heritage to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good. Stay tuned for more charitable work from the SXU football team throughout the year as they defend their national championship title. Mark your calendar for the first game at 6 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 1 against Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Check out the highlights of the day below!