The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Leveling up

Football team coaches kids in Next Level program
Anna Frost

Next Level is an organization that allows kids to be coached by players from their respective sport all across the nation. It seeks to foster an environment to teach and instruct the principles and techniques of flag football in a safe environment.

The district started its own flag football league at the beginning of the year and the first game was Jan. 15. High school players have been coaching the younger students for the past few weeks.

“I am very close friends with Sonny Dykes, the head coach of TCU and previous head coach of SMU,” coach Jayson Lavender said. “Coach Dykes implemented Next Level at SMU when he was the Head Coach. While there, it took off, and when it was also a success at TCU he called me and recommended it for Lovejoy and the rest is what you see.”

The 4th and 5th grade Trojans huddle before running a play. T Trojans are coached by junior Ridge Barker. (Anna Frost)

The games are all played in the high school stadium and practices are on the football fields behind the stadium. There are four age groups: K-1, 2-3, 4-5 and 6-7. Each group has four teams, and each team has 10 kids. 

“This is the first year that they have been playing at Lovejoy,” senior Will Frost said. “We have a 45 minute practice where we do some drills and go over the plays and help the kids work on what needs to be worked on. The practices are immediately before the games, and that’s when the kids have fun and show what they’ve been working on.”

The kids are used to being coached by their parents or a hired coach. Next Level gives them the opportunity to be coached by high school players who can connect with them.

“Most of the kids that are participating in the Next Level League are kids that go to Lovejoy,” senior West Wilson said. “That is why this is a great opportunity for these kids because they will be coached by players that have played for the high school they are going to go to.”

The program is meant to set up mentorship by the student coaches in a setting they know and love. It also teaches the kids to have fun and learn the rules of football in a positive environment. The program’s next game is this Sunday.

“I’m learning how to work with kids and trying to make an impact in their lives,” Wilson said. “When I was growing up, I loved playing football with all of my friends, and the reason behind that is the amazing coaches helping us and wanting us to have fun. I just hope that these kids can develop a love for the game. The most important part for me is that they have fun and enjoy it.”

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About the Contributors
Campbell Lester, Editor-In-Chief
Junior year is here, and Campbell Lester still isn’t sure whether she is ready or not. Nevertheless, she is beyond excited to enter her third year on staff as Editor-In-Chief with her fearless karaoke partner, Mia Reaugh. Lester’s summer was top tier; from scuba diving to running in 110 degree weather, it doesn’t get much better. If drowning in schoolwork or passing out from cross country doesn’t get to her first, you can most definitely find her at Cottonwood Creek Church, Smoothie King, Celebration Park or any place where her friends and family are. Her windows are usually down while driving, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear Zach Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers, Luke Combs or Morgan Wallen blasting. Lester is ready for another great year!
Anna Frost, Graphics Editor
Beginning her third year on TRL, junior Anna Frost is excited to take on her new role as Graphics Editor, as well as continue her photography work. Frost is a member of the cross country, track and field, powerlifting and fishing teams. As you can tell, she loves all things sports related. In addition, Frost enjoys listening to new music artists and experimenting with new genres; she is also learning to play the piano. She loves food and is learning how to cook, and could talk for hours about the restaurants in the area. Frost can’t wait for another great year with the Red Ledger. 

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