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Three Rebels attend football camp

Although school is out, the summer will remain busy for several student-athletes across the county.

Christian Fortner, Tyler Jackson and Kane Belk of Thorsby went to a football camp at the University of West Alabama in Livingston on May 19.

The camp was the first of many that the three are planning to attend in the next couple of months.

“I’m trying to go to every one that I can,” Jackson said.

The camp atmosphere differs from a typical practice after school.

Roughly 200 players took part in the camp from throughout the state, including other athletes from Chilton County and the surrounding area.

“You get to work with some of the best players from a bunch of different schools,” Fortner said. “There were a lot of good athletes out there.”

Coaches from West Alabama and Birmingham Southern led the drills.

“You couldn’t ever quit paying attention,” Jackson said. “If they saw you put your hands on your hips, they would call you out.”

Fortner and Jackson participated in passing and footwork drills as quarterback and receiver. Belk worked closely with the defensive linemen.

“Learning how they do it can only make me better,” Belk said.

The camp was the first for Belk and Jackson, while Fortner had been to a couple of prior camps.

Having teammates make the trip with him was different for Fortner this time around.

According to Jackson, there were times when he would try to time it right during the passing drills so that Fortner would be the one throwing him the ball.

“I went to see what I can work on and do better, because I’ve still got a whole [high school] season to play,” Jackson said.

According to Fortner, the camp was very organized. That structure helped promote an individual’s skills despite the size of the event.

“There’s no point of going to camps like that, unless you’ve got a good mindset and are willing to work,” Belk said. “You’ve got to have the want to.”

All three players are looking forward to sharing what they were taught at the camp with their teammates as the upcoming season approaches.

“I can go back to our D-line and show them what I learned,” Belk said. “It helps everybody.”