Heads up, it’s football season.
More than 300 young football players from across the continent converged in Bavaria this week for the 2015 edition of the European Football Camp, hosted annually by Ansbach Cougars head coach Marcus George.
The four-day event started Sunday at Ansbach High School on Katterbach Kaserne.
As with last year’s event, this year's preseason camp focused intently on safe and proper hitting and tackling technique. To that end, the camp incorporated USA Football’s “Heads Up” program, which teaches players how to avoid the kind of damaging impacts and helmet-to-helmet contact that can lead to serious head and spinal injuries.
Organizers brought in a pair of high-profile guests to help teach the Heads Up program: Chad Hester, a Texas-based USA Football trainer with 30 years of youth and high school coaching experience, and Michael Haynes, who played five NFL seasons as a defensive lineman.
The camp, attended by players from 11 DODDS-Europe programs and 10 European youth teams, marks the start of the fall DODDS-Europe football season. Teams can open camp as early as Wednesday; opening games are set for the weekend of Sept. 19.