Pirates Players Pass Fundamentals and Wisdom at Football Camps

By: Sam Gordon

The Massachusetts Pirates and their players are using their time in the offseason to show kids the gridiron ropes.

After months of quarantine, Director of Community Outreach Julia Burkhardt was ecstatic to get the Pirates back out to make a difference.

“Having the opportunity to bring some of our players to camps is one of my favorite things to do working for the Pirates,” Burkhardt told masspiratesfootball.com. “The kids always get so excited and I think it is extremely important that they know what hard work it takes to reach the top. One of the things I really appreciate is how our players always put emphasis on education. Putting the same effort into education as you do on the field/weight room will pay off. Having the same mentality and work ethic for everything in your life is important.”

Helping the next one in line is always top priority for people like cornerback Al Louis-Jean. Whether it be teaching fundamentals or just talking about his experiences as a child, Louis-Jean loves it all.

“I used to be one of those younger kids,” Louis-Jean told masspiratesfootball.com. “Any chance I get to be able to go to work with them, I like to jump on the opportunity.”

The Boston College alum got caught up in telling kids about his past and why it is imperative to do well in school.

“The highlight of the day for me was really the kids just asking about my childhood background,” Louis-Jean said. “So I just told them the truth about that and wanted to explain the importance of school and what it did for me.”

Defensive lineman JD Griggs had his camp session the previous day and said that his favorite part had nothing to do with the drills.

“I loved answering the questions they all had for me actually,” Griggs said. “Because by me answering the questions, I felt that a lot of the kids participated. It also made me happy to see them taking notes because we asked them questions after telling them different things during the camp and they all raised their hands. That’s what really hit home with me was that they were paying attention.”

Griggs admitted, however, that it is always nice to give out his signature.

“I love signing autographs,” Griggs said with a laugh. “Kids are very fun in those moments because they say very funny things and I enjoy it.”

The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email contact@masspiratesfootball.com or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single-game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For Season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook at Facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.