On Thursday, the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers became the first team in NFL history to practice with a high school team according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
The practice took place at Wofford College. The Panthers went through their walk through warm-ups with Spartanburg High School and then held their own session on a field directly next to the Vikings.
“To me, it’s about the love of the game and bringing it back to the community,” Ron Rivera told reports after the practice. The reigning coach of the year was against the the idea of practicing against High Schoolers but later came around to it.
The Panthers had to clear the idea with the NFL, NCAA and high school officials before it could take place but ultimately and surprisingly got the green light from all three.
The youngsters definitely soaked it the experience, according to Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, he had one of the high schooler’s trash talk the reigning MVP Cam Newton.
“I was kind of feeding him stuff to say to Cam,” Davis said. “He delivered it pretty well.”
The main purpose of this experience was to celebrate the NFL’s Play 60 campaign.
Time will tell if this becomes a growing trend in the NFL, but based on the reports, this experience was a positive one.