LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – Around 200 young athletes gathered at Mosley High School Friday morning for the annual youth football C.H.A.M.P. Camp.
The camp made its return to the Panhandle for the first time since 2018, as the past two years were cancelled due to Hurricane Michael and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Camp Director and Chicago Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel, Anthony “Champ” Kelly, says they are very glad to be back.
“As Champ Camp grew in heart power, we couldn’t be here the last few years, but to come back today and see these kids, they are so enthusiastic, they are working hard,” Kelly said.
The camp is two days long and brings in coaches and guest speakers with collegiate and NFL experience.
“We run this very similar to an NFL or College practice,” Kelly said. “We come out and we do individuals, we do circuits, and then we get into some one on one’s, which we are doing now, and then we’ll get into some 7 on 7 work.”
In addition to the hours spent learning hands on, the campers were able to listen to guest speakers, including Chicago Bears linebacker coach, Bill Shuey.
Camper and Rutherford student, Bay’lyn Herd, said he was excited to meet the next level coaches, and learn what they had to teach.
“It’s a dream,” Herd said. “Because like I wanna make it somewhere to like the NFL and if I can meet someone like that, it can probably make it better for me to get a chance.”
The camp obviously aimed at the fundamentals of football, but Kelly said there’s a bigger purpose, and it’s one they can take with them throughout the rest of their lives, football or not.
Champ Kelly: “A lot of kids across the country, strictly fail because they don’t believe in themselves, so if we can allow them to come together today to believe in what they can be, we’ve accomplished everything we’ve set out to do.”
The camp will continue for the second and final day, Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m.