Panhandle Football Camp inspires youth
     2013-06-27      By Elizabeth Gross    elizabethgross@geringcitizen.com
Bearcat Stadium was filled with Husker Football fever for the fifth annual Panhandle Football Camp. Former Husker football greats Tommie Frazier, Keith Mercer, Jamel Williams, Marlon Luckey, and Dwayne Harris. Campers began the day by learning about the offensive line. They learned the role of receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks. Then they learned the defensive line and the role that running backs play.
Campers didn’t just take away the basics of the game but what can be learned after the game is finished. This year’s camp featured Doane College football coach Raymonn Adams. Adams was an outstanding running back for Doane College. He was later drafted and played for the New York Jets before coming back to Doane for a coaching position. He spoke with the campers on Friday, sharing his personal wisdom of achieving not only in football but also in the game of life. “I want to show the kids that you don’t have to go to a school like UNL to go to the NFL,” said Paez.

There were a total of 109 campers this year; which is the smallest number of participants the camp has seen in its five years. Despite the lower numbers, camp organizer Ralph Paez felt that this was the best camp he’s had so far. “Even though it was the least amount of kids, I felt that it was one of my more successful camps,” said Paez, “something just stood out the way things worked this year.”

Though its only been a week since the end of this year’s camp; Paez already has goals for next year. “I really want to target more of the area high school kids,” said Paez. He also hopes to get the word out to other elementary school children in the Valley to attend the camp. Paez would also like to see more people take advantage of the scholarship opportunities provided by area businesses. “I don’t want a kid to not attend camp because of financial reasons,” said Paez.
Money raised during the camp goes to area high school football programs. “I really want to thank my sponsors, this camp would not happen without my sponsors,” said Paez.

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