The rain-shortened West Georgia Superstar Football Camp went off without a hitch on Saturday, with dozens of boys and girls participating in the event which is in its 21st year.
It wasn’t as big a turnout as in past years, but camp founder Ruben Hairston said that just meant each camper got plenty of one-on-one time with the instructors.
“Working with a smaller group is good. You can really get their attention a lot better than if you have a big crowd,” Hairston said.
He was disappointed more local youths didn’t turn out for the free camp, though.
“We have a lot of kids in Troup County that need to be involved in positive things,” Hairston said. “We’re trying to make a difference in our community.”
The camp was supposed to last two days, but Friday’s camp session was a washout when a thunder storm moved through the area.
The camp began at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and lasted for about two hours.
Many of the instructors who have been a part of the camp over the years returned this year.
“These guys have come from miles and miles away, from all over, to come and work with them,” Hairston said. “They enjoy coming back.”
One of the youngest instructors was LaGrange High football standout Emmanuel Mann.
Another instructor who was lending a hand was former LaGrange High great Travis Hart, who is the new head football coach at Dawson Street Christian School.
Hart’s advice to the players was to enjoy the game when they’re young, and to make sure to take their school work seriously.
“Have fun playing the game,” Hart said. “There comes a time when it is really, really serious. At this stage, have fun playing the game.”
As for school, Hart added that “the ultimate goal is an education. An education comes first. That is the most important.”
While Hairston was hoping for a larger turnout on Saturday, he said he’s committed to bringing the camp back for a 22nd year.
“We’re not going to give up. We’ll keep doing this,” Hairston said.
He added that goal has always been to provide a helping hand to the young people in the community.
“There are a lot of kids that need some guidance,” Hairston said. “We want to be there for them.”