Coaching Em Up

A couple little campers learn how to backpedal like the pros 

One hundred plus kids from as far Houston made the trek to Ricebird Stadium Saturday morning to learn from former NFL pros at the Heath Sherman Field of Dreams Youth Football camp.

In the early 1980s when Sherman was a youth, there was no football camp in El Campo put on by NFL athletes.

“I wish there was,” Sherman said with a smile. “I would have loved it, but there wasn’t. This is something I like to see, the kids left here happy.”

Sherman who hosted the camp, brought in Kevin Dogins, Keith DeGrate, James Jefferson, Terry Blackmon and Horace Perkins and between them, they shared their combined nearly 30 years of NFL experience with the assembled youth.

Sherman also brought in one of his former college coaches and former Ricebird Trey Martin who played college at Rice was also in attendance.

Kids ages six through 14 learned how to backpedal and turn while playing defensive back. They learned the correct way to catch the football as well as receive tosses while playing running back.

The kids didn’t have pads on, but the coaches instructed them on the correct way to make tackles by keeping your head up and not tilting your head down.

“Usually when you do a football camp, they ask you what position do you play, not this one,” Sherman said. “All of the kids get to play all of the positions because they don’t actually know what position they are going to play yet. This is the time to get them understanding all of the positions and then they’ll figure out what they want to play.”

The free camp included a lunch for all the kids and prizes.

Sherman at the end of the camp gave away three brand new bikes as well as three Xboxs/Playstations to random happy campers.

“Coming up we didn’t have this opportunity, it’s always good for the kids to have something to love,” Sherman said. “They get the fundamentals of the game and know how to play it. They won’t just like to play it, they’ll love to play and do their best to work hard.”

Sherman is already planning on bringing back the camp next year as well.

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