Curtis Taylor Football Camp to be held July 14

Published 7:09 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hometown football star Curtis Taylor, a Franklinton High School graduate who now plays in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders, will host a football camp for local youth on Saturday, July 14 at the FHS football stadium.

Registration will take place on the day of the camp, beginning at 8 a.m. at the football stadium, and the camp will run from about 8:30 a.m. until noon, FHS head football coach Shane Smith said.

Due to the NFL lockout, the camp was not held last year, but it was held for the two preceding that, Smith said. Thus, this will be the third camp and the first with Curtis’ brother, Brandon, participating as an NFL player. He was drafted this year by the San Diego Chargers.

When Smith talked to Curtis and Brandon Taylor about the camp, they communicated that it was being offered as a way to “give back,” he said. While it may be a “small token,” the brothers are taking time out of their busy NFL schedules and traveling from the West Coast to work with the local kids, he said.

“They just wanted to have an opportunity to give back to the kids in this area,” he said. “I think they know that the kids in our community look up to them, and they want to have an opportunity to share their experiences in Franklinton that helped them get to where they are now.”

Both Taylor brothers will also bring along teammates from San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. to take part in the camp, Smith said.

Furthermore, past years have seen Taylor family members recruit high school coaches as well as FHS alums who are now on college football teams as volunteers to help with the camp, Smith said.

In addition to providing instruction on the fundamentals of the game of football, Curtis Taylor and his crew will talk to the kids about other things such as the importance of academics and making good choices, Smith said.

The part the campers are most excited about, though, is getting to interact with the NFL players, Smith said.

“That’s the biggest thing that I see,” he said. “Sure, they learn some football, and they enjoy running around, but they hang on almost every word that those guys tell them and they take it to heart and they look up to them.”

The camp is open to all school-age kids, up through high school. The last time the Curtis Taylor Football Camp was held, Smith said, the participants ranged from first or second graders through 18-year-olds, and those who take part will be spilt into groups.

The camp is being offered free of charge, and participants are required only to show up football-ready, wearing a T-shirt, athletic shorts and cleats or athletic shoes, Smith said.

For more information or with any questions, call the phone number for the FHS field house, 839-2253.