13th annual Legends Camp a success

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Legends All-Pro Football Camp returned to Bogalusa for the 13th year Thursday, and children from around the area showcased their football skills and competed in drills that helped them develop more.

“As always, we’ve got an excellent turnout,” camp director Bruce Plummer said. “We’ve got a lot of the youth here in Washington Parish, a lot of kids from Bogalusa High School. We’ve got a busload of kids from Independence and we’ve got some kids from other surrounding communities, a couple of kids from Baton Rouge. It’s a good day. I’ve got a lot of my old high school classmates here that I played football with in high school. They came out to help the youth of Bogalusa. It’s great.”

The camp took place on a sunsplashed day with a little bit of wind.

“The weather is on our side today,” Plummer said. “It’s a little hot, but the kids are getting hydrated. They’re taking a little break, and we’re just having fun. Just trying to teach these kids about football and about life.”

Plummer is a 1983 Bogalusa High School graduate. He is a former NFL player and scout and is currently an assistant coach at Bogalusa High School.

The clinic featured 187 participants, ranging from kindergarten to those entering their senior year of high school. The groups were divided up by age.

Sidney Burns, who will be in ninth grade at Varnado, attended the camp for the third time this year.

“It’s really fun. We get to learn how to train and get prepared for football season,” Burns said.

Burns, who is an offensive and defensive lineman, also said the camp teaches the campers to become better at what they want to do in their sports.

The participants went through several drills that created a competitive and a learning atmosphere for the campers.

Some of the drills included playing and getting off of press coverage for wide receivers and defensive backs, block shedding, agility, footwork and route running.

“They’re just doing basic drills because some of these kids play football and some of these kids have never played football. We’re just trying to introduce them to football. You don’t want to do a lot of stuff that’s too strenuous at this age, and you can turn them off and they might not want to play. You’ve got to kind of ease them into it, and once they get to liking what they’re doing, maybe they’ll say, ‘Hey, I like football, maybe Iwant to play it again.’”

The clinic had a host of coaches helping out. The coaches have all kind of playing experience, coaching experience or both.

Bogalusa High School’s coaching staff was on hand for the clinic.

Bogalusa Head Coach David Roberts, who is entering his first season with the Lumberjacks, was helping at the clinic for the first time and praised Plummer.

“I love it. Bruce (Plummer) puts on a great camp,” Roberts said. “It’s great for these kids in this area, Bogalusa as well as Mississippi and wherever all of these kids are coming from. Any time you can give back to the community and give a free camp like Bruce does here, that’s just a tremendous thing.”

The camp was free because of a grant from the National Football League Youth Foundation. The National Football League Youth Foundation gives grants to retired NFL players who are vested in the NFL’s retirement system and are holding a free clinic in their hometown.

Current players are also eligible.