DUBLIN — Despite competing with the usual array of warm-weather activities available throughout the region, the third annual USA Football FUNdamentals Camp, organized and run by former Bladenboro High and Davidson quarterback Richard Howell, attracted about 35 participants from around the western part of the county on Saturday.
Howell, who has been the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts the past 16 seasons, joined with new West Bladen football coach Todd Pait to teach youngsters between the ages of 7 and 14 the basic skills of the game — and much more.
“It was good,” Pait said. “We always wish we could get more kids out there, but those who came had a great time — we were pleased with how things went. It was a good day of learning football and we also taught the kids about things like sportsmanship and becoming good citizens.”
He added that 16 West Bladen players assisted with the camp.
“The kids really look up to those local players, so it helps to have them there,” Pait said.
During the day, after a variety of drills, the campers played a few seven-on-seven games — with Howell playing quarterback.
“The kids loved it,” Pait said. “To get to learn the game from someone with his background, and then get to play the game with him was certainly a big deal for those kids. But I think Richard enjoyed it just as much.”
When the football part was done, the campers were treated to a meal cooked by Charles Ray Peterson.
“All in all it was a worthwhile day,” Pait said. “I’m excited about what the future should hold for West Bladen football, and can’t wait to have this camp against next year.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.