Many young football players dream of making the pros one day.
Next Saturday, they will get an opportunity to learn from former NFL star players.
Horace “Hi-C” Copeland, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver, is hosting his annual free football camp for children ages 5-16 on May 17 at Anderson Snow Park in Spring Hill.
The football camp is not only fun for the kids. It is also very rewarding for the former NFL players when they see the kids beaming with big smiles and making positive accomplishments on the field.
“Last year’s camp was amazing, Copeland said. “It’s very rewarding to see over 275 youth in attendance last year.”
Copeland credits Hernando County Parks and Recreation, volunteers, coaches and sponsors for the camp’s success each year.
“The teamwork they provide gives me the opportunity to interact with kids in the bay area,” he said. “I’ve been getting good feedback from parents about their kids’ excitement when they get a high five and an encouraging word from me as well as other NFL pros for showing such great effort.”
Youth attending the football camp will learn how to press through obstacles that challenge them physically and to envision themselves as winners who never quit.
“Youth today have more peer pressure on them than ever before,” Copeland said. “I do this football camp to give them an opportunity to learn, compete, feel empowered, and have fun.”
Along with NFL players, they will hear from local high school and middle school football coaches.
“I believe if you boost their confidence with positive encouragement, they will go the extra mile to do their best,” Copeland said. “My first priority is to interact with them because I want them to feel special and be proud of the hard work they put into the drills without giving up.”
The camp not only teaches the physical skills needed to play football, but skills that the kids can use throughout the rest of their lives.
“I want them to learn that real success comes through working hard and patience. There are no shortcuts,” Copeland said. “Everything they do should have a purpose. I don’t want them to just be football champions but an overall champion in the game of life.”
Registration will be limited to the first 300 youth to sign up for the event. The first 200 campers to pre-register will receive a free 2014 mini Bucs football. A free lunch is also provided.
The football camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 17 at Anderson Snow Park, 1360 Anderson Snow Rd. in Spring Hill. Check-in starts at 8 a.m.
To pre-register your child, contact the Hernando County Parks & Recreation Department at (352) 754-4031. Pre-registration is required.
For more information, visit www.horacecopeland.net.
Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.