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Pros drill kids at Guyton’s camp

POSTED: June 27, 2012 10:22 a.m.
Photo by Patty Leon/

NFL player Gary Guyton signed autographs, posed for pictures and caught up with his high-school coaches Jim Walsh and Jeff Miller.

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It’s not often Hinesville kids can say they rubbed elbows with National Football League players, but several hundred kids did just that on a rainy Monday morning during the second day of Gary Guyton Sports Camp.
After a grueling and rain-soaked Amazing Race on Sunday evening at James Brown Park, Guyton, a graduate of Bradwell Institute who is an NFL linebacker, offered two free football clinics Monday at his alma mater, Bradwell Institute.
Guyton said he was pleased with the turnout, especially since Mother Nature tried to quell his plans.
“I feel great, and I’m going to keep doing it for as long as I am able to and I enjoy it despite the little bit of rain,” he said.
Guyton, who plays for the Miami Dolphins this year, and his former Georgia Tech teammate Michael Johnson, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, taught the kids fundamental skills. An early morning session was open to elementary- and middle-school kids, while an afternoon session was open to high-school kids.
All participants seemed elated to high-five the NFL players after completing running, catching and throwing drills and tackling lessons.
It didn’t seem to matter that Tropical Storm Debby was trying to wash away the kids and field.
“This is good football weather,” Johnson said. “We play in it, we practice in it, so we can host a camp in it.”
Johnson said he enjoyed showing the kids the fundamentals of the game he plays. He said he wished there had been camps like the one Guyton offers when he was learning the sport.
“I would have liked to have learned when I was young,” he said. “I remember my coaches being some of the closest people to me in my life outside of my family. When I wasn’t around my parents they played that It’s not often Hinesville kids can say they rubbed elbows with National Football League players, but several hundred kids did just that on a wet and rainy Monday morning during the second day of Gary Guyton Sports Camp.
After a grueling and rain-soaked Amazing Race on Sunday evening at James Brown Park, Guyton, a graduate of Bradwell Institute who is an NFL linebacker, offered two free football clinics Monday at his alma mater Bradwell Institute.
Guyton said he was pleased with the turnout for the clinic, especially since Mother Nature tried to quell his plans.
“I feel great, and I’m going to keep doing it for as long as I am able to and I enjoy it despite the little bit of rain,” he said.
Guyton, who play for the Miami Dolphins this year, and his former Georgia Tech teammate Michael Johnson, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, taught the kids fundamental skills. The early morning session was open to elementary- and middle-school kids, while the afternoon session was open to high-school kids.
All participants seemed elated to high-five the NFL players after completing running, catching and throwing drills and tackling lessons.
It didn’t seem to matter that Tropical Storm Debby was trying to wash away the kids and field.
“This is good football weather,” Johnson said. “We play in it, we practice in it, so we can host a camp in it.”
Johnson said he enjoyed showing the kids the basic fundamentals of the game he plays. He said he wished there were camps like the one Guyton offers when he was learning the sport.
“I would have liked to have learned when I was young,” he said. “I remember my coaches being some of the closest people to me in my life outside of my family. When I wasn’t around my parents they played that role and they taught me some valuable lessons. If I can come out and teach some kids some of the same things I learned I think that will be a big blessing in their life.”
role and they taught me some valuable lessons. If I can come out and teach some kids some of the same things I learned I think that will be a big blessing in their life.”
Johnson said he is grateful to be giving back to the community and said teaching kids to overcome obstacles and be successful will help them on the football field or in any other opportunity in life.
“Take one day at a time, always do your best and compete against yourself,” he said. “If you do that then everything you do in life whether it’s school, work, being a good citizen, being a good athlete, if you always do your best and always try to get better, you will be able to look back and say, ‘Man I’ve come a long way.’”
Guyton signed autographs, posed for pictures and caught up with his high-school coaches Jim Walsh and Jeff Miller.
Guyton said he loves coming home to host the camp and especially loves some of his mother Janice’s home-cooked meals.
“I’ve been with Mom, and typically all we do is sit in the house and talk,” he said. “She’ll cook and I tell her I’m coming and we will sit around and talk and take it easy.”
Guyton said he doesn’t expect or want anything in return for hosting the camp, but hopefully it will make a difference to someone.
“If I can change one life or motivate one kid that’s all that I want to do,” he said. “I want to give back to the kids.”
This is the third year for Guyton’s camp, which is one of several community events he participates in as part of his Gary Guyton Foundation. The foundation prepares youth for a successful future by providing them with opportunities that support the growth of their knowledge, skills and perspective.
“Kids are our future,” he said. “They are the ones who are going to take care of us when we get older so wherever I can go and help whether it’s at a hospital or at an event it’s to help the kids.”
Inspired by his mother surviving cancer, Guyton frequently visits children’s hospitals offering encouragement and support.
“Kids are really strong even when they are going through a cancer situation or something like that,” he said. “They are strong, but if I can be there and offer my support and let them know I’m here for them and make them happy, that’s what it is all about.”


 

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