MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Cherry Point hosted the Steve Smith Football ProCamp Monday and Tuesday at the Marine Dome for more than 100 children ages 7-14.
Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver and five-time Pro-Bowler Steve Smith, Camp Director Rod Huber and 10 of the area’s top football coaches lead the camp where the members participated in exercises that focused on the fundamental skills of football.
“I’m honored to be here today to support our military families,” said Smith. “I’m thrilled to be offering kids a chance to participate in our camps and promote the importance of choosing healthy alternatives.”
Football ProCamps have been happening across the nation.
“We’ve been running camps with about 75 professional athletes and with Steve Smith for about six years,” said Adam Ross, the president of ProCamps. “This is our first time on a military installation and it’s great to bring something to the kids because they will remember for years that they got to play football with Steve Smith.”
The installation was selected through a contest with commissaries throughout the country. Cherry Point was selected as one of three grand prize winners for selling the most Proctor & Gamble products.
“It was a complete surprise to all of us because we had no idea we were even in a contest,” said Phyllis Black, the store director for the air station’s commissary. “We’re breaking new ground here with this camp and I think it’s just fantastic that they can come out and support military families.”
As the camp was in full swing, family members of the young campers observed from the bleachers and some even braved the courts to photograph their child.
“I think this is a very good program to come to Cherry Point,” said Amy Martin-ali whose child was participating in the camp. “I’m just glad to see something like this offered to the kids.”
With this being the first time a Football ProCamp has arrived in the area, other family members were glad to see the program was well organized.
“They did a good job putting this together,” said Tina Smith whose child was also participating in the camp. “It’s also great to see how they got the Marines involved to help.”
Rod Huber, the head football coach at Mt. Saint Joe College in Cincinnati, sported a yellow cap and microphone directing all the campers and coaches throughout the entire camp.
“I’ve been doing this for nine years and it never ceases to amaze me,” said Huber. “It’s just an awesome experience for the kids and a homerun for the military and families.”