Millsaps coaches hold free football camp

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Grade school children were treated to a free football camp in Picayune Monday where instructors hoped to teach children they can be a winner that matter what their future may hold.

The camp was a day long event taught by coaches from Millsaps College in Jackson and, due to the rain, was held at the Picayune Memorial High School gymnasium. There the children were taught basic football drills that focused on offense and defense. During that time they also got a chance to meet new people and make new friends, said camp director David Saunders.

While this was the first year for the Mississippi football camp, he hopes to make it a year round event and possibly spread the boundaries of it into Louisiana and Alabama. Picayune was the fourth of five camps to be held this summer under the program, all of which focused on Hurricane Katrina damaged areas.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It’s something we’d like to do in the future,” said Millsaps College head football coach Mike Dubose.

Children ages eight to 12 were invited to participate. Football was the main focus of the camp, which also focused on academic awareness, team concepts and spiritual awareness, all covered in an effort to ensure each child’s success in future endeavors, Saunders said.

When the camp is not in session, a website that is being developed by Millsaps will keep the kids in contact with those coaches, Saunders said. It will be at

Dubose said the camp was Saunders’ idea and he jumped aboard because he thought it could do a lot of good for the community and the kids.

This camp can help them form a relationship with the area coaches and the kids, the two men said. They hope their time with the kids will show them that they can be champions.

“(Even if) it may not be in football,” Dubose said.

This year’s camp in Picayune had about 25 children participating, but Dubose hopes to be able to boost that number. Some of this summer’s earlier camps had as many as 75 children. At the most, he said his coaching staff should be able to handle about 100 kids. Dubose said if registration processes are worked out he would be able to determine if more help would be needed for future camps.

Sponsors for the camp were Horn CPA, Richard Swartz and Associates and Paul Brenton in Biloxi. Dubose said he would like to thank Coach Dodd Lee for his help with organizing and accommodations.