When Phrantceena Thate met Washington Redskins defensive end Kedric Golston through Golston’s wife Christal at a charity event last year in Northern Virginia, it began a friendship that started up a new tradition in memory of Thate’s late father, Johnny Tate Sr.
“She wanted to do a football camp in memory of her dad, and I told her I would volunteer my services in any way I knew how,” said Golston, who has served the lead instructor of the inaugural Coach Tate Foundation Football Camp that began Wednesday at Draughn High’s stadium.
The inaugural camp has brought in more than 200 kids age 5 through 12.
The camp activities, according to the agenda, included 10-minute agility drills and football-specific drills, along with scrimmages and NFL player personal development workshop sessions.
Topics for the NFL workshop included character, sportsmanship, work ethic and nutrition.
Golston was joined by Redskin teammates Lorenzo Alexander and Chris Wilson, as well as fellow former University of Georgia standout Gerald Anderson, all serving as instructors.
“(This camp) is a big thing that honors the memory of Johnny Tate because he was all about young kids – helping them and coaching them,” said Draughn head football coach Scott Lambert. “This is a great thing for the community and it’s exciting for the kids. We feel certain it would spark interest in young kids to play the game of football.”
Draughn High rising senior Adam Manns echoed Lambert on the unique nature of the kids’ interaction with pro players.
“It was real interesting to watch the kids get to hang out with the pros,” he said.
Golston, who has 164 career tackles in 60 games since being drafted by the ’Skins in 2006, was very pleased with the leadership that helped set up the camp.
“I think William Thompson did a great job and all the volunteers (in setting up this camp),” said Golston. “I thought the coaching was excellent and the kids were great coming up there to work and perform.
“I think it does (Tate) a great honor to have something like this. He would have really enjoyed it,” Lambert added.
The camp sessions continue today with a closing ceremony, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Draughn. Saturday’s closing day festivities are open to the public.