The Coach Tate Foundation Football Camp will return to Patton High School on Monday and Tuesday, with a kickoff event planned for Sunday night.
Times for the camp, which is now in its fifth year, are Sunday from 5-8 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, the camp registration will be free.
Additionally, the camp has expanded its age range to include players from 6-18 years old. Coach Tate Foundation founder Phrantceena Halres said the moves were made at the suggestion of camp mentor Kedric Golston, a defensive lineman for the Washington Redskins who will return to the camp again this year. Halres said the changes will open up the camp to more participants and help the camp grow.
“Kedric and I spoke at the end of last year’s camp and determined, at his recommendation, to increase the age to 18 years of age to bring in more teenagers and to open it up to no charge for the campers,” Halres said. “We’ve focused on sponsorships from the community. Those three changes have certainly been very beneficial and (Golston) was astute in his awareness at that time of what needed to be done, based on his experience.”
Halres said the changes have already resulted in a larger number of participants compared to last year, and she believes the camp will become a better even overall as a result.
“(The changes) have already demonstrated (improvement),” she said. “I believe the last count we had was 202 (campers) as of (Wednesday night). We’ve had calls from others who just didn’t know about (the camp) and were just learning about.
“So, we’re looking for at least 100 or 150 more (campers) from (today) through Sunday. We’re going to cut off registration Sunday evening.”
The camp’s focus isn’t exclusively football. Its CIE-SAM (Communities in Education Through Sports, Arts and Muisc) initiative received a stamp of approval from Gov. Pat McCrory this week, as he proclaimed next week “CIE-SAM week” statewide.
The foundation will have a booth at tonight’s TGIF event on the Historic Burke County Courthouse Square to help encourage more participation. Sunday night’s kickoff will include a cookout-style dinner for campers and a concert by the Matty McRee Band.
Camp registration includes lunch for two days, a mouthpiece, T-shirt, a certificate of participation and instruction in the areas of mentoring, leadership and team building. For more information about the camp, call 919-255-8054 or visit coachtatefoundation.com.
Justin Epley can be reached at email@example.com or 828-432-8943.