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Old 06-22-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default Sampson Native, NFL Star Brings Camp To Town

Sampson Native, NFL Star Brings Camp To Town

The anticipation was palpable among the more than 150 youngsters who waited for the star running back for the NFL National Champion Pittsburgh Steelers - Willie Parker - Saturday morning.

Fast Willie Parker's Football Camp 2009 for youth from ages 8 to 17 was held at the Clinton High School football stadium as a way of giving back to his community. Proceeds from the day's event will benefit various youth organizations in the area.

As Mr. Parker came onto the field where he played his high school career, there were shouts and applause from the crowd gathered to see him. His dreams came to fruition when selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a running back in 2005.

But Mr. Parker was not alone as he walked into the stadium.

As promised, he brought along with him Pittsburgh teammates Charlie Batch, who is the back-up quarterback; linebacker James Farrior, lineman Justin Hartwig, lineman Chris Kemoeatu, defensive back William Gay, linebacker Mike Harris, along with Tennessee Titans linebacker David Thornton and Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, to name a few.

Current NFL players, along with former Miami Dolphins' players Leonard Skinner and Jerris McPhail, who are friends of Mr. Parker, Sampson County Parks and Recreation staff and local coaches, took the kids through their paces. Drills included kicking, punting, receiving, tackling and footwork techniques designed to help the youngsters improve their game.

Mr. Parker, with a little help from his friends, made it a special day for the young people.

Prior to Mr. Parker taking the field, he and his teammates posed for a photo and then agreed to an interview with The Daily Record.

Asked why he returns to his hometown to put on this camp, Mr. Parker said, "It's all about the kids. This is a tremendous opportunity for the kids to get better."

He said that, along with his appreciation for where he grew up, is why he returns to put on this camp.

Mr. Parker's teammates and friends agreed with his sentiment that holding a football camp is about the kids and giving back to the community. They support each other and participate in different camps around the country.

"This is my second time here. I come down here to support him (Willie) and it's a great opportunity to help the kids out," Mr. Batch said.

Mr. Kemoeatu said it's a good way to support each other, but the emphasis is on the children.

Young people from Apex, Raleigh, Newton Grove Midway and Clinton showed up to meet Mr. Parker and were surprised with the many NFL players who appeared on the field. And they were happy to receive their T-shirts (with a signing held at the conclusion of the camp), refreshments, water bottles and the chance to meet the players, up close and personal, and to learn from them.

Zachary Carlton, a Midway Middle School eighth-grader, along with his dad, Kenneth, attended the camp. Zachary got a chance to work with Tennessee Titan David Thornton and said it was great.

Hobbton Middle School sixth-grader Gregory Herring came to the camp with Jeremy Faulkner and Midway High School assistant football coach Jason Rouse brought nephew Jacob Worsley along. Brothers Austin, 11, and Cullen Buchanan, 9, of Raleigh had a chance to hold Mr. Parker's gold championship ring and take photos with him.

The youngsters appeared to enjoy the event-filled day.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sampson Native, NFL Star Brings Camp To Town

Nice read go's to show what kind of guy parker and a few others are.
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