First Posted: 6/25/2009
LUMBERTON At the conclusion of Mike Brill’s 2009 football clinic, 10-year-old Jarmaine Johnson couldn’t contain himself.
“This is the best day of my life,” Johnson shouted.
Johnson was one of over 80 participants at Brill’s camp this year.
On Wednesday, Kenwin Cummings of the New York Jets, Sean Locklear of the Seattle Seahawks and Vonta Leach of the Houston Texans spoke during the camp’s last session.
Locklear and Leach have been at the camp before, but it was the first time for Cummings.
“I’m tickled to death, especially with Kenwin coming,” Brill said. “I think it’s great that we can have homemade NFL players come and speak to the kids. You look and we have a guy from South Robeson, a guy from Lumberton and a guy from Purnell Swett.”
Devonta McKoy, a 10-year-old student at W.H. Knuckles Elementary School, enjoyed the camp and the NFL players.
“This is my first time playing football,” McKoy said. “I want to play in middle school and high school too now.”
Jacob Hill, a 10-year-old student at Piney Grove Elementary School, said Cummings, Locklear and Leach gave the campers inspirational words.
“They talked to us about being in the NFL,” Hill said. “But, they said that we had to stay in school, get good grades and work hard to do it.”
Added Kenneth Locklear, a student at Antioch Christian Academy: “I loved everything about camp. I love football period.”
Sean Locklear said he enjoys coming back home and sending a positive message to local youth.
“I went to camps and stuff when I was younger, but we didn’t really have athletes come out,” he said. “Coming out here every year shows that we’re not bigger than life and that we can come out and show some support for the kids and coaches.”
Leach shared Locklear’s sentiments.
“Coach Brill got me started with everything in high school,” Leach said. “I just want to come back and give hope to the kids. I want them to know that if I can do it, they can do it.”
Leach will host his own camp this weekend. The weekend kicks off with an all-star basketball game at South Robeson on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
On Saturday, the football camp will start at 9 a.m., with registration beginning at 8 a.m.
“This was a miracle,” McKoy said. “If I want to be a professional player, I know I’ve got to work on my grades.”