June 11, 2009
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Willie Gillespie wants to educate young people of the community about the sport of football.
With the help of some of his friends, Gillespie is set to do that with Camp Complete on June 19-20 at Starkville High School.
Gillespie believes the camp will help children who might not get an opportunity to be introduced to football.
"They might be a little less fortunate, be kind of intimidated by the system, or really don''t have the background to obtain information they probably need," Gillespie said. "We''re trying to provide something for everybody in the community, not just Starkville."
Even though Gillespie is holding the camp in Starkville, he wants children from surrounding towns and counties to be involved.
Gillespie has signed up individuals from Columbus and is reaching out to Choctaw and Webster counties for potential campers.
The first day for grades K-6 will be primarily used for teaching fundamentals. It will deal with running, football terminology, and the importance of doing well in school.
Grades 7-12 will get their chance on the second day and more details are added. Along with football, campers will be instructed on ACT preparation, dealing with the NCAA Clearinghouse, and everything they need to know to enter college or junior college.
Members of the East Mississippi Community College coaching staff will be present on the second day to talk with campers.
Gillespie also plans to have former Mississippi State players Johnnie Cooks, Glen Young, and Donald Lee at the camp. Lee''s availability depends on his schedule for training camp with the Green Bay Packers. Other current Bulldogs will be there to sign autographs.
Even though football is not his sport, Starkville native Travis Outlaw of the Portland Trail Blazers is set to make an appearance.
"He is just here to sign autographs for kids, be positive, and give words of encouragement," Gillespie said.
Registration takes place each day from 8-9:30 a.m., and the camp starts at 10. At the end of the day, there will be a picnic planned for the participants.
There will be a special preregistration from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Starkville High School Athletic Complex. Gillespie welcomes anyone to stop for more information on the event.
"I''ll explain to them what we''re doing and how it can possibly benefit their child," Gillespie said.
For more information, call 425-6604.