Aaron Alford Football Camp returns
June 2, 2015
After seeing numbers increase last summer, the Aaron Alford G.O.A.T. Football Camp is expecting that trend to continue in its third year.
The camp, started by the late Aaron Alford, who unexpectedly passed away two years ago, is now run by his brother, Tony Alford, and a team of college coaches and professional athletes.
From June 29-July 1, football players ages 7-13 can participate in the camp, held from 9 a.m. to noon each day at Dozier Field.
John Lukrich, a youth football coach and a camp organizer, said this year’s camp will have a limited number of registration spots available.
"I think the final tally was about 170 players last year," he said. "We’ve capped the amount of campers this year at 200. My guess is we’re going to get there pretty quickly."
Though Tony Alford took a job with Ohio State University shortly after the 2014-15 college football season ended, Lukrich said Alford’s commitment to his brother’s camp is strong.
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"He was previously with Utah. He then went to Notre Dame to be the running backs coach, but then, this last year, was hired by Urban Meyer and is now the running backs coach and assistant head coach at Ohio State," he said. "But he was so close to his brother and I think he feels like it’s his legacy in a lot of ways. He’s very, very passionate about it and he wouldn’t miss it for the world."
Joining Alford are a slew of big names from around the sport, including Detroit Lions players Theo Riddick and TJ Jones. Bo Beck, defensive line coach at Montana State, and Brent Myers, the associate head coach and offensive line coach at Weber State, will join them, as will Bill Reagan, the founder and director of the Top Gun QB Academy in South Bend, Indiana.
Riddick and Jones both attended Notre Dame while Alford was coaching there. Lukrich said he’s not surprised Alford has stayed close with his former players.
"Tony is basically Theo’s second dad," he said. "He has great relationships with a lot of his ex-players. He just loves the game and what it adds to people’s personal lives."
As for what campers can expect from the experience, Lukrich said fun is prioritized first and foremost.
"It’s a lot of fun," he said. "What we’re trying to do is continue the passion Aaron had for football and the teamwork and camaraderie. We’re trying to teach some football skills but also continue Aaron’s passion for the game."
Though there will be plenty of drills and instruction, Lukrich said it won’t be a typical football practice.
"This is about having fun and learning some about football from some of the best coaches in the country," he said. "We’re not out there to pound anybody into the ground. It’s about having fun and learning something while doing it."
The cost of the camp is $50 and registration is available at http://bit.ly/1AGhjfn .
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