Football camp to honor Aaron Alford
This year should be the second year of Aaron Alford’s GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) football camp. After Alford died suddenly last August, having the camp again seemed doubtful.
But Tony Alford, Aaron’s brother and a running backs coach at Notre Dame, decided to make the camp even bigger and better to honor Aaron’s memory.
"He’s coming down with some of the top college coaches in the country," Thomas Baynes, president of the Park City Youth Ute Conference, said. "He’s really excited. He’s been the instigator behind this it was his idea to run it and continue it."
Beginning on June 30 and running until July 2, the camp will have plenty of high-level coaches and players helping out.
"All the high school coaches, players and youth coaches will be helping out," Baynes said. "But it’ll be run by the big-time coaches.
"In the past, the camp’s always been run by youth coaches and high school coaches, who are obviously all highly respected, but now we’re bringing in the big boys."
Baynes added that he can’t think of a better way to honor Alford, who gave so much to youth and high school football in Park City.
"Due to a lot of Aaron’s efforts, youth football has really become good around here," he said. "It used to be we were maybe an average program. Now, nobody wants to play Park City anymore."
Baynes said he and the other youth coaches hope to accomplish a few different things with the camp.
"We want them to learn some of the basic fundamentals, which is obviously key in youth football," he said. "We also want them to understand that football is fun. This camp is going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to build camaraderie and teamwork and they’re going to get to meet all their teammates."
He added that Tony Alford will make sure all campers are having a great time.
"He knows, especially at the youth level, that a lot of this is going to be about having fun," he said. "I’m sure there will be water balloon tag and a lot of other stuff for cardio without the kids actually knowing they’re doing it. We’re not going to make them run hills until they barf."
As several of the Aaron Alford Award winners watched a high school football workout at Dozier Field on Monday evening, they talked about how excited they were to get another season underway and what it meant to win an award that honored their hard work and other qualities Alford embodied.
"I was just really excited," Kirby Baynes said of winning the award. "It brought back memories of Aaron and I just felt good inside."
Alford’s twin sons, Max and Sam, said they’re glad their uncle will be running the camp in honor of their father this year.
"It kind of brings me back to my dad, because my uncle who works at Notre Dame is really like my dad," Sam said. "I’m really excited to get started. Football is pretty much my life."
"The camp started off small," Max added. "Now it’s getting really big."
Brady Baumann added that he can’t wait to learn from some of the best coaches in the country.
"I’m super excited to get some really good pointers for next year," he said.
The Aaron Alford Memorial GOAT Camp will run from 9 a.m. until noon each day from June 30-July 2. The cost is $45. Under Armour will be sponsoring the T-shirts and there will be free water jugs for everybody. Registration will be open to the first 200 athletes ages 8-14. Baynes said about 50 have registered as of Monday evening. To register, or for more information, visit http://www.utefootball.org.
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