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Bohanon football camp this Saturday

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jul 14, 2021

Since 2017, through stormy weather and pandemics, the Tommy Bohanon Foundation has held a football camp to all kids from first- through eighth-graders to learn how to “train like a pro.”

On Saturday, the foundation will once again hold its annual Tommy Bohanon Youth Football Camp from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at North Fort Myers High School.

And there are still some slots remaining if you want to be part of the fun.

“We’re inviting kids from first through eighth grade to come out for a free day of a youth football camp where you can be trained by coaches and high school players who volunteer and get their public service hours in,” said Katie Bohanon, executive director of the Tommy Bohanon Foundation.

The camp gives these young athletes the opportunity to expand their knowledge and love of football through drills that pro players do, guided by professional and experienced coaches at the high school and college level.

Last year, the camp was somewhat limited due to the pandemic, with the number of participants capped at 75. Kids were dropped off in the parking lot and had their temperatures taken, while parents filled waiver forms in case their kids caught COVID. The coaches were masked, while the kids weren’t, Katie said.

Even though most of the restrictions have been removed, the camp will continue with some precautions and remain capped at 75. So far, around 60 have signed up. Katie said there will be a car-lot drop off and there will be some COVID guidelines to follow. Drop-off starts at 8 a.m.

In 2019, more than 200 kids participated, Bohanon said.

“We like having that 75 number, that way each kid is getting a little more individual attention,” Bohanon said.

The camp is typically broken down to grade levels, where they are sent from station to station learning all aspects of the game, from blocking to tackling through combine drills that NFL hopefuls participate in.

Bohanon and many of his friends will offer coaching, with Tommy talking about his life experiences and the importance of education and giving back at the end of camp while the kids enjoy their free lunch from Tropical Smoothie. Kids will also get a free T-shirt.

Girls are welcome to attend (several have in the past) and no football experience is required, since there will be no contact.

“We’re excited about the fact it’s a hometown style camp and it’s 100 percent free. We are also excited to have amazing sponsors this year like Tropical Smoothie, who does all our food for free,” Katie said. “The kids get a healthy lunch and snacks, and we send them home with more snacks.”

The Tommy Bohanon Camp will be the only football camp this year. The Tre Boston Beyond Belief Foundation decided against holding camp this summer out of COVID concerns.

Kids are highly urged to be pre-registered. In order to be pre-registered, you must turn in a registration form. To request one, direct message the fun foundation with the athlete’s name and grade they are entering.

Bohanon is a graduate of North Fort Myers High School and Wake Forest University. Bohanon was drafted in 2013 by the New York Jets and played for them and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was also briefly with the Green Bay Packers and was on the practice squad for the Baltimore Ravens last year before being released.

The Tommy Bohanon Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to young athletes in supporting them to reach their highest potential on and off the playing field. The foundation holds the camp, has a scholarship fund, holds an annual MAN-Up seminar and provides grants to schools for equipment.

For more information, go to tommybohanonfoundation.org.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include quotes.