The Skills to Succeed -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The Skills to Succeed

June 2, 2006 

Valdosta -- Lowndes high school alum and NFL star Randall Godfrey holding his tenth annual camp in Valdosta today.

Over 250 kids are participating in the camp, but they're learning more than just football skills.

Chargers linebacker and former Lowndes star Randall Godfrey has been holding his football camp for kids ages 6 to 15 at the school for ten years.

The Vikings football team just won back-to-back state championships.

Godfrey says having NFL players out at the camp teaching the kids helps build the community.

"It's a way to give back," says Godfrey. "They're also learning football skills, position skills. This morning we went through a bunch of drills, and now we're just running wild and scrimmaging and letting the kids have a lot fun."

Camper Tyler Weeks says, "I'm learning about football and I came here last year."

Campers come back again and again to learn from NFL talent at a cost of just 25 dollars.

"It's relatively inexpensive for the kids and their parents," says Valdosta DT coach Rick Thomas, "but the experience they gain is priceless. It's priceless."

Godfrey says, "I don't look forward to writing one person a big check as a write-off. I give it all to kids."

Seven year-old Quay Riley has big goals.

"When I grow up, I want to be a champion," says Riley.

And the coaches at the camp are making sure kids like Quay have the opportunity to be champions away from the football field.

Thomas says, "I see kids, when they come to me, as a pile of coal, and my job is to take them from that pile of coal, and cultivate them and to mold them into a beautiful, immaculate diamond."

This is the last year of Godfrey's contract with the Chargers, and he says he'll continue playing after it expires, but only in Atlanta.