Jylan Ware has another successful camp in second year

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The Valley community showed up and showed their support again on Saturday for Jylan Ware’s annual football camp. 

Ware held his first football camp last summer. The amount of support the camp received from the community must have surprised him, but this year’s camp might have been an even bigger success than Ware’s first camp. 

The camp was held Saturday at Valley High School. The camp began around two and lasted for around two hours. The campers in attendance ranged from kindergarten aged kids to high schoolers. 

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The coaches for the camp were Brandon Barnes, Shaq Jones, Enriquel Florence, Enrique Jackson, Courtney Cammon and Derrion Calhoun. Most of the coaches that helped with the camp have experience playing football in college, NFL and other professional football leagues. Most of the coaches graduated from either Lanett or Valley. 

Every drill that the campers worked on were drills that the coaches had done at some level of their playing careers. 

“I think it’s super important, man,” Ware said. “I see this more as a heads up. We ain’t out here trying to perfect it today. We just wanted to go ahead and get them out here, get them running, get them out of the house, basically.” 

Ware’s purpose for his football camp is “community togetherness” and showing the kids the work it takes to play football. 

“I know a lot of these kids are interested in sports, a lot of them probably don’t know like minded people like that,” Ware said. “So who knows some friendships might have been made out here, some bonds might have been made out here. That’s good too.” 

With most of the coaches being from Chambers County and having success, Ware hopes to show the kids that there is more out there than just the area they live in. 

“I want kids to know there’s more than Valley,” Ware said. “There’s more than Lanett. There’s more than Russell County. There’s more than just this area. Just seeing people from here can make it out there as a motivation thing.” 

To begin the day, each camper was together doing stretches led by the coaches. Then, all campers were split into groups to begin drill work. The campers did general cone drills, hit the bags, and even got to race each other. 

After the general drill work, the campers would be split into position groups. Wideouts at the camp got the opportunity to run routes and catch passes. Linebackers worked on getting up the field to stop the run and pass coverage. Running backs worked on ladder drills and ball security. Linemen worked on their hand placement and other parts of their technique. 

After the camp was over, the campers posed for a picture with all the coaches and volunteers at the camp. Then, everyone was treated to pizza donated by Johnny’s. 

Several companies within the community helped to support Ware’s camp. Circle of Care, Growth Academy, Gibson’s Powerwash, Johnny’s Pizza and Mr. Frosty’s Ice Cream were just some companies that helped with the camp. 

“It’s the only reason we can keep this going,” Ware said. “I want them to use me as a vessel to get into the community.” 

Another big contributor to Ware’s football camp was the Reed Foundation. Cameron Reed founded the Reed Foundation. Reed served as an equipment manager for Lanett and now works with the Chicago Bears. 

The Reed Foundation brought a tent to the field and gave just about every camper that attended a free pair of cleats and gloves.