Soon-to-be Valley graduates host and organize football camp for young athletes

Published 3:59 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

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On Saturday, young athletes from Chambers County and the surrounding area showed up for a football camp at Valley High School. Valley’s practice field has been home to several football camps over the past few years, but this one was different as it was spearheaded by current seniors at Valley High School. 

Soon to be Valley graduates, Cam Dooley and Jay Harper came up with the idea as a way to give back to the community before they each leave to play collegiate football. The pair pooled their connections together and put together a big event with just a week or two of planning. 

“We just wanted to give back to the community,” Harper said. “I just always wanted to help kids out. When we were growing up, we got knowledge, but now we have more knowledge. I just wanted to give back to the community and make Valley great.” 

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“I feel like we should give back to the community just like they gave back to us,” Dooley added. 

Several former athletes and coaches in the area showed up to help lead the camp. Valley seniors Brandon Thomas and Ian Crim-Davis helped lead drills along with several other former athletes.
The four seniors have left a lasting impact at Valley High School, winning a state championship on the hardwood before leading the Rams back to the playoffs in 2023. 

The group has had kids looking up to them for several years, and Saturday served as an opportunity for them to interact with those kids and show them the ropes. 

All four of the soon-to-be graduates will also be going their separate ways on their college football journey. Saturday served as one last opportunity for the four to get on the field and spend time with one another. 

“I go to college in 11 days. I’m trying to spend as much time with them as possible,” Dooley said. 

“These are my brothers man. I’m just trying to make as many memories as I can,” Crim-Davis. 

Harper, Dooley, Crim-Davis and Thomas used to be the kids going to these camps. Now, they’ve gained enough experience to be leading these camps.
That brought a lot of pride for former Valley basketball and football coach Marshon Harper. Harper has been with the four seniors every step along the way. On Saturday, he got to watch his former students become teachers of the game.

“It’s really satisfying,” Harper said. “They’ve been working out with some kids from Opelika, Auburn and Lanett, and they decided they wanted to do a camp. Jay and Cam put this together. It’s amazing for them to give back to the community. They said they’re going to try to do it every year at this time.” 

The 2024 class at Valley has been one for the history books, and they are far from done. The group has already left an impact on the area, and they look to continue giving back to their hometown in the future. 

“It means a lot to me,” Marshon said. “We started this journey as young men, and they’re growing up to become grown men. Just hoping for success for all of them and hopefully see them in the NFL one day.”