Hundreds of student-athletes had the chance to participate in a special football camp on Saturday. South Fort Myers High School graduate Sammy Watkins hosted the camp to remind athletes what football is really about.
It’s not every day that young athletes get the opportunity to work with a professional football player, but Baltimore Ravens WR Watkins coached and gave players a practice they’d never forget.
You may recognize the Fort Myers native from his 2020 Super Bowl win with the Kansas City Chiefs or as a receiver for the Baltimore Ravens.
Watkins said being back here made him feel like a kid again. “Forget the NFL superstar. I’m out here being a kid myself.”
If you lived in Fort Myers before Watkins graduated in 2011, you may remember him from the football field at South Fort Myers High School.
“I haven’t been back in eight years so it’s really good for me. Good for the city. Good for the kids,” he said.
He gave 300 young athletes the opportunity of a lifetime. “We’re here with Sammy Watkins. We’re giving back to the Fort Myers community. We’re putting on a free youth football camp for boys and girls ages six to 16,” said Forrest West, director of the camp.
West said the community helped make the camp a success. “We have over 20 to 30 volunteers come out and about 30 coaches come out and give time for free.”
The coaches ran drills, scrimmages, and held one-on-ones. Watkins described it as going back to the basics.
More importantly, Watkins wanted to remind people that having fun is the most important thing. “It’s about having fun. It’s not about winning.”
Campers hope they can accomplish what Watkins had as they look up to him.
“I look up to him, you know what I’m saying. That’s like a big cousin,” said one of the campers.
Watkins said he’ll continue giving back to his community.
Organizers say that all 300 slots to sign up for the camp were filled in less than an hour.