Former Starkville High, Clemson and NFL player Antuan Edwards, left, cheers two campers as they participate in a drill during the SHS football camp held Monday and Tuesday. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Members of the Starkville High School football team and a former National Football League player took some time out of their schedule to help younger players hone their skills.
The Yellowjackets hosted a football camp on Monday and Tuesday for kindergartners-8th graders.
"It has been great," Starkville head coach Jamie Mitchell said of how the camp went. "Two days and a lot of kids. It's been a fun day for them and a hectic day for our coaches. Hopefully these kids have enjoyed two days of good football."
On hand was former Starkville High standout Antuan Edwards. Edwards graduated from SHS in 1995. He played all over the field for the Jackets. He played quarterback, safety and running back.
He had a scholarship offer from Clemson and played in the secondary for the Tigers. He was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL draft.
The Green Bay Packers took him 25th overall. In his career he played for the Dolphins, Rams and Falcons.
"It feels good," Edwards said. "Back home, back in my stomping ground where it all started for me. Working with the kids, I couldn't feel more better. It's home."
Mitchell was glad Edwards participated and hopes to get more ex-players in involved with the program.
"That's one of the things we want to do here is continue to bring ex-players from here and great players back too," Mitchell said. "Let these kids be around them and let them see dreams do come true."
The proceeds of the camp go to building a new weight room and field house.
Edwards knows the weight room will help the program, but believes Mitchell is the right man for the job and that is all it takes.
"I think it's going to be huge," Edwards said. "We have always worked out of that little one deal up there. A building to me doesn't make the program. I think it's going to big for us. I think it's the coach. What he is doing and what he is bringing to this program is going to make all the difference."
Mitchell is excited about the new weight room and wants to give his players a first class experience playing for SHS.
"Everything we are raising here will go into our weight room," Mitchell said. "That's a big deal for us. We want to make sure we have a top class weight room. This is certainly going to help."
Edwards spoke to the campers on Tuesday. His speech was more about life and how to conduct yourself instead of about football.
"(Edwards) talked about grades and character, more that than football," Mitchell said. "That has been a great thing. He talked to the kids about trying to do the right thing and making the right choices. Football will take care of itself."
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