Local coaches, players teach the community at inaugural North Central West Virginia Youth Football Camp


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Youth athletes in the community were able to learn football skills from some of the best local high school and college athletes and coaches at Robert C. Byrd High School on Saturday.

The inaugural North Central West Virginia Youth Football camp was hosted by former Fairmont State football coach Mike Lopez. Kids of all ages were invited to brush up on their football skills and have a fun day.

NCWV Youth Football camper runs the ball down the field

Multiple local high school athletes helped run the camp like RCB standout running back and Frank Loria Award winner Jeremiah King as well as former Bridgeport High and WVU football player Dante Bonamico.

High School football coaches from around the area teamed up with local college football coaches to lead the kids, who were put into groups divided by age.

RCB’s Jeremiah King leads campers in a football drill

Lopez said that this is not only a way to bring the kids of the community together, but it’s much more than football- it can teach life lessons through the sport.

These kids look up to them like ‘Hey, I can be that.’ We just don’t know what impact or what moment it is that this kid changes his heart or changes that fire in his belly. Something may be going on at home, something may be going on in his life and this is a way for him and football teaches you that, football allows you to do that. Fellowship and teamwork, you can notice on our shirts which is a staple, this is about fellowship. This is bigger than me, this is about other people, this is about serving the needs of other people through football,” Lopez said.

King agreed that an event like this is good for the community and he’s happy to help young athletes grow in the sport.

Former RCB and current Glenville State quarterback Xavier Lopez talks to campers

“I think it’s very important. All of these coaches and players out here who have played at the next level or have coached at the next level and to have the little kids around, to see us and to see how we work and for us to be able to teach them I think that’s a very big step,” King said.

Lopez said this will now be an annual football camp hosted in the summer.

Bridgeport’s Landyn Reppert instructing campers

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