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Visualize and Rize football camp attracts hundreds of area youths

The second annual Jermon Bushrod Visualize and Rize Youth Football Camp was phenomenal success/ Nearly 300 kids, ages 6-14, came from as far as Kentucky and Louisiana to participate in the camp, doubling last year’s attendance. The camp provided youth an opportunity to build character and self-esteem while learning the basic fundamentals of the game from coaches, high school players, college standouts and professional football players.

Elated with the family and community support he received, Bushrod said, “The support of my family has been great, especially my parents (Jerry and Brenda). They’ve been up all hours of the night, making sure all the tedious things were done. Even when I’m not around, they are doing everything they can to make sure

this event is a success.”

In light of the current National Football League lockout, Bushrod and his teammates have proactively participated in workout sessions separate from the league. “Drew (Brees) had us stationed at Tulane University, where we did everything we could to mimic an actual practice. It was great competing and running again with 40 plus guys — it was very exciting.”

The camp was a win-win deal for everyone evolved. Parents and onlookers had a rare opportunity see Bushrod in person, along with three of his Saints teammates: Roman Harper, Zach Strief and Jonathan Goodwin. Also, Ravens’ top draft pick and University of Maryland star wide receiver Torrey Smith came out to support the camp.

The camp was sponsored by New Orleans Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod, Visualize and Rize LLC, and the King George High School football team. In addition, proceeds from the camp were donated to the KGHS football team.

In spite of the 92-degree temperature, the camp never missed a beat. From the moment the camp started, kids were organized into two groups (ages 6-10 and 11-14) along the soccer fields at KGHS. The largest groups of youth were 8, 11 and 12 year olds.

The first part of the morning the camp was dedicated to offense, with stations focused on quarterback, running back, receiver and offensive line skills. After a mini-break, the camp’s theme switch to defense, where stations were setup for defensive back, linebackers and defensive line skills. At the end of the camp, groups showcased their recently acquired knowledge in seven-on-seven games.

Delighted with the growth of the event, camp coordinator and Riverbend High School varsity football offensive line coach George Major said, “It will only get bigger, we had to cut registration off due to the fact we were running out of T-shirts — and we didn’t want kids to leave without a shirt.”

The atmosphere was nothing short of electric, as camp participants basked in the glow of accomplished athletes.

“When kids get to see Jermon and his teammate, along with Torrey Smith, they excel and come out of their shells from these types of camps,” Major said.

More than $25,000 was raised from the proceeds emanating from the Bushrod charity golf tournament and the football camp. Bushrod’s parents had the arduous task of organizing more than 60 volunteers to assist in registration, food preparation and coaching services. Since the day he first competed in organized sports, it has always been a labor of love for Bushrod’s parents to help out in anyway they can.

“It feels good, and it’s a personal reward to help out, because we’re doing it for a good cause,” Jerry said. “When it’s all said and done, we don’t mind. We had volunteers calling us for the past two months to help out.”

Campers left with fond memories of a three and half-hour camp that featured adulation, teamwork and the personal satisfaction of learning from the best.
For more informaiton pertaining to Bushrod go online to www.jermonbushrod.com.

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