Cleveland Browns tight end
He led the Ben Watson Youth Football Camp from July 9-13, at Memorial Middle School in South Euclid. During the five-day, no-contact camp, 255 local children were given football instruction free of charge.
The children who participated in the camp were from the second through sixth grade age groups.
“I’m just happy to be in a position where I can make a difference like this,” Watson said. “When I was a kid, I remember wanting to go to football games and I couldn’t go, so I just wanted to have a lot of these kids to have the chance to learn about football, learn how it works, learn the intricacies of the game, but also just learn a little bit about life.
“We just have been going over football basics, fundamentals, but also talking about the fact that God loves them and the fact that God gave them their talents. Use our talents to honor him.”
On the first day of the camp, Watson taught the “fun”damentals of two-and three-point stances, ball security, throwing and catching. Day two consisted of pass routes, hand signals and good choices in life.
On day three, the campers learned different defensive drills and how to provide pass coverage. During the fourth day of the camp, Watson and his staff of coaches led a punt, pass and kick competition, as well as other games. On the last day, which was known as “Fun Friday,” campers participated in a touchdown dance competition and question-and-answer session with Watson.
For the camp, Watson enlisted the help of 30 coaches and several of his teammates.
During the question-and-answer session with the campers, Watson was asked what he liked about football. Watson said he best liked learning “the importance of teamwork.”
“It teaches you to respect other people,” Watson said of football. “It teaches you discipline, which is doing things you do not want to do.”