A football camp for special needs students will be held at the Obadiah Harris Family Athletic Complex on Friday. Chillicothe High School Football Coach Ron Hinton said the 3rd Annual Can Do Football Camp is set for 9 a.m. to noon, June 16th.
"We'll dress them, then we'll walk through the weight room a little bit, then we'll take them out on the field, and we'll give them a chance to play a little bit of quarterback, run the ball, catch the ball, couple defensive positions," said Hinton. "Just a basic introduction into football."
CHS student-athletes will serve as mentors through a buddy system.
"Every Pioneer athlete coming in will have 1-to-2 of our varsity football players who are with them the whole time," said Hinton, who added it is a system that has seen success.
"The first couple of years, we had young men who wouldn't even actually put their helmet on, they wouldn't go out and catch a pass, they wouldn't do much," said Hinton, "but then as the day went on, when they saw other students doing well and enjoying it, they started getting involved."
2011 Cavalier football alum Casey Oates spearheaded the camp as part of a college-level service project in 2014, but it is a project he has planned to continue for years to come.
"Football was probably the happiest memories that I have from school," explained Oates, "so just the ability to give someone else a chance, especially those who might not be fortunate enough to experience something like football on a daily basis like I was, just the opportunity to see what it's like and get a taste of it."
The Can Do Football Camp is free to Pioneer Center students, and Oates hopes to open the camp to others in 2018.