RANDOLPH, NJ -The 2012 New York Giants Youth Football Camp took place with the Kozak Sports Center of Randolph hosting the camp. Two retired New York Giants players were special guests.
The New York Giants organization partnered with Walgreens to sponsor non-contact football camps for kids ages 6 to 14 years old this year. The camps feature a Comprehensive Skills Section, an Accelerated Skills Section and Position-Specific, Private Instruction Section.
From July 23 through 27, the Kozak Sports Center of Randolph was the place to be for some athletes. For one week football players from Sussex County and other areas of New Jersey sharpened their mental and physical skills. Youth ran drills designed to improve their game on the field. The youth were put to the test for several hours broken up into two sessions. One session took place in the morning and the other in the afternoon on the turf field of the indoor facility.
All activity was under the watchful eyes of the camp director Dominic Longo and his staff.
Longo, who is also a football coach at Boundbrook High School stated, "The camp is a positive experience for the kids and they also get to see some great role models.The Giants players speak of their experiences growing up playing football. Overall its a great experience for the kids. We have a mix of youth from a six year old who may just be starting flag football participation to a 14 year old who is getting ready to be a freshman in high school. On different levels we try to keep them busy".
Retired pro football player Brian Saxton stopped by on Tuesday and offered words of encouragement to these young athletes. Saxton played for two seasons in the NFL.
Saxton was an undrafted tight end out of Boston College,who signed with the Giants as a free agent in 1996. He played for the New York Giants and Atlantic Falcons in the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Through hard work, he earned a spot on the Giants roster. Saxton's professional football career was cut short by an injury. His stint in the NFL left a lasting impression on him, and gave him many stories to share with others. He grew up in Whippany, NJ and played football at Whippany Park High School. After high school Saxton attended Boston College.
After pro football , was able to fall back on his education and today works as a financial advisor for Wells Fargo.
Saxton said, "You have to do well academically and not just focus on athletics, because the length of time of a professional football player's career is a little over 2 years".
After speaking with the youth, Saxton signed autographs, posed for photographs and participated in some drills with the athletes.
On Wednesday, retired New York Giant Perry Williams visited to share his experiences as a football player.
Williams was drafted by the Giants in 1983, and spent nine seasons (1984 through 1993) as a cornerback with the team. During that time, Williams contributed to two Giants Super Bowl victories in 1986 and 1990. Williams is a native of North Carolina, and attended North Carolina State University. He did not earn his degree before entering the NFL, but did eventually complete his studies to earn a degree in the late 1980's.
Today Williams is a Senior Lecturer at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ and travels regularly throughout the country, speaking to student athletes. Like Saxton, Williams emphasizes the importance of a good education to go along with players athletic pursuits. Williams shared stories of his days with teammates such as, Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, and Phil Simms.