HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — Jarrod Bunch held his annual football camp at Spire Institute on Saturday.
In partnership with USA Football, the Ashtabula High School graduate and former National Football League player conducted the four-hour camp for children ages 7-13.
“It’s the foundation fundamentals,” Bunch said. “It is straight fundamentals — running, route running, coming out of your stance, getting in your stance, changing direction. We start from the very beginning and the quicker you teach (younger kids) those things, the longer they have to deal with how to make that better.”
More than 100 signed up for the event and roughly 80 showed up.
Included in that bunch was Miccah McCoy, who is from Ashtabula and will be in eighth grade next year. McCoy attended Bunch’s camp for the second time and the biggest difference was the use of flag football — which the kids played in a game-like format toward the end of camp.
“I never knew about flag football, but the thing I liked about it was everything. I liked everything about it,” McCoy said.
Donteg Richardson, a rising seventh grader in Painesville, said he enjoyed attending the camp and his favorite part was the 40-yard dash.
“I learned to keep your head up and heart over head,” he said.
Bunch, who grew up in the area before attending Ashtabula, said he is trying to help the younger generation in the same way he was helped by his elders.
“My first learning of football took place right here and I’m just trying to do the same thing that somebody did for me,” the former New York Giants and Los Angeles Raiders running back said. “As I got older, I got blessed to do other things and go places. I learned more things and I’m trying to share those things here.”
Bunch said he plans to be back next summer and he hopes to see a larger turnout.
“This is not a Lakeside event,” he said. “I graduated from Ashtabula High School, that’s the only connection there is. I’ve invited all the coaches from all of the schools if they want to be participants as a coach at the camp. It’s open to everyone.
“I’m a representative of the NFL trying to
get every small town
to get their kids involved in football, because that is the
way professional football grows. It has to start at the smallest level. I’m trying to reach every kid in this area. This is the area I’m from. I would hope that all the other schools, every school in this county, even in the state, please send your kids out.”