TE Brandon Myers speaks to the kids in the youth football camp. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Recently, TE Brandon Myers visited a youth football camp at Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, Calif. Myers spoke with the young football players, ages 6-14, about his experience playing football, the important life lessons in football, and took time to pose for photos and sign autographs. "I was coming out here to talk to the kids about teamwork and football," said Myers. "They had some questions for me and it was a good time."
The football camp, started by Eric Gerlach, was started to help build the football skills of the younger players. "We had kids who have never played football before to kids who have played five years of Pop Warner," explained Gerlach. "Each day we did an agility circuit and then do a specific position circuit where every kid would learn every offensive position and every kid would learn every defensive position. Every day we would do some sort of life skill, like education, teamwork, respect, and stuff like that, so we had a segment where we would talk about that every day. And then on Friday, we had taught them all the skills during the week, then we had flag football games with them."
As the week-long camp drew to a close, Myers spent time with the kids. "I was just talking about different aspects of football that they might not realize right now, but you take some of those things and they're in your everyday life," Myers explained. "They're not going to realize it now, but hopefully down the road they'll kind of take some of those things and apply them on a daily basis."
Having Myers speak with the young football players had a big impact. "To have him come out, I mean the kids look up to these guys so much and see them on TV, it means so much for him to come out and [for the kids] to actually meet him and see that [football players] are real people just like them," said Gerlach. "They have a chance to make it themselves if they just work hard. The kids get so star struck. They just get big smiles and they're just happy to be next to him."
Myers thinks it's important to make an impression on the kids at this age. "Definitely, it's important," said Myers. "Some of them might not understand right now, but if they see someone like myself, who I've been in their shoes before, maybe they'll listen to one thing I say and they might take that and apply it."
The fourth-year tight end made an impact on the small Santa Cruz County community. "They all know who the Raiders are and all week they were asking when are the Raiders coming?," said Gerlach. "It's made a better impact on the community."