The Mike Alstott Football Camp is back for its 11th season in 2007. The youth football camp, hosted by the popular Tampa Bay Buccaneers fullback, has two sessions – a non-contact youth fundamental camp for grades 8 and below on June 25-27, and an intense senior high camp for grades 9-12 with helmets and shoulder pads on June 28-30. Prices remain at the same level they were last year at $150 per youth for the three-day session.
According to the official website of the Mike Alstott Football Camp, the camp was "established to provide young athletes between the ages of 8-18 the opportunity to develop fundamental football skills in a well-supervised, organized and enthusiastic environment."
"It sometimes amazes me that we are heading into our 11th year of camp, but I think that is due to the intense commitment by Mike towards this camp,” said Illinois State University assistant coach David Ross, who has been the camp's director for all 11 years. “The camp business is very competitive and strongly relies on ‘word of mouth.’ Mike has given this camp a very solid reputation. This is not a camp where the pro player makes a cameo appearance. In the 10 previous years of camp, Mike has only missed three days, and that was one year where he had mini-camp obligations with the Bucs. Mike has a huge compassion for kids and it shows. He takes a picture with each camper, signs it personally and they receive it at the end of camp. We are talking about over 400 pictures and signatures. He is active and a motivating presence during each session."
Ross is an assistant coach at Illinois State University after serving as the athletic director and head football coach at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Ross and head coach Denver Johnson are reunited after coaching together at Oklahoma State in the mid 1980's. Ross' recruiting assignment for the Redbirds will be the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro area.
Ross and Alstott recruit current and former Buccaneers players to assist with the coaching, in addition to reaching out to college coaches for their participation. In past years, coaches from Miami (Fla.), Minnesota State, Florida, South Florida, Purdue, Oklahoma State, Army, Illinois State, Murray State, Nevada, Louisiana-Lafayette and others have participated in the Mike Alstott Football Camp.
"This camp is about FOOTBALL," Ross said. "I don't do this for a living, I coach at Illinois State University.Â Mike obviously does not do this for a living, either. But we know football, and our goal is to send each and every camper that attends back to his team a BETTER football player.Â We accomplish this goal by offering two sessions. Session 1, our YOUTH FUNDAMENTAL CAMP is open to children Grades 9 and below. (You must be 7 years old by July 1, 2007). This camp is non-contact and emphasizes fundamentals of all positions. The campers are divided by age groups to allow them to develop and compete against children their own age. This camp is HIGH ENERGY, HIGH EGO meaning we want ALL campers to feel good about their abilities and show them how fun playing the game of football can be. Â
"Session 2 is for SENIOR HIGH CAMPERS entering the 10-12 grades. Due to Florida State High School Association rules, this camp is also non-contact but is designed not only to improve their football skills, but prepare them to be a college prospect. Numerous guest speakers talk about topics such as academics, drugs and alcohol, fitness and strength training and citizenship. The camp is staffed with college coaches from all levels from Division 1-A to junior college."
The Mike Alstott Football Camp takes place at the Skyway Complex in Tampa, which is home of the Tampa Youth Football League, and is located at the intersection of George Road and Independence Parkway close to Tampa International Airport.
"I challenge anyone to find a football camp, associated with a player of Mike's stature that only costs $150.00," Ross said. "I encourage prospective parents and campers to visit our website for more information and take advantage of our easy on-line enrollment and payment. Mike is a gem. No one should by-pass this opportunity to rub shoulders with one of the great ones. Mike is truly the type of person on the field and off the field that future stars should look up to. It is our goal to offer this camp long after Mike retires. Mike's reputation will allow us to do just that."
The 2006 Mike Alstott Football Camp sessions were sold out, and Ross is encouraging participants to register early to reserve their spot. Visit Alstottcamp.com for more information.
Pewter Report is a proud sponsor and media partner of the Mike Alstott Football Camp, along with Burger King.