NEW PORT RICHEY — A couple of NFL players are hosting youth football camps in Pasco County and while one name may draw a lot more attention nationally, the other is just concerned with making an impact locally.
Jameis Winston — the face of the Buccaneers and one of the game's stars after just one season — is conducting a ProCamp Monday and Tuesday at Sunlake High School, for which spots still remain. Boys and girls grades 1-8 are eligible for the camp, which runs 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. both days.
Each camper will receive an autograph from the Bucs QB (no outside items permitted), a T-shirt and a camp team photo with Winston. Fundamental football skill stations, games and contests will be offered to small groups, and players will be grouped by age to ensure each child gets maximum instruction.
The cost is $149 per camper. For information, contact Alex at [email protected]
While the Winston camp is sure to draw participants from around the entire area, Leon Orr is focused on New Port Richey and is not charging any admission.
The Summer16 Slam presented by Young Blessed Kings will be hosted by Orr, the former Gulf High School star who played at the University of Florida and is just coming off a rookie season where he made the Oakland Raiders roster despite being undrafted.
He and fellow 2010 Gulf alumnus Justin Tabb want to bring a buzz back to Gulf. The Bucs have only been to the playoffs three times in their history, twice when Orr was on the team, including the 2008 year that supplied Gulf's only postseason victory and a 10-2 record.
Since then Gulf has suffered from lower numbers on the roster, going winless twice around an entertaining playoff appearance in 2014. New coach Matthew Kitchel seems to have that issue on the mend but certainly won't mind if an event like Orr's sparks more interest.
"We want to bring back the school spirit to Gulf," said Tabb, who represents Orr. "It's not about the money. Leon and I are putting our own money into it. We're trying to come back and do something good for the community, get kids off the street. There is never going to be a charge as long as we're hosting this."
Orr, a big defensive tackle who was one of the top recruits in the country, was undrafted out of the University of Florida. And his UF ties are strong enough that Tabb suggests there will be some former Gators there, although some of the names are being kept under wraps until they are confirmed.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ian Beckles will be one of the camp coaches and Tabb says both college and pro (current and retired) athletes will be on hand.
There is no need to sign up in advance. Registration will be held on July 1, where there will be games in and around various football drills. Events will run from 11 a.m. to 3:30 as they will on July 2, when a Buccaneer Ball (7-on-7, no pads) will start at noon after teams are drafted.
"The first two days are geared towards children third-12th grade, and the adults are given multiple bleacher seat sections and the ability to free throw, walk around the track and participate in open field activities," Tabb said.
Dulcet Restaurant & Lounge will be serving food and drink at the event and other sponsorship partners are being lined up. Tabb stressed that all of the proceeds from any sales go to Gulf High.
"This is completely about the school — all of the proceeds are for the athletic and academic departments," Tabb said.
The third day is a meet-and-greet, with autographs and a general get-together. For information, email [email protected]