Panama City, FL---Call it proof how there is never an off season for area high school football players. Some 200 of them taking part this week in a camp to hone their skills and their character.
Coach Jimmy Longerbeam and Bay hosting the NFL/National Guard Player Development Camp, and about 200 kids took advantage of that!
That taking place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The goal, learning lessons about the game and well beyond it.
"I tell you it is a lot of fun." says Bay head coach Jimmy Longerbeam who helped host this camp at Bay. "There's 18 guys from other schools from different schools, and they do a great job and I just kind of walk around, they're doing all the work tonight. But they do a really good job and we just kind of partnered with the National Guard, as well as the NFL for this whole character development program. And we're just really fortunate enough to have it here."
Janarius Robinson, one of Bay's defensive end talked about the lessons he was learning this week. "They just told us, get your grades, do right in school. Because if you don't have the grades, football isn't coming back. You can't play football if you don't have the grades."
The program costs nothing for the players to sign up, but has gives them an opportunity to improve that's absolutely priceless.
"Oh yeah, learned a lot from this camp. Reading defenses and timing." says Rutherford quarterback Justin Davis.
"It's been great because you meet different coaches that's not really around during the fall, when you get coached up." says Robinson. "So you get different, it's an opportunity to learn something from a different coach."
What's more impressive than the growth the guys have undergone? How close they've all become.
Adds Davis "It's pretty good because everybody's getting along, surprisingly."
"The kids have been great." says Longerbeam. "
I tell you what the fun part is watching kids from all different schools be on the same team out here playing. Watching them encourage each other and pick each other, that's the fun part."
"It's pretty weird, but at the end of the day it's about competing when the fall comes." says Robinson. "You can be friends now, in a summer workout, but when the fall comes you've got to do what you've got to do."
Robinson and many of his Bay teammates head up to a football camp at the University of South Alabama Thursday. You see, football work goes on and on.