KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The game of football – for some it’s just a game, but for others it’s a way of life. One organization, Center City Youth Sports Program (CCYSP), hopes to teach lessons on the field that kids can apply to real life.
CCYSP held a summer camp for children of all ages with the help of Knoxville’s Semi-Pro football team The Knights. Players from Knoxville Knights spent two hours Tuesday night with kids teaching skills and lessons they’ve learned on and off the field.
Jazion Riley, a child attending CCYSP’s summer camp, says he just enjoys playing the game. He plays both wide receiver and middle linebacker.
“(As) wide receiver, I just like to catch and run with the ball. (As) middle linebacker, I just like to hit people,” he said.
Marlond Mason, a coach for CCYSP, says he hopes they are helping mold future stars.
“We have had a lot of success. We have sent kids on to Fulton, Austin East and West,” he said.
Keelan Waley, quarterback for the Knoxville Knights, says he hopes lessons learned here go way beyond the playing field.
“Kids left idle are more apt to get in trouble, so we are out here to provide a mentor, a little bit of guidance and let them have some fun. Everybody started off with a past, but it doesn’t determine where you go,” he said.
Many players from the semi-pro team, including Waley, say football helped show them a new direction in life.
CCYSP has been in Knoxville for more than 20 years, and has sports programs all year long. They say their goal is to give every child a chance to take part in a sport.