Tennessee Titans host first-ever Memphis youth football camp

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 2:40 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Titans hosted its first-ever Memphis Youth Football Camp at Christian Brothers High School on Saturday.

Instruction for the one-day camp was led by Tennessee high school coaches, as well as additional support from former Titans players like Gerald McRath.

“For one, football for me was the closest thing to life you could possibly get,” the former team linebacker said.

McRath said the sport introduced to him fundamental life skills, like dealing with adversity, living with integrity, and being disciplined; but most importantly, football gave him purpose.

“To be honest with you, it did keep me out of trouble,” McRath said. “You know, you’re at school all day long. You never go home after school. You’re always practicing or playing a game.”

According to the Memphis Crime Commission, the Bluff City has seen a 27 percent increase in serious juvenile crimes and a 5.5 percent increase in repeat offenses within the same group over the last year.

Hollye Robinson brought her 12-year-old nephew to the free camp on Saturday. The importance of staying active is something her father taught his children from a young age, but knows that’s not everyone’s experience. She said that when children are bored, they might get into trouble.

“Or, they might explore things they just shouldn’t,” she said. “Some might not have the coaching of a father figure at home, so just having that opportunity opens new doors in new ways.”

Elliot Bass, who brought his son to the camp, described the message he believes that the camp sends to kids:

“You mean something in this world, and if this is the game you love, put your cleats on. Come and ball, and get something to look forward to.”

The former Tennessee Titan shared why he supported the football camp.

“You want them to know you care, and you better believe it! Not only do I care, but there is somebody out there who does care for you,” McRath said.

Camp participants will learn proper football fundamentals, skills and position techniques, as well as teamwork skills and the value of good character.

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