Players brave heat wave for football camp
by Bob Brownne
Jul 03, 2013 | 2891 views | 0 0 comments | 92 92 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Overton football camp
Rick Thompson, 13, tries to outmaneuver Emilio Barragan, 11, during an agility drill at Matt Overton’s USA Football Fundamentals Camp at Kimball High on Saturday, June 29.  Bob Brownne/Tracy Press
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Temperatures didn’t reach the triple digits until mid-afternoon Saturday, June 29, which gave Matt Overton, some volunteer coaches and several dozen young football players plenty of time for some basic drills before the blistering heat took over.

Overton, a 2003 graduate of Tracy High and a special teams center for the Indianapolis Colts, is getting ready to start his second year with the NFL.

He took some time during his break before team training camp to host a USA Football FUNdamentals session at Kimball High’s Don Nicholson Stadium.

More than 60 kids, including players from local and out-of-town youth football teams, showed up for the three-hour session, which included drills on passing, receiving, agility and ball handling.

“These kids are dedicated to getting better,” Overton said. “They could be doing a lot of other things with their weekend, but they chose to come out here and participate in this camp and work on some fundamentals.”

Korey Reyes, 13, plays for the Tracy Junior Bulldogs, formerly the Tracy Raiders, and said it’s inspiring to see a pro who once played for the Tracy Raiders and Tracy High connect with his roots.

“It’s great how (Matt Overton) brought this together for all of the youths, to help us learn more about football,” Reyes said. “We get together not only to exercise, but to learn more about the game and learn new skills.”

Bill Welch of Tracy took his son, Biory Rainey, 8, to the camp and then helped keep the kids organized on the field as they rotated through drills.

“It gives the kids an opportunity to definitely improve themselves and get ready for the new season,” Welch said.

He noted that his son’s team, the Tracy Rampage, begins its inaugural season in two weeks.

“They get to work with an NFL star to help them get motivated,” Welch said.

Saturday’s camp was familiar territory for Overton, who established his own Pros 2 Youth nonprofit three years ago to connect with youth football teams.

His events in both 2010, when he was with the Seattle Seahawks, and 2011, when he played for the United Football League’s Omaha Nighthawks, raised money for the local youth teams.

This year, the NFL and USA Football helped organize the free event, one of many hosted by NFL pros around the U.S. this summer.

“As long as the player applies for it and hosts it in his hometown, it’s an easy thing to do,” Overton said. “Now that (USA Football) has partnered with the NFL, it’s a no-brainer to do. I plan to do this every year in Tracy.”

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.
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