PHOTO GALLERY: See future football stars go all out at Memorial youth football camp

Published 12:28 am Friday, July 29, 2022

Five years ago Cayden Bowie was just another participant at Memorial’s football youth camp. This week he was all smiles as he jubilantly yelled out instructions for the young campers as he reflected on how he felt as a young kid being around the varsity players and coaches.

He said he wanted to make sure the kids got the same experience he received.

“It is amazing,” Bowie said. “Like I said earlier today when I got my pads, it is a blessing. It is a blessing to be with the team and participate with the team. I remember being a kid and it being surreal. I was here with the older guys and they were teaching me how to do it. It was a big difference.”

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Bowie said he tries to bring energy to everything he does, but said he especially loves getting the kids excited.

“That is me 24/7,” he said. “Even when we are practicing, I am going at it. You have to have high energy and be ready to go. With the young ones, you have to be able to relay that. You can talk to get a kid. If you don’t have high energy, they might not do it. You have to get them excited.”

Memorial Head Coach Brian Morgan watched on as some of his varsity players struggled to get the attention of the campers.

“They told me these little kids don’t listen,” Morgan said with a smile. “Now they know how we feel. It is good for them to get some community service. These kids look up to them. They are coaching them up. It is fun to see. Some of the ones that aren’t really talkative are really coming out of their shells. When they are around the kids, they are more comfortable.”

The two-day camp saw a bit of a drop off in attendance Wednesday as early rain likely kept some kids and parents inside.

“We have had a lot of kids,” Morgan said. “I think it was 150 kids or something like that. It has been a good turnout. It is good to see kids out. It is encouraging. If you look at any sport, success at the high school level is determined by the lower levels. The Port Arthur youth programs have been really strong. It is good to get the kids out here and have our kids out here.”