FORT STEWART, Ga. - Gary Guyton, a football player with the New England Patriots, came home to his native Hinesville, to hold the Gary Guyton Sportsfest, a football camp for the area's youth, at the Bradwell Institute, March 12.

Guyton, along with other National Football League players and former college players aspiring to be in the NFL, participated in the clinic as well.

"We want the kids to come out here, run around a little bit, learn some football skills, try to be a role model for the kids, try to show them a little fun," Guyton said.

During the camp, young children participated in football drills. They practiced tackling, throwing and learned techniques that pros do to make themselves excellent football players.

Many of the children were there to learn about football and possibly get an idea of what it would be like to play in the NFL.

Guyton, who's uncle serves in the Army, recalled what it was like growing up in a military community.

"It was great to me," he said. "The military was right down the street from where I lived. You always see Soldiers out here working. It was good to have the troops here serving our country. It was a good feeling. They're doing good things protecting us."

Guyton also had a personal message for the Soldiers.

"Keep on trucking," he said. "I do appreciate you. What you men and women do are truly amazing. We do what we do because of you guys. My Family and I appreciate what you do."
Guyton offered advice to anyone with big aspirations.

"Chase your dreams," said Guyton. "It's a dream come true for me. As long as you chase your dreams, manage your goals and do the best you can, I think you'll always land in a good spot. For me, putting on my jersey is a dream come true. It seems far-fetched, but it can be obtained."

At the end, the college and NFL players who hosted the camp had the opportunity to talk with the young people about staying in school, the importance of getting good grades and making good decisions in high school and after high school.

Many Soldiers and their Family Members attended the free camp.

Sergeant First Class Jimmy Ingram, Army reserve career counselor, with the Army Reserves Career Division, attended with his son, Joshua, 12. Joshua aspires to play in the NFL someday.

"I wanted to give my son some experience with some professional athletes and give him tips that he can become a better football player," said Sgt. 1st Class Ingram.

He added that he remembered when Guyton played football at Bradwell and that he was really happy the NFL star remembered his roots and gave back to the community.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16