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For the third straight year, Bandys High School hosts the Justin Harper Oddie Cares Foundation football camp.
The camp, which is operated by former Bandys, former Virginia Tech and current Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Justin Harper, takes place July 8-9.
The first day of the camp will focus on high schools players, while day two features a free camp for kindergarten through 12th graders.
Harper said this yearâ€™s camp will differ from yearâ€™s past.
â€śWhat we plan on doing this year is keeping everyone essentially located on one field,â€ť Harper said. â€śWeâ€™ve usually had two fields, split players and teams up and sent them down to one field. What we are going to do this year is keep everyone on one field.â€ť
Another change for the camp will be working with players based on their position.
â€śWe will do the individual drills with the kids first,â€ť Harper said. â€śThey wonâ€™t be with their teams. If they are a receiver, they will be with receivers. If they are a defensive back, theyâ€™ll be with defensive backs. For an hour and a half, we will go through the individual drills.â€ť
After the drills are over, squads from Bandys, Maiden, Newton-Conover, St. Stephens, Lincolnton, Statesville, South Iredell and Freedom High Schools will participate in a 7-on-7 drill.
This drill gives high school football fans an opportunity to look at their schoolâ€™s players.
Harper encourages fans to come out and support the youth from their communities.
â€śWe are trying to get people to come out,â€ť Harper said. â€śIf you are a fan, come out and support your team. You will get an early look at your team this summer and see what your kids are going to look like, while also supporting the kids.â€ť
While those teams are playing, the remaining teams will participate with guest speakers.
â€śThis year, it is going to be about much more than football,â€ť Harper said. â€śItâ€™s going to be about the kids coming out and grabbing something that they can be able to leave with to help them out in life, as well.â€ť
A variety of NFL pros, including a few of Harperâ€™s teammates in Baltimore and former Virginia Tech football players, will speak to those players participating.
Among those pros that will be at the camp will be Baltimore cornerback Lardarius Webb, Baltimore linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, Baltimore quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Pittsburgh defensive end Chris Ellis, Washington defensive back Victor â€śMachoâ€ť Harris, Houston linebacker Xavier Adibi and Houston defensive back Rashad Carmichael.
â€śWith the teams sitting, we are going to have more interaction with the NFL players,â€ť Harper said. â€śA couple of NFL guys will tell their stories, the kids will be able to ask them questions and we will focus on life skills.â€ť
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