By Cody Dalton
O-N-E Sports Editor
On Friday, I had the pleasure of covering Justin Harper’s football camp for the very first time. I was pleasantly surprised by all the camp had to offer.
As I interviewed the many different players who were “counselors” at the camp, each one of them had a unique story about giving back. I think it is great to see former high school and college athletes give back to those kids who may need a boost in their lives.
These current NFL players worked on playing techniques with area football players and teams Friday, as well as giving them “life lessons” from personal experiences they’ve had in their lives.
On Saturday, these celebrity players not only gave back to area athletes, but also took the time to work with and impact the lives of young children in grades kindergarten through eighth. These young people were probably impacted more than the high school athletes.
One of these players, Washington Redskins’ defensive back Victor “Macho” Harris, was impacted by a football player when he was young. Harper himself had been affected by a young child, 9-year-old Robbie Caskey, who recently passed away in Maiden.
A current Virginia Tech player himself, Jarrett Boykin, was even influenced in his career by Harper and dons the same No. 81 Harper did as a Hokie football player.
It just goes to show you, whether young or old, all it takes is just one person to positively influence or impact a person’s life. It could be a small gesture, like opening a door or saying “bless you” after a sneeze, or something greater, like listening to a friend’s problems.
Some people can have influence just by meeting other people and seeing things that happen in their lives. Any events or actions can have a significant impact on the person you are giving back to.
I think we should all try to give back positively to someone, even if you don’t know who they are. Someone could be having a bad day or going through a troubling time in their lives. So showing one small moment of compassion or care could go a long way toward these people’s lives.
I’m going to try to make it a goal in my life to touch someone’s life, especially young people. Whether I lead someone to a career in journalism, a newfound faith in God or just a choice in their life, I want to impact them in positive and upbeat ways.
So strive to change a person’s life, and give back what’s been given to us throughout our lives.
Cody Dalton is sports editor of and a columnist for The Observer News Enterprise. His column appears in the Tuesday edition. Reach Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org .