BY TRISTA VAUGHN
STILWELL – Children, parents, collegiate and professional coaches came together on June 9 at Dahlonegah Public School for the Day of Champions Football and Sports Skills Camp sponsored by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.
The free, one-day football camp was open to all children 8-18 and provided a holistic approach to athletics with skills enhancement, health, leadership and one-on-one mentoring.
“Our kids in this area don’t often get a chance to get out and have a day outside exercising, running and playing,” said Frankie Still, UKB Flint District council member. “I would like to thank God and UKB for allowing us to have a opportunity to do something like this.”
The camp features Division I, II, III and NAIA collegiate coaches from across the U.S., as well as past and current football players from The University of Oklahoma and the National Football League.
DOC Coach and President Ken Heupel led the event and has more than 20 years of NCAA experience. His son Josh is currently the head coach at The University of Central Florida and won the BCS National Championship with OU in 2000.
“We start on what the camp is based on which is discipline, respect, trustworthiness and hard work,” said Heupel. “We try to show the kids what respect is during our camp. How to give respect, how to receive respect, how to present themselves in a fashion that will allow them to be successful in life. Of course we work on skills in football as well.”
The camp divided boys and girls into two groups to focus on topics including fitness, nutrition, strength and conditioning. Both groups also held individual competitions and handed out awards.
Lyrix Goodmoney (Delanosda) Howard received the Elite Running Back Academy Award, given for displaying discipline, respect, trust and hard work.
“I think the camp was beneficial to him and all participants,” said Marquana Fourkiller, Howard’s mother. “I would like to thank Ken Heupel and their staff for their time.”