By Dylan Deprey
The bellowing grunts and heavy breathing radiated from the lines of high school boys melting in sweat with elbows locked in a push up position.
“What’s the count?” shouted a coach, wielding a whistle, ready to blow. “TEN!” shouted the boys still struggling to stay in a push up position with five more to go. It was day three of the camp, the flags were out and it was scrimmage time.
Former Green Bay Packers’ nose tackle and Super Bowl champion Gilbert Brown held his 11th Annual All-Pro Football Camp, a free three-day football camp at North Division High School. The camp is a partnership between the Gilbert Brown Foundation and AT&T Wisconsin Pioneers. The camp ran from July 11 to the 14th.
“The camp is one of the highlights of my year, and I’m excited to offer it again in 2016 for the eleventh year,” Brown said.
There were two, three and a half hour camps everyday. The morning was set-aside for kids 8-12 and the afternoon for teenagers ages 13-17.
“My main thing is to teach discipline and respect, if we have time for football we’ll throw that in there too,” Brown said.
AT&T Wisconsin Pioneers donates $1,000 to the Gilbert Brown foundation for the event as well as to other business. The Pioneers are a local group of AT&T employees and retirees who volunteer through the community. During the camp the volunteers helped as coaches, registration, food tent and security.
“Gilbert Brown is a Wisconsin sports legend, and his All-Pro Football Camp is just one of the countless ways he’s contributed to our community,” said AT&T Pioneer Manager Jeannette St. Onge.
Around sixty teenagers showed up to the last evening camp of the week, but Brown said the turn out was usually around 200 to 300 per camp. He noted that it is always difficult to link up with high schooler’s schedules.
Even though the thermometer was pushing ninety degrees Brown said that the weather was no match for keeping the guys off the field.
“You’ve got to practice smart. Days like this is where we get most of our teaching done, instead of grinding it out,” Brown said.
The final day was a reward for those who went through the rigorous first two days of workouts and drills. They got to show their skills during a flag football scrimmage between the entire camp. Brown offered up three trophies for those that showcased their skills during the game. One for offensive MVP, one for defensive MVP and the honorable mention received a bike.
Jordan Holloway, 12, played on the championship team during the morning session. He said that normally he played quarterback for the Milwaukee East Side Steelers, but instead tested his skills at tight end and linebacker during the camp.
He also noted that the drills were useful and worked to improve all aspects of an all-star football player including: speed, footwork and agility,
“The Gilbert Brown football camp was a big change for me because he taught me the techniques of football, how to be a better football player and be a better man,” Holloway said.