Ryan Bowers remembers the improbable path he climbed from his days as a football player at Greenbrier High School to the professional ranks. In a town with baseball camps running nearly every weekend, a football showcase was hard to find.
"There was nothing like that here," he said. "You had to travel to Atlanta."
But Bowers, with the help of a few other former college and professional football players, is aiming to change that with his CSRA Winter Football Camp/Combine at Patriots Park.
The former Lakeside star, an NFL Europe and Canadian Football League veteran, will be an instructor at the day-long camp today along with several NFL and pro veterans, including James Trapp, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, Jeff Terrell, Greg "Moose" McClain and former North Augusta and Clemson standout Reggie Merriweather.
"When I was a kid we didn't have this. We just played outside all day," Trapp said. "Our skills were honed that way, but in today's society kids don't do that. They can't always just go outside and play. So that's why they need a camp like this."
Bowers, who recently retired from professional competition said the camp will raise money for Gridiron Heroes, a foundation that assists high school football players who have suffered spinal cord injuries.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.
Registration for the football camp, which will also offer combine testing, begins at 9 a.m. today and is open to athletes in grades 6-12 at a cost of $35 per participant; $10 of every paid registration fee will go to Gridiron Heroes.