Ryan Hudgins wants kids to “fall in like” with football. Not love, like. Kids, he says, can use the sport as a way to develop skills both on and off the field. And they should see football as something that can help them become well-rounded individuals, not just superstar athletes. Although the latter isn’t a bad goal to shoot for.
It’s safe to say that Hudgins, however, is in love with the sport. But also that through playing football he has become exactly the kind of person he wants kids in the Valley to grow up to be. Why else would he have started his own youth football camp?
Since 2004, Hudgins has been holding his one-day camp to teach kids the basics of the game, but also to help them understand the importance of staying healthy, getting a good education and being a good role model. Now living in Fresno, Hudgins makes the drive back to his old stomping grounds in Hanford each year to help shape a new group of young Valley athletes.
Hudgins is setting the bar high for this year’s camp, hoping to get 200 kids out on the field. Anything less than that and it’s back to the drawing board for next year, Hudgins said. If you want your child (boy or girl) to take part, there’s still time to sign up (see the flyer above for info or go to the camp’s Facebook page).
You can learn more about Hudgins, his inspiration and regular camp coach, former NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal, and just what it is about football that has the power to make kids come alive by checking out the video below.