Former Bethany quarterback Ryley Claborn has seen how expensive it can get for a young football player to make the rounds on the summer camp circuit.
With that in mind, Claborn, who is entering his second season at Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford, is working hard to grow the free camp he started two years ago.
Claborn started the camp as an opportunity to give back to the youth players in the community who had supported him during his three years starting for Bethany.
He got help from some of his coaches and teammates at Bethany, as well as others around the area. Last year, he brought in some Southern Nazarene and SWOSU players, and he's adding more this year.
Claborn does all the leg work himself to gather sponsors to cover the costs of the camp, and to bring in volunteers to help lead the workouts.
Now entering its third year, Claborn has big plans for the camp's future.
“I want to make it bigger,” he said. “In the next two or three years, I'd like to keep the camp going in Bethany and add one in Weatherford also, to give kids from Weatherford and Clinton and the towns around there to come.”
Originally a quarterback camp, Claborn expanded it to all positions last year, and expects his numbers to grow this year. There is no cost to attend, and all players receive a camp T-shirt.
“I just wanted to give back to all the kids in the community who have been supporting me,” Claborn said. “I do it for the kids. I like coaching. I'm not going into that field, but I like doing it. It's always nice to see the kids have fun, and get better at the sport, also.”
The camp is open to players entering the 1st-8th grades in any school district. It will be held July 23-25 at Bethany High School's practice field on NW 50th St. west of Council Rd. Registration information is available in the football forum of www.okball.com.