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NFL: Sam Bradford camp renews one camper's interest in football

Keaton Wingo took a year off from football, but when Rams quarterback Sam Bradford's camp offered a scholarship to a veteran's child, Keaton got a chance to get back on the field. And his father, Kory Wingo, who recently returned from Afghanistan, got a chance to watch his son play.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, Published: July 11, 2012

— Keaton Wingo hid his head in his hands as he choked back the words.

“I feel very honored that he went and fought for our freedom …”

That's when the 14-year-old paused.

“I'm sorry,” he said. “I'm not good at this.”

Sitting on a camouflage lawn seat, he glanced at his father, Sgt. First Class Kory Wingo. Day 2 of The OldSpice Sam Bradford Football ProCamp had just ended. That's two hot days of drills, sweat and suffering, but Keaton didn't complain.

“You havin' fun out there?” Sgt. Wingo had asked his son earlier in the day in between games.

“Yes,” Keaton replied.

“Are you hot?”

“Yeah,” Keaton said, then looked at his dad who was dressed in uniform. “Are you?”

“Yeah,” his dad laughed. “You could wring my undershirt out.”

Father and son shared a laugh before Keaton limped back onto the field. He was sore. His thighs, his hamstrings, they hurt. It's because he got lazy. That's 14-year-old lazy, which means he took a little downtime in between playing basketball, baseball, soccer and football. Keaton also took a year off from football. He wasn't sure if he really wanted to play anymore.

Then came the invitation. Sam Bradford's camp wanted to honor a veteran's kid with a free-ride scholarship to the camp. That kid was Keaton.

On Day 1 of the camp, Keaton was given a free football autographed by Sam Bradford, in honor of his dad's service.

“On the way home yesterday,” Sgt. Wingo said, “He took my phone and started looking up glass cases.”

For now, the football sits in Wingo's home in Shawnee. His little brother tried touching it a few times.

“I told him he better not put any fingerprints on it,” Keaton said.

Once he gets the case, Keaton plans to put the football, along with some photos from camp, on his dresser to remind him of those two grueling days in July when he learned how to run better routes and catch better. After all, it's Bradford's camp that's renewed a spark in his football career.

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