Humboldt’s Toby Champion returns to host all-star football camp


HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — Although it’s not quite football season, some folks were putting in work on the gridiron in Humboldt, thanks to a former University of Tennessee national champion who wants to give back to his home town.

“It’s not about making money. It’s about giving back to the children,” Tennessee Vols 1998 National Champion Toby Champion said.

From elementary to high school, players from across West Tennessee made it to Viking Field for the first Toby Champion all-star football camp.

“Enjoyed it and it’s been a lot of help,” Camden High School defensive lineman Keyshaun Gains said. “I already have a lot of information in my head to get better with it and I’m taking it on the field.”

Champion is a native of Humboldt and says with school out for the summer, he wanted to give young men in his hometown a positive outlet.

“We’re just out trying the teach the kids a little about fundamentals, a little bit about life, a little bit about hard work,” Champion said. “We figured we could reach the kids at a young age, maybe we can save some of them from making the mistakes some of these older kids that out here right now.”

A number of former UT Vols were on hand as coaches, taking players through drills and teaching along the way, something Humboldt’s head coach appreciates.

“I’ve got a little bit of every position , offensive line, defensive line out here,” Humboldt High School Head Football Coach Dorrington Reid said. “They are learning from people who really know those positions and who have specialized in those positions.”

“I think it’s great that they are doing this for us, and I hope they keep doing it,” Gains said. “I’ll come back a lot of times to get better and hope my dreams come true.”

Champion says he’s enjoyed being back in Humboldt and says he’s looking forward to seeing even more talented football players next year.

“I hope y’all come back and do this again. That makes me feel good that we’re going to do this again,” Champion said. “One way or another, we’re going to get this camp going on an annual basis.”

Champion says he’s gotten nothing but positive feedback and would love a local business to sponsor the camp in the years to come.

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